Lady Cougars battle through adversity for win

Published 4:48 pm Tuesday, September 20, 2016


The Grace Christian Academy volleyball team faced one of its toughest challenges of the season on Saturday against North Florida Christian Academy. The Lady Cougars (9-0) remained undefeated with a straight set victory, but they had to fight for every point against the Lady Eagles.

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“They played with a lot of heart and the will to come back,” head coach Candice Walker said. “They were eager to win the game. I think that’s what helped them.”

Grace took a back and forth first set 25-21 thanks in large part to a serving run by Sarah Castoro. It didn’t get easier from there, but the Lady Cougars won the second set 26-24 and took the match with a 25-23 victory in the third.

“I think they feel more confident that the fact that they can overcome it no matter what situation they’re in,” Walker said. “Especially that first set where they did have to come back and win. Knowing that they can do that and have the ability to do that.”

The Lady Cougars were led in the match by senior Kaitlyn Holcombe. She had four blocks and eight kills in a dominant performance at the net.

“She played an awesome game,” Walker said. “She was where she needed to be. She was willing to do whatever it took and get to the places she needed to be.”

Castoro added five fills and six digs and Mikey Harrell has three aces, two kills and a dig.

Overall, Grace was able to lean on a strong serve to withstand the pressure from NFC.

“I remind the girls all the time, yeah you can get points from not serving, but it’s easier to get points for serving,” Walker said. “That’s where most of our points are going to come from. If we don’t get our serves in we’re not going to be able to win many games.”

With over half the season already played, the Lady Cougars are still working to refine the finer points of the game to prepare for the playoffs.

“We’re continuing to work on our ball control because without our ball control we can’t have good hits,” Walker said. “Also our hitting, trying to get it in the court. Sometimes the girls can get anxious and end up hitting them out.”

GCA returns to the court on Saturday for a tournament in Tallahassee.

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