By Angela Moryan, Sports Information Assistant
MILLEDGEVILLE, Ga. – Georgia College Volleyball (14-7, 5-4 PBC) accelerated up the Peach Belt Conference (PBC) standings after mowing past higher-ranked Augusta University (13-9, 5-4 PBC) at home Wednesday night. The annual Dig Pink match pitted the Bobcats against the Jaguars, Georgia College coming out on top, 3-1.
"Tonight was a great win for our program," head coach Gretchen Krumdieck said. "Several players stepped up and had big nights. I'm very proud of the way the team handled the match tonight."
The Bobcats capitalized on their thrilling upset against Flagler College (11-6, 7-2 PBC) Monday and used that confidence and momentum to power through the first two sets, halting the Jags for a combined 36 points. Both sets the Bobcats had in hand, topping Augusta 25-20 and 25-16, respectively.
The Blue and Green hiccupped a bit after halftime. The ladies were unable to break the long runs from Augusta attacks and were bruised by their own errors. Bobcats headed into the fourth set after the 25-16 loss.
Georgia College took control quickly in the fourth set, edging the Jags by as far as six points two separate times early in the set. Augusta did not give up so easily, though, tying the set at 22. Both teams switched off points and forced the set into overtime. The Bobcats won the set and, subsequently, the match with two kills slammed in from seniors Miller Howard (Suwanee) and Caroline Long (Roswell).
Both Howard and Long topped the Bobcats in kill numbers for the night. Long snagged the top spot with 16 kills in 35 attempts. Her .314 average also led the team. Howard came in just one short of tying Long with 15 kills and a .250 average.
The team combined missed the program record for kills by just one, accumulating a blistering 56 kills before the final whistle.
On the assist side, sophomore Kayla Brockway (Jacksonville, Florida) started as setter once again. Alone, she wracked up 49 assists, missing the school's four-set match record by one. The record was set the first year of the volleyball program by then freshman Micayla Patterson. She set the record with 50 assists against UNC Pembroke.
As a team, the Bobcats tied the four-set match assist record with 56 total. That number also lands them a third-best spot in the overall leaderboard for team assists.
Defensively, libero Chandler Ewaldsen (Savannah) took the most digs. Her 27 saves adds to her 426 season total, the second-best slot in the PBC. She also has a firm hold of second in the conference for digs per set, with 5.20.
Brockway and sophomore Ebony Powers (Jacksonville, Florida) helped out defensively, as well. Brockway had 20 saves to make this her 12th double-double of the season. Powers came in team-third with 19.
The Bobcats had 88 digs all together, the fourth-best of all time in the record books. They shattered the four-set match record by five digs.
In the blocking department, sophomore Taylor Svehla (Cumming) led the team with six total blocks. The Bobcats came together for 22 blocks on the night, beating the team record in a four-set match by four.
With this conference win, the Bobcats now sit fourth in the Peach Belt tied with Augusta for a 5-4 conference record. Ahead of the Bobcats and Jags are Armstrong State University (16-3, 6-2 PBC) at third, Flagler College (11-6, 7-2 PBC) at second and USC Aiken (21-3, 10-2) at the top.
Bobcats just upset the Flagler Saints Monday and hope to repeat that at home next Friday, Nov. 4 before having the same outcome against Armstrong State also at home next Saturday, Nov. 5. Before those top conference battles, though, the Bobcats must face Francis Marion University (11-10, 5-7 PBC) and UNC Pembroke (2-23, 0-12 PBC) on the road this weekend.
The next home match for the Bobcats will be Tuesday, Nov. 1 against Peach Belt competitor Columbus State University (13-8, 4-7). First serve is scheduled for 6 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.