The GC volleyball team ended its 2017 season on a hot streak with an impressive 24-8 record overall and expects to be an even ercer competitor in the 2018 season after placing second in the PBC preseason rankings.
Having made its rst NCAA tournament appearance in school history this past year, the team will certainly be a strong force to be reckoned with as it progresses through its schedule.
“We will definitely be battling at the top this year,” said head coach Gretchen Krumdieck. “Flagler College is very tough, so they’re the ones we’re really trying to catch, and there are also some other competitive teams trying to catch us. We will always have to be on our game and can’t let a match slip away from us.”
Official preseason preparations lasted two weeks beginning Aug. 6 with daily practices twice a day. Once classes started, the team reverted to early morning drills. Players worked out individually over the summer by following health plans assigned to them by a strength coach.
‘They all arrived in really good shape and just played great volleyball right out of the gate,” Krumdieck said. “It’s very encouraging.”
The team attended the NorCal Volleyball Classic in Turlock, California from Aug. 23 to 25. Competition was tough, but the team displayed an exceptional performance that helped set the precedent for the season to come.
“Being rewarded with a trip to California after a hard two weeks of practice was just the icing on the cake,” Krum- dieck said. “We played very competitively and really clicked as a team.”
The Bobcats defeated top opponents Humboldt State and Sonoma State and came home 2-2.
In the upcoming season, Krumdieck and the team aspire to win the conference and host the regional tournament.
“This team is definitely talented enough to make it to the Elite Eight in Pittsburgh,” Krumdieck said. “We just need to have all the pieces put together.”
In addition to receiving second in the PBC preseason rankings, the team’s leading seniors, setter Kayla Brockway and middle blocker Taylor Svehla, were selected as preseason All-PBC honorees.
“It’s humbling to see that I’m noticed by the whole conference, especially considering the position I play,” Brockway said. “I’m not the one getting all the crazy digs or kills; I’m more of the middleman, so it’s exciting to feel recognized.”
This past year, Brockway also received PBC Setter of the Year and was named AVCA All-Southeast Region.
Svehla has very high hopes for the season and said she believes the team has exceptional potential.
“There are a lot of targets on our back this year, but we’re ready for the pressure,” Svehla said. “We aren’t a team that can just be walked all over.”
Svehla is also a recipient of the D2C- CA All-Southeast Region honor and said she is excited to help lead the team.
“It’s definitely about my mentality this year because it is my last season playing,” Svehla said. “I just want to enjoy being around my teammates and really playing the game for the last time.”
The Bobcats’ first home game will be on Sept. 18 against Albany State at 6 p.m.