Volleyball spikes again: Gettysburg College volleyball team wins Battlefield Classic

Photo Credit: David Sinclair, GCC&M

Photo Credit: David Sinclair, GCC&M

By Emily Sheehan, Staff Writer

The Gettysburg College volleyball team opened up play last weekend with a series of four games during its annual Battlefield Classic in Bream Gym.

The team was victorious in three of the four contests throughout the weekend, demonstrating much promise for the season’s future.

The only game in which the Bullets did not come out on top was a close match on Friday against Salisbury University, which ended in a 2-3 score.

Gettysburg defeated Greensboro College 3-0 Friday and was victorious against Gallaudet University 3-1 and Marywood University 3-0 on Saturday.

This season the Bullets have a series of goals both big and small. Their dreams range from game-to-game ideals to the bigger picture of making it to the NCAA tournament.

Some of these goals were already met with the weekend’s success, and it is the team’s hope that they will continue to be achieved in the many remaining contests of the season.

“The basic goals for this season remain similar to every season in that we would like to make it to the conference tournament, conference finals and then move on through NCAAs,” said Head Coach Leah Bernier. “The smaller goals for us relate more to focus and process. With a young team, we want to make sure that we are always playing fundamentally sound volleyball and display[ing] great focus on the next point in order to push us through games this year.”

This year’s squad does have many younger players. Seven first-year students and six upperclassmen constitute this year’s Bullets volleyball team.

Included in the upperclassmen sector is junior Stephanie Blair, who earned a place on Gettysburg’s All-Tournament Team based on last weekend’s performances.

Blair was the leader of aces for the team, finishing the weekend with an average of 0.87 aces per set.

The first-years have already demonstrated how they will have an immense impact on the team, as they have stepped up to become leaders despite being new to Gettysburg.

“The freshmen will make a huge impact this year,” said Coach Bernier. “They are already pushing each other in the gym, and having that competition makes everyone better. A lot of them will see significant playing time this season.”

First-year Francesca Garison proved her worth Saturday, as she earned 15 kills in the match versus Gallaudet, the most for any Bullet team member.

In the final match of the day, Garison launched 17 kills against Marywood University, and hit a 0.647 average to reaffirm her potential.

As a team with no captains, the Gettysburg volleyball team finds ways to work together to lead each other both in and out of the gym.

“This is our third year without captains, and it has completely transformed our team mentality and in leadership,” said Coach Bernier. “Our upperclassmen will all go through our leadership training and have the responsibility of leading in their own way–whether it be on the court, off the court, in the classroom, in social settings or however they lead best. It also gives the underclassmen a chance to step up in certain ways and not have to wait to be told to do something or feel like they are stepping over boundaries created by a title.”

With their goals and leadership tactics in hand, the volleyball team sets out to make this season one of its most successful campaigns in history, and it has many chances to do so based on its heavy schedule.

The lady Bullets will play two games Saturday, September 10 during a tournament at Messiah College. Gettysburg will face Messiah at 11:00 a.m., followed by a match against Moravian beginning at 1:00 p.m.

 

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