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Georgetown College volleyball coach Nick Griffin has picked up a mid-year NCAA Division I transfer from East Tennessee State University. Madison Mudd, a freshman defensive specialist, helped the Bucs to a regular season Southern Conference title, but was ready to be closer to home.
"I felt as if I could connect with the team and really make an impact here at Georgetown," Mudd said. "ETSU is in Johnson City, Tenn., which is about five hours from home, so Georgetown also had the added bonus of being less than an hour from Louisville."
The former Mercy High School standout will continue her college and athletic ventures with the Tigers starting in January. For ETSU, Mudd tallied 69 digs in 51 sets for a 1.35 average.
The season continues to speak for itself as more volleyball honors are bestowed on Georgetown College student-athletes. NAIA office announced Tuesday afternoon Jenny Howell, Sarah Bell and Ashlee Howe have been named to the All-American teams.
Howell, a junior from Cincinnati, Ohio, earned second team honors, a step above her third team placement a year ago. She tallied 513 kills and becomes the ninth Tiger to ever earn NAIA All-American status at least twice in her career.
"Jenny's development from freshman year has been fun to watch," said GC coach Nick Griffin. "Her hitting abilities really took center stage this past year and then her growth to being an all court player was vital to our success this season."
With a historic program that is a prohibitive favorite to be in the national tournament every year, it becomes difficult to earmark one season over another as best. This year is no different for the Georgetown College volleyball team. The Tigers were ranked in the Top 15 all season, reaching as high as No. 8 during a stretch of 13 straight wins. Injuries mounted and made the postseason a difficult road, but GC played hard in Sioux City, Iowa. It ended much earlier than coach Nick Griffin or his team would have liked, but one thing is for sure, the accolades will not.
The American Volleyball Coaches Association has already started the wheel of postseason honors to trickle Georgetown's way.
For the second time in three years a Tiger assistant has been honored as the Southeast Region Assistant Coach of the Year. Felicia Pace, in her third season with GC, was selected as the 2016 honoree.
Georgetown College volleyball had a lot to figure out this season after graduating six valuable seniors from the 2015 team. The youthful crew did not need much time to establish a new chemistry, working the way up the rankings and eventually being as high as No. 8 for nearly a month. The No. 11 Tigers (29-10) had a streak of 13 straight wins, highlighted by a four-set home victory over then No. 3 Lindsey Wilson College.
Unfortunately a string of tough luck led to a surprising end Thursday afternoon. GC dropped its third match to No. 6 Eastern Oregon University, finishing the 2016 NAIA National Volleyball Championship pool play winless. The Mountaineers (31-2) won Pool F with a 25-16, 25-18, 26-24 win over Georgetown.
"Teams make it to Iowa for a reason and this was a tough year for us here," said GC coach Nick Griffin. "We had a shot and that is all you can ask for. I'm very proud of the overall season we had and the things we accomplished for being so young."
Georgetown College volleyball had four match points for a three-set sweep of College of Coastal Georgia. The Mariners dug in, though, erased all four, won set three and then finished the comeback in a 16-25, 22-25, 31-29, 25-20, 15-12 win Wednesday in Sioux City, Iowa. The loss all but ends the Tigers season. Eastern Oregon sits at 2-0 in Pool F, while Montana Tech and Coastal Georgia are both at 1-1. The latter two meet tomorrow in the last of round robin action and whichever wins will join No. 6 EOU in the round of 16 Friday.
The No. 11 Tigers (29-9) seemed to have it well in hand with a much improved kill to error ratio. However, in the third set the Mariners (30-9) found the push to keep fighting. Set four was a run away and once CG wrangled control in the decisive set five it was all over.
Coastal Georgia made good on its one match point.