GRC volleyball’s season ends in district tournament

George Rogers Clark’s volleyball team had won back-to-back 40th District Tournaments heading into the 2019 season and head coach Jesse Bryson was looking to keep her perfect record in district tournament play intact as her Lady Cardinals took on rival Montgomery County in the first round of the postseason.

GRC started the match off right, scoring the first two points and leading by as many as 8-5. The Lady Indians fought back and took their first lead of the night at 10-9. The Cards fell behind 19-13 before they were able to regain momentum and cut the lead to 21-18, but ultimately lost the set 25-22.

The second set went the opposite way with Montgomery County taking a lead early, as large as 8-4, but GRC fought back to take their first lead at 14-13. With momentum going their way, the Lady Cardinals took a 19-15 lead before the Lady Indians had to call a timeout. The timeout gave Montgomery County the fight they needed and they retook the lead 20-19. The two teams battled evenly for several more points, passing the 25-point mark with no winner. Eventually, Montgomery County pulled away to win the set 29-27.

The third set saw GRC take a commanding lead early. Up 7-1, the Lady Cardinals forced the Indians to take a timeout.

The Cards were able to keep most of their momentum after the timeout, holding their lead at 9-4. But Montgomery County scored the next five points to level the game at 9-9.

But even as the set seemed to shift Montgomery County’s way, GRC kept fighting. Tied at 11-11, Bryson called a timeout to regroup her team. The timeout gave them new life and they won 10 of the next 15 points, giving them a 21-16 lead.

The Lady Indians turned it on in a way they hadn’t all match, scoring 9 of the final 10 points to win the set 25-20 and eliminating GRC.

“For a lot of people who have come to watch our games, they might say we were unsuccessful. But we have worked so hard this year, not only on developing our skills but developing our character. ” Bryson said. “That’s our major goal in our program – to make strong, independent women. Behind the curtain, if you were to see the amount of work, heart and determination these girls put in to become better people, you’d say we had a successful season. I am so proud of the way they played.

“It’s not about the scoreboard at the end of the day, it’s about who they are and what they do with what they have.”

The young Cardinals’ team will lose three players to graduation, Molly Robertson, Abby Flynn and Skylar Carmichael.

“Those girls hold a very special girl in my heart,” Bryson said with tears in her eyes. “They were leaders on the court and off. They’ve grown tremendously over the past year alone. They’re wonderful young girls, they’re raised right. I am so very thankful to have been a part of their lives and to hopefully have done something good to help them be even more of the wonderful young ladies that they are.”