East Ridge, LaFayette Duo Lead The Way
(Madisonville, TN) – First-year Lady Cats, Cambrie Gustafson (East Ridge) and Sabrina Garcia (LaFayette) helped set the tone for Georgia Northwestern in their season-opening sweep of Hiwassee College, 25-12, 25-18, 25-14.
Gustafson, an outside hitter from East Ridge (TN) High School’s last state champion squad, led the way with 12 assists, eight kills, and four aces. Garcia lit up the former TJCCAA Region Champs with nine aces and seven kill shots from her middle hitter position for the Lady Cats. Former LaFayette standout Jocelyn Ridley had a trio of aces and a trio of kills in the winning effort. Ringgold alum Leah Swanson added seven assists on the night.
“Our service was amazing, “said Georgia Northwestern Lady Cats Head Volleyball Coach Tricia Goodwin. “Usually, a team will get a dozen or so aces in a match. We had twenty-three.” As for weak spots that the Lady Cats will have to fine tune before a huge tournament at Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tennessee this Saturday, it’s simple. “It’s one thing. We have to learn how to play together on a higher level. We did not play our game at all on Tuesday. Defensively, we are slow. Our players simply need to show up and play from start to finish.”
In previous seasons, the Lady Cats would make the SEC event the first date on its schedule. “Having a match before this weekend really helped us shake off the rookie jitters,” said Goodwin. “After 15 minutes of awkward moments, being timid, and not really opening up how they know how, the ladies began to show their strengths.”
Among the colleges Georgia Northwestern will square off with in pool play this Saturday will be the host squad Vanderbilt and Clemson University’s volleyball club squads. In 2008, Goodwin’s squad, the only two-year college welcomed to the event set the tone for the season early at this event by shocking Ole Miss in pool play. Since then, Georgia Northwestern has upset many of the big names across the south including Tennessee, Mississippi State, and South Carolina’s volleyball club squads.
Pool play at Vanderbilt University this weekend begins at 9 a.m. on Saturday with bracket play expected to begin later that afternoon. For more information on Lady Cats Volleyball at Georgia Northwestern, contact the Office of Sports Information at 706-764-3813. You may also e-mail Don Foley in the Office of Sports Information at firstname.lastname@example.org. For more information on Georgia Northwestern, visit their website at GNTC.edu.