MILLEDGEVILLE, Ga. – Georgia College Volleyball (17-14) bids farewell to the 2016 season after a 3-0 loss to USC Aiken (28-3) in the Peach Belt Conference (PBC) Championship Quarterfinals Friday night, capping off the first winning season in program history.
"This has been an amazing season," head coach Gretchen Krumdieck said. "I'm so proud of this team and everything we have accomplished this year. The senior have done a fantastic job starting this program, and we will all miss them. The future is so bright for the Bobcats."
The Bobcats came out of the 40-minute warm-up strong, matching the No. 2-seed point-for-point for the most of the first set. The Pacers and Bobcats eventually battled into a two-point set at 20-18, but the Bobcats had a difficult time attacking around the Pacer defense. The Bobcats lost the set, 25-21.
Georgia College returned to the second set with a bit of a slow start, dropping down to a 17-10 deficit. But strong service from junior Chandler Ewaldsen (Savannah) paired with attack errors from the Aiken side put the Bobcats right back in the set. Forcing extra time, the Bobcats almost capped off a miraculous comeback with a set victory. But two powerful attacks from USC Aiken left the Bobcats down two sets to none after a 26-24 finish.
After the short set break, the Bobcats looked to rally and win three straight, mimicking the success they had previously this year against the No. 1-seed Flagler College. But the Bobcat defense could not keep up with the impressive attacking squad of the Pacers and fell in a 25-14 final.
Star attackers Ebony Powers (Jacksonville, Florida) and Taylor Svehla (Cumming) led the Bobcats in kill numbers. Powers notched eight while Svehla grabbed six. Senior Caroline Long (Roswell) also helped with five kills in her last match in a Bobcat uniform.
Both Svehla and Long topped the team with four blocks each, and libero Ewaldsen added 16 digs to her record-breaking year. Setter Kayla Brockway (Jacksonville, Florida) put up 26 assists after the three-setter, as well.
The Bobcats lose six seniors – Long, Miller Howard (Suwanee), Ashley Savransky (Roswell), Blake Willoughby (Savannah), Lindsay Holmes (Norcross) and Danyelle Drummond (Cumming) – five of whom began the program in 2013, but coach Krumdieck and her staff look forward to having strong returners back for next season.
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.