Volleyball Eyes GMAC Tournament Run

Josh Bowlds, Sports Writer

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It has been a roller coaster ride for Coach Eric Hagan and the KWC volleyball team so far in the 2017 season and as the season nears its end, the Lady Panthers are hoping to end on a high note. So far in 2017 (as of Nov. 2nd) the Lady Panthers are sitting at 12-16 overall with a 7-6 GMAC record with four regular season matches remaining. This is not bad considering they only won 10 matches in 2016 and 9 in 2015. The team is continuing to learn and grow even this season and Coach Hagan likes what this team has been able to do but recognizes there is still room to improve. “I like our team. I love their desire and their effort. We’ve struggled giving up long runs of points.”

Another thing Coach Hagan says is that his team is diligently searching for is a consistent leader to step up on the floor. “It’s inconsistent. We have two captains that are juniors and they do a great job. We need everyone to fulfill that role of leadership.” One thing that Coach Hagan has found pleasantly surprising this season has been the performance of his freshmen class. “We’re a very young team but our freshmen have really stepped up.” One player mentioned was freshmen middle hitter Danielle Brouillette who has contributed to this team’s success on the floor. She currently leads the team with 183 kills.

With only four matches remaining for the Lady Panthers in the regular season, their focus begins to shift slightly towards the post season and the GMAC Conference Tournament. The Lady Panthers expect to make the tournament and if it started today would be an 8-seed playing the University of Findlay in the first round. “We have some confidence going into these next few matches but this late in the season everyone is pushing and they’re not going to be easy but it’s going to be a fun few weeks here to come.”

The post season will be here before they know it and for the Lady Panthers they have the young talent and nothing to lose attitude that could make them a threat in the post season. Time will tell for the Lady Panthers but I wouldn’t be surprised if Eric Hagan’s team is playing for a conference title in just a couple short weeks. Regardless, they have set the standard for many great years to come as a slew of young talent dominates their roster and they continue to gain confidence with every win.

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