ST. AUGUSTINE, Fla. – The Georgia College Volleyball (25-8) team's stellar 2017 season came to a close Friday night, as the Bobcats fell to second-seeded Wingate University (28-3) 3-1 in the semifinal round of the 2017 NCAA Division II Southeast Regional.
Georgia College jumped all over the Bulldogs in set one, bulldozing their way to an impressive 25-19 win. However, in set two momentum shifted. Wingate punched back with a 25-18 win to knot things up at one.
The Bobcats found themselves on top 19-16 late in set three, but a 5-2 run out of a timeout brought the set back to even at 21. The Bulldogs finally pulled away at 23-23 for a comeback 25-23 win to take a 2-1 lead. Wingate carried that momentum to a 25-16 victory in set four to close the game.
Despite the loss, there were multiple bright spots for Georgia College. Ebony Powers (Jacksonville) was phenomenal in both defense and attack, notching 13 digs and 11 kills for a double-double. Kayla Brockway (Jacksonville) matched Powers with a double-double of her own, racking up 42 assists as well as 13 digs. Powers, Taylor Svehla (Cumming, Ga.) and Libby Bochniak (Marietta, Ga.) each ended the night with 11 kills.
Senior Chandler Ewaldsen (Savannah, Ga.) finished her Bobcat career with a final exceptional performance at the libero position. Ewaldsen snagged a team-high 16 digs on the night. She ends her career as by far the most accomplished defensive player in Georgia College history. Ewaldsen reached 1,000 career digs earlier this season and holds a firm lead on top on the Bobcat career and season record list for digs.
"To say I'm proud of is an understatement." Coach Gretchen Krumdieck said. "This team started the season as the underdog and finished as one of the top teams in the region. Every win, award and recognition we earned this year was because of all of the work they put in. Chandler set the tone for the season and everyone followed. She has left her mark on this program. The future is so bright for this team."
The Bobcats finish the season as the best team in program history, setting a school record for wins both overall and in conference. Georgia College picked up their first NCAA Tournament win, their first Peach Belt Conference (PBC) Tournament win, and advanced to the PBC Tournament Championship for the first time. Brockway won Setter of the Year in the PBC, and Coach Gretchen Krumdieck won the PBC's Coach of the Year Award. Brockway and Svehla were both named to the PBC First Team, while Powers took home PBC Second Team honors.
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.