Sean Montgomery, Sports Information Student Assistant
MILLEDGEVILLE, Ga. – Following a runner-up finish in the Peach Belt Conference (PBC) Tournament and an at-large bid to the NCAA Division II Regional Tournament, both firsts in program history, the Georgia College Volleyball team prepares to square off with USC Aiken in the opening round Thursday.
The sixth-seeded Bobcats (23-7) and the third-seeded Pacers (25-5) are familiar foes, facing off twice during the regular season and once again during the PBC Tournament, with Georgia College leading the season series, 2-1. The most recent match came during the conference tournament quarterfinals, where the Bobcats handily defeated USC Aiken in straight sets, 3-0.
Leading the way for the Bobcats is PBC Coach of the Year Gretchen Krumdieck, followed by a trio of All-PBC juniors in Kayla Brockway (Jacksonville, Florida), Taylor Svehla (Cumming) and Ebony Powers (Jacksonville, Florida).
Brockway enters Thursday's contest as the program's single season leader in assists with 1,110. She bested her previous record in the most recent match with USC Aiken and leads the conference by a 51-assist margin over the next closest setter, Flagler College's Tara Savisky. The Bobcat junior is also second in the conference with 10.57 assists per set.
Svehla and Powers have each had great 2017 campaigns thus far, combining to ignite the Bobcat offense. Svelha tops the charts in hit percentage (.253) and is second in total kills (273), while Powers leads in total kills (288) and kills per set (3.1).
Lone senior Chandler Ewaldsen (Savannah) has been a strong leader for the Bobcats this season, posting high PBC-rankings in a plethora of categories. She is third in total digs (552), fifth in digs per set (5.26), first in service aces (52) and service aces per set (.50).
The Bobcats have also been aided by exceptional play from sophomore Emily Crowell (Horseheads, New York), as well as freshmen Libby Bochniak (Marietta), Jordyn Moellering (Cumming) and Emma Boughner (Bogart).
Crowell has tallied 184 kills and 36 blocks on the season, while Bochniak, an PBC All-Tournament team selection, has 257 kills and 295 digs. Moellering and Boughner have each played an important defensive role, with Moellering notching 233 digs and Boughner leading the team in blocks with 93.
With an opening round victory, it would mark the first NCAA Tournament win in program history. The team travels to host and top-seeded Flagler College in St. Augustine, Florida.
Georgia College and USC Aiken join region opponents Flagler, Wingate University, Anderson University, Queens University (N.C.), Carson-Newman University and Barton College. With action set to begin Thursday, Nov. 30 at Flagler Gymnasium, the Bobcats opening match is scheduled for 2:30 p.m.
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.