ST. AUGUSTINE, Fla. – The sixth-seeded Georgia College Volleyball team (24-7) advanced to the second round of the 2017 NCAA Division II Southeast Regional after knocking off conference-foe and third-seeded USC Aiken (25-6) 3-2 on Thursday afternoon in a five-set thriller.
The first tournament win in school history took a little extra effort as the Bobcats needed multiple comebacks to upend the Pacers.
USC Aiken jumped out to a 1-0 lead as mistakes from Georgia College led to an easy set one. The Pacers cruised to a 25-18 win.
The Bobcats fired back in set two, picking up a 25-21 win before USC Aiken turned the score around in set three with a 25-21 win of their own.
With their backs against the wall, Georgia College kept pace with the Pacers and brought the set to the brink. Tied at 24, the Bobcats grabbed two wild points to send the game to a fifth set.
Georgia College flew out to a 9-5 lead but USC Aiken reset themselves after a timeout, and tied the game at nine. Both teams traded punches the rest of the way to make it 14-14. Once more the Bobcats pulled away and shut the door on Aiken for the third-straight time this season with a 16-14, set-five win.
"Tonight was a huge win for this team!" coach Gretchen Krumdieck said postgame. "After a slow start we rebounded and found our stride. We learned a lot about ourselves tonight and there is a lot of fight in this team."
Libby Bochniak (Marietta, Georgia) led the way for the Bobcats, picking up a team-high 14 kills and an impressive 14 digs. Ebony Powers (Jacksonville) and Emily Crowell (Horseheads, New York) were barely outpaced by Bochniak, picking up 13 kills apiece.
Kayla Brockway (Jacksonville) set a team-high with 38 assists. Chandler Ewaldsen (Savannah, Georgia) out-paced USC Aiken's Defensive Specialist of the Year, Rebecca Martinez, as Ewaldsen snagged 33 digs compared to Martinez's 31.
Georgia College advances to face second-seeded Wingate University (27-3) tomorrow, Dec. 1 at 5 p.m.
The Bulldogs came back from a 2-0 deficit to beat seventh-seeded Carson-Newman University (17-15) in the first matchup of the regional.
The Georgia College Department of Athletics, two-time winners of the PBC Commissioner's Cup and the 2017 PBC Sportsmanship Institution of the Year, 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 Twitter and Facebook for up-to-the-minute reports, and visit GCBobcats.PhotoReflect.com to purchase photo prints from home athletic contests.