Lady Cougars volleyball opens season with tournament, comes away with pair of wins

Published 3:54 pm Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Summer is officially over and the Grace Christian Academy Lady Cougar volleyball team has returned to the court to show how hard it’s been working in the offseason.
This marks the 10th season Erwin Harrell has coached the Lady Cougars.

During the Endless Summer Pre-Season Tournament at Dominion Christian School in Marietta on August 14-15, the Lady Cougars won two and lost two.

They defeated the Loganville Christian Academy 2-0, lost to the Trinity Christian School 0-2, defeated Harvester Christian School 2-1 and fell to Community Christian School 0-2.

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“This preseason tournament gave us the opportunity to evaluate ourselves,” Harrell said. “We were able to identify our strength and what areas we need to work on. I was very pleased in the way we competed against some of the stronger programs in the state.”

The Lady Cougars team consists of nine players, all of whom are returning from last year’s squad. Harrell said though his players are not very tall, they are exceptionally athletic.
“For us to be successful, we have to channel that athleticism into a stout defense,” Harrell said.

Senior captain Kelsey Harrell had a strong tournament performance, leading the team with 25 kills and five aces. Senior captain Lindsey Duke ran the offense at the setter position and also performed well. Junior Kaitlyn Holcombe held strong at the net and led the team with five blocks.

Junior Sarah Castoro led the Lady Cougars on defense with 15 digs, while juniors McKenzie Brown and Addie Elkins played solid in their first full-time starts.

Harrell said that maybe the surprise of the tournament was the play of freshman Abigail Mills, who played extremely well and handled pressure from some strong hitters.

The Lady Cougars begin their regular season Thursday, Aug. 20, with a road match against Georgia Christian School in Valdosta. Their first home match will be next Tuesday, Aug. 25, against R.F. Munroe of Quincy, Florida.