GC Volleyball poised for success in 2017
The Georgia College Women’s Volleyball Team hopes to follow up the program’s best season in 2016 with an even more successful 2017. Players and coaches are excited to see where the young team’s talents will take them in the upcoming season.
2016 was full of milestones for the Bobcats. The team finished the season at 17-14, its first winning record in program history and made the NCAA regional rankings for the first time. While the team reached new heights in 2016, the Bobcats are looking to even bigger and better things in 2017.
“We want to make it to NCAA regionals, and we want to win conference,” said junior Taylor Svehla.
Despite it still being early in the season, the team has already “meshed really well,” according to head coach Gretchen Krumdieck, who is entering her fifth year at the helm. This skilled Georgia College team will need to work together in order to maximize success this season.
Although the team is young, with underclassmen occupying eight out of the 12 roster spots, Krumdieck said that this is one of the most talented teams the program has seen in its six-year history. Six seniors graduated last year, but the team has brought in six very talented freshmen. After the annual blue-green scrimmage, Krumdieck said she was very pleased with the performance of the team, especially the freshmen.
The team will rely on the leadership of program veterans, such as senior Chandler Ewaldsen, defensive specialist, junior middle blocker Taylor Svehla, and junior Ebony Powers, outside hitter.
When asked about her status as the only senior on the team, Ewaldsen said she was concerned about the task but equally enthusiastic.
“Honestly, I was pretty nervous coming into it because I had no idea what to expect, but I’m super excited to be that leader that people are looking to,” Ewaldsen said.
Svehla and Powers are taking a big leadership role in helping the younger players acclimate to their new environment.
“[Taylor and I] both like to give advice to [the younger players], and they always come to us about whatever they need,” said Powers.
Along with their leadership roles on the team, Ewaldsen, Svehla, and Powers all play a big role on the court. Ewaldsen, the team’s defensive star, led the team in digs last year, averaging five per set. Svehla and Powers carry the offensive load; Svehla lead the way in 2016 with 322 kills and Powers right behind with 304. Despite their statistical similarities, the two hitters always root for each other on the court.
“If [Svehla] gets a set, I want her to put it away, and if I get set, I might put it away,” said Powers. “I think it’s just a trust between us two.” Svehla threw it right back to her teammate, stating that Powers would absolutely get the job done as well.
Georgia College Volleyball fans will also want to keep an eye out for junior setter Kayla Brockway, who is the first setter in GC history with 2,000 assists.
Krumdieck said one of the main keys to success for the season will be communication, and she said that the team’s chemistry is already helping them communicate well on the court. Krumdieck also said she was thrilled with her team’s defense during the scrimmage and said that the team is in a really good spot at this early stage in the season.
The Bobcats opened their season strong this past Friday, losing only one set in wins against Emmanuel (Ga.) and Valdosta State. Strong performances from veterans Svehla, Ewaldsen, Powers, and Brockway, along with an impressive showing from freshman Libby Bochinak, helped secure both victories. Powers and the rest of the Bobcats will travel to South Carolina at the end of the month to face their rivals, USC Aiken, in the first of two matchups this season.
The Bobcats are looking forward to facing the Pacers at the Centennial Center on Nov. 4.
Infographic courtesy of Kristen Pack