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Georgetown College volleyball fought to the bitter end in the first round of the single-elimination portion of the 2013 NAIA Volleyball National Championship, presented by J&L Enterprises and CNOS Foundation.
The No. 12 Tigers (35-11) battled Grand View (34-13) for the third time this season. It was a four-set, season-opening win over the Vikings that started this impressive season filled with records and highlights. Unfortunately, GV got the best of GC in Iowa. Georgetown fell 21-25, 13-25, 25-19, 23-25.
"We showed a lot of heart and battle, that's all I can ask for," said GC coach Nick Griffin. "It has been another exciting season where we saw our three outstanding juniors record 1,000 kills each, our team eclipsed 1,100 wins and we won our 15th Mid-South Conference Tournament title.
"We have a lot to build on from this season and are looking forward to what the future holds for us."
Rachel Eubanks led the offensive attack with a season-high 19 kills. The junior had posted 18 in pool-play and had a phenomenal postseason run. For her efforts in Iowa – 55 kills on 110 swings (.336 hitting percentage) – she was named to the all-tournament team.
Allyson Wilbourn had 11 kills, while seniors Kathryn Smith (10) and Emily Weber (seven) also came up big in the final match.
The Tigers seemed in control of set one, leading 20-17, but the Vikings rallied scoring eight of the final nine points. GV came out on fire in the second, the only run away set of the entire match. Georgetown responded by grabbing the lead in set three and holding on as the seniors tallied nine of the 17 kills.
"We gutted it out right there and it shows how far this team has come over the past several weeks," Griffin said. "No one was ready to see our season end, and we went out and fought for it."
Still trailing 2-1 in sets, GC needed set four to force the decisive set. Eubanks came up big in the set with nine of her kills as the Tigers erased several deficits to give themselves a chance. However, on the second match point, 24-23, the Vikings got a favorable call to end the match.
"It happens, but it doesn't change the way we played or how proud I am of this team," Griffin said. "Five of the 11 single-elimination matches went in straight sets. We showed a lot of grit to not fade away and take the third set. I really think this is going to be great to build upon as we have most of our players back next season."