The GC volleyball team put up an admirable fight against top rival Flagler, but fell just short of victory and succumbed to the Saints 3-2 at their first conference game on Saturday.
In the first set, Flagler brought the heat out of the gate with an early 6-1 lead, initiating a slower start from the Bobcats. Though GC battled back with notable performances from sophomores Emily Pope and Libby Bochniak, the team finished the set in a four-point deficit with a final score of 25-21.
Mirroring the first set, the Bobcats struggled to catch the Saints as the score was 16-11 in Flagler’s favor midway through the second set. Flagler’s quick antics and noteworthy blocking skills led them to run away with the set resulting in a GC loss of 25-19.
“We need to start out quicker and get on top of things a little bit faster,” said head coach Gretchen Krumdieck. “That’s going to be the focus Monday morning at practice.”
After a pep talk in the locker room, the Bobcats appeared to take on a new mindset that helped them into clutching a 27-25 win in the third set after being down 22-18. Bochniak’s impressive performance was vital in securing the win as she provided the team with a handful of crucial kills
Fired up from the previous set, GC’s hustle and teamwork allowed them to keep the score neck and neck throughout the entire fourth set before sailing away with a 25-17 victory.
The Bobcats claimed an early 5-2 lead in the fifth set, forcing Flagler into calling a timeout. The Saints remained fierce and stormed back to secure the 15-13 win.
“I’m super proud of the girls,” Krumdieck said. “They worked hard and really dug in. It’s hard to be down 2-0 and have to battle back. The third set was tight, so we had to work for that, and we had really good momentum leading into the fourth set. We just needed to push all the way through.”
Pope and Bochniak said that they are proud of the team’s outing and look forward to making improvements for the next matchup against Flagler on Oct. 20.
“It’s really hard to be up in the fifth set like we were and let that slip out of our fingers,” Pope said. “We’ve done that once or twice now, and I feel like closing out sets are something we need to work on.”
The team displayed an excellent example of teamwork and have a promising future as their season progresses.
“We did a great job of bouncing back,” Bochniak said. “We all really stepped up for each other, so we would cover each other and be there when someone else made a play. It was really just an all-around team effort.”
The Bobcats will return to the court on Sept. 25 to face PBC opponent Augusta University following the Tailgate Tour.
Photos and videos courtesy of Keegan Casteel | Staff Writer