By Angela Moryan, Sports Information Assistant
JEFFERSON CITY, Tenn. – Georgia College Volleyball (10-6, 3-3 PBC) comes home from the Peach Belt Conference (PBC)/South Atlantic Conference (SAC) Crossover tournament adding two wins to its record. Coming off a 1-1 Friday record, the Bobcats faced Lincoln Memorial University (17-2, 10-1 SAC) and Carson-Newman College (3-16, 2-9 SAC) for Saturday's match-ups, topping the Eagles in the late afternoon and falling in a five-set battle to the Railsplitters earlier in the day.
The Bobcats did everything they could in the first match against Lincoln Memorial except come out with the win. The Railsplitters top the SAC with their impressively successful season, losing only one conference game. Georgia College pushed the strong team to a fifth tie-breaking set, though, in the early matches of Saturday's action.
Rotating set victories, the Bobcats took the first and third sets, 25-21 and 25-14 respectively. The Bobcats held the Railsplitters to their lowest-scoring set of any match this season with the 14-point defensive rout. Sets two and four saw the Bobcats put over 20 points on the board each time, but Lincoln Memorial topped the Blue and Green 25-22 and 25-23, tying up the match. The Railsplitters stopped the Bobcats at 10 in the final set, getting a 3-2 win from the first Bobcat-Railsplitter match in history.
The Bobcats marked high kill numbers for the match. Senior Miller Howard (Suwanee, Georgia) took the top spot on the Georgia College roster with 16 kills and 16.5 points. Sophomore star Taylor Svehla (Cumming, Georgia) was right on her teammate's heels, grabbing 15 kills of her own and 16.5 points as well. Blake Willoughby (Savannah, Georgia) also got into the double digits with 11 kills. The Bobcat senior topped the squad in kill percentage at .435, committing only one error in 23 attack attempts.
Defensively, Howard snagged team-leading 23 digs with defensive specialist Chandler Ewaldsen (Savannah, Georgia) saving 18 more. Willoughby also recorded six of the 18 blocks for the Bobcats.
Sophomore setter Kayla Brockway (Jacksonville, Florida) had another strong match, recording 48 assists from the 61 total team kills.
The Bobcats took the court again just an hour and a half following the loss to Lincoln Memorial and battled Carson-Newman for another tournament win. The 3-16 team put up a good fight against the Bobcats but couldn't snag the win after two sets going into extra time.
Georgia College struck early, winning the first set 25-22, but the Eagles got some revenge in the second set, beating the Bobcats 25-20. Both teams battled hard for the third and fourth sets, pushing both above 25 points. The Georgia College ladies led both sets in the end with final scores of 28-26 and 26-24.
The Bobcats' strong offense came from a few different faces in this second match. Svehla led the team in attacks with a monstrous 22 kills and .400 average. That stat ties her for the second-most in Georgia College history. She shares the honor with former Bobcat Rachel Rice, both behind Bobcat alum Rachel Reynolds. Svehla does, however, take the record for most kills in a four-set match, besting current teammate Maggie Roper (Buford, Georgia) by two, a record Roper has held since 2014.
Sophomore powerhouse Ebony Powers (Jacksonville, Florida) and senior Caroline Long (Roswell, Georgia) also dominated from the 10-foot line. They both took 12 kills each, Powers averaging .342 with only one error.
Brockway started at setter and accumulated 37 assists but shared the position with junior Madison Speyerer (Winter Haven, Florida), who helped the Bobcats with 16 assists of her own.
Ewaldsen added 26 digs to her impressive season statistics, while Powers and Roper aided defensively with 16 digs each.
The Bobcats come home from the two-day, cross-conference tournament to a home match Wednesday, Oct. 19 against PBC competitor USC Aiken. The Pacers come fresh off a full four-match SAC sweep from this weekend's tournament in Tennessee. Bobcats host them for the Sea of Green night in the Centennial Center beginning at 7 p.m.
The Georgia College Department of Athletics, two-time winners of the PBC Commissioner's Cup, sponsors 11 varsity athletic programs at the NCAA Division II level. As a Division II program, Bobcat Athletics prides itself on balancing the life of the student-athlete, evidenced by the teams' multiple appearances in post-season competition as well as documented academic success and community-service involvement. Sign up at @GCBobcats on social media for up-to-the-minute reports, and visit GCBobcats.PhotoReflect.com to purchase photo prints from home athletic contests.