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‘Harnessed at the Front’

Posted Saturday, November 6th, 2010

If you look up leader or captain in the dictionary you will find a wide variety of definitions.  It might seem odd, but the one that stood out to me the most was, ‘a horse harnessed at the front of a team.’  There are several things that I love about this definition.  The first is the word harnessed- they are strapped in, committed.  They quite possibly could be the fastest runner or the hardest worker and if given the chance could blow the other horses away, but because of the harness they stay with the pack-the team.  The second thing I love is that they are ‘at the front’ meaning that the leader won’t require the other horses to do anything that they themselves do not do first.  The team may have to run through deep waters or scale a mountain, but they will have the assurance that their leader will accomplish the task alongside the rest of the group.

This year the GC volleyball team has three captains: Alyssa Cliffe, Jenna Marcotte, and Jessica Dothager.  For the sake of analogy, they are the horses at the front of our team and their harness is love- its what keeps them tied to the team even when things get tough.  These three are extremely hard workers- you see it daily on the court, in the classroom and in their relationships.   The rest of our team has great confidence in them.  The role of captain isn’t for just anybody, its not something to be taken lightly- its a big responsibility.  All three of our captains take the job seriously, they do a fantastic job at leading us and are greatly respected and admired by the rest of the team.  In chapter 13 of John, Jesus washes his disciples’ feet and tells them that the greatest among you must be the least.  He also says, “I have set you an example that you should do what I have done for you.” Our captains are not just hard workers, excellent players and excellent students- they are servants.  After every game they do the entire team’s laundry and repeatedly choose to put others above themselves.

Two short paragraphs doesn’t even begin to do these three leaders justice.  I haven’t even mentioned Cliffe’s command and dogged determination or Dothy’s quiet, yet powerful presence and her ‘never quit’ mind-set or Jenna’s killer competitiveness and gentle love for her teammates.  Each captain brings a unique set of qualities to the table- her own style and her own fun.  They have and will continue to lead their team well.

Thank you captains for all that you do and for the wonderful people that you are. We are priviledged to follow your lead.


Saturday: Greenville Volleyball Style

Posted Monday, October 11th, 2010

This Saturday the Varsity team headed down to Principia to play Eureka and Spalding! On the drive there we found out many verrry important things: 1. There are catfish the size of humans in the bottom of the “Missippi” (yes, with only two s’s according to spelling bee pro Tom Ackerman) and 2. That coach can’t make any people friends so he goes around telling people that his friend “Fazolis” invites him over for dinner sometimes…what a popular dude ;)

After getting ready we had a good warm up and started out by playing Eureka first. We had a very strong game, and ended up winning in 3. The scores were  25-13, 25-19, and 25-11. Corinne had 10 kills in this match and Cliffe had an amazing 13 digs. We won each game by a pretty good amount, and it was a very good warm up for what was coming next! 

After a wonderful lunch provided by the parents it was time for Spalding. This was a huge match for us, as Spalding is the only conference team to pull out a win against us, and we were NOT about to let it happen again. Every single player had a fire in their eyes and could not wait to come out and beat Team X. The first game we came out SO unbelievably strong and the score turned out 25-13. This score wasn’t just amazing because it was Spalding, but if the team performed like that every game nobody would ever stand a chance! The next game Spalding came out very upset and determined and ended up taking it, 18-25. The third game we did not want to give to them however, and the score put us  back in the lead, winning 25-17. Game three also made the Spalding girls pretty angry, and in the fourth match they won 19-25. This game meant it was going to five… and it was the final battle of the two leading teams.

Game 5, needless to say, was intense! For a while the pattern seemed to be point greenville, point spalding, point greenville, etc… However, Spalding didn’t stand a chance against our crazy defense, or offense for that matter. The blocks this set were AMAZING!!! After the game coach asked Dothy if a block had ever felt better in her life, and the obvious answer was “No way!” She had a total of 3 Block Solos and 5 assists. As a team collectively we had 28 Block Assists and 5 Block Solos- UNreal:) In other areas we were very successful also. Both Dothy and Corinne had ten kills, and Tricia and Feyer followed closely with 8 each! Feyer also had 3 serving aces!!!

In conclusion, WE BEAT SPALDING, 15-13, and the entire team went nuts. YESSSS!!! I heard coach talking about how the second the last point was scored he automatically jumped up so high onto his feet and had to refrain from running out on the court :) This win took the Lady Panthers to 16-5 for the season and put us in a great position in the SLIAC conference- at the top :) …and it couldn’t feel any better!


2nd time’s the charm :)

Posted Friday, October 8th, 2010

Preface: Today we proved Coach Ackerman wrong and got 1500 LIKES ON OUR FACEBOOK PAGE!!!!! mwahahaha :) Sweet tomatos and brownie batter blizzards, here we come!!!

Tonight the Lady Panthers took on Kaskaskia…for the second time! All of us were sooo pumped up for this game all day. The first time we played this team we had an amazing game, and had so much fun, however they ended up beating us in 5 games. This time we knew would be different! We came out with great intensity the first game and ended up beating them 25-17. This was a pretty solid lead and we were confident going into the second game of the match. This game ended up being 18-25, Kaskaskia coming away with the win. They had fantastic defense and we had a few unforced errors both this game and the third game which ended up being 16-25. :(

We knew that this was crunch time. The huddle between the third and fourth game were very pumped up and coach led us in a wonderful cheer: BE AGGRESSIVE. BE. BE. AGGRESSIVE!!!! Also a little dance was included :)

The fourth game we came out very hard and the score ended up being 25-19, another solid lead! This took us into the 5th game! Our goal this game was to get to 8 points before the other team and we did! The score was 8-2 when we switched sides. We had such a momentum going this game and with 6 or something amazing serves from Shutte we ended up WINNING THE GAME!!!!! Everyone stepped up huge this game, and it was soo crazy exciting to come back and get revenge :) Lauren Mason led on the court tonight with a total of 13 kills (she had MAD tipping skills tonight) and Kristen Shutte had a total of 9! We  definitelystepped up as a team tonight and we are still undefeated in our gym :) Good job girls!!!


The top of our list

Posted Wednesday, October 6th, 2010

Appropriately positioned at the top of the GC Athletics list of objectives, is the expectation of a spiritual emphasis within your team.  This #1 objective states, “Provide a program that has a strong spiritual emphasis. Student athletes will be encouraged to a commitment to spiritual growth and outreach as a part of their total educational experience.”  Expectations such as these are what make Greenville College special and GC volleyball is certainly no exception. 

There are several ways that our volleyball team pursues God together.  We place a particular emphasis on prayer.  We are committed to weekly praying together as an entire team-spending time praising God for who He is, thanking Him for what He has done as well as lifting up specific requests.  In addition to the big group prayer times we also have what we call ‘prayer pods.’  A prayer pod consists of a group of four or five players that take time to really invest in each other’s lives through prayer.  The idea is that on a team as large as ours we are not able to pray as specifically as we would like for all of the prayer requests mentioned by our players.  The goal of the prayer pod is to dig deeper into each other’s lives in order that we can be actively encouraging and supporting one another through prayer.  

 GC volleyball also stresses the importance of biblical teaching.  Every Wednesday after practice our dear friend and mentor Mr. Wick comes to speak to our team.  Mr. Wick shares his insights from years of biblical teaching and various experiences from his life.  We appreciate his willingness to come and share his thoughts with us.

In addition to prayer and teaching our volleyball team emphasizes various disciplines and virtues that a Christian athlete should practice and obtain. Every member of the GC volleyball team strives to be a champion- we don’t want to be good- we want to be great- we want to be a team of champions.  We recognize that being a champion involves much more than an individual’s performance on the court and so in an effort to learn what this ‘much more’ entails we read what we call the ‘Champ Book’ together as a team.  The Champ Book is a collection of verses, quotes, stories and inspirational words that teach us about the important qualities of life- qualities such as hope, discipline, faith and love that we hope will be instilled in each player so that they will continued to be practiced and lived out after the player leaves Greenville College.  

As our volleyball team strives to be the best players that we can, go big places and win big games we are reminded of what is truly the most important part of our lives- Jesus Christ.  Our desire is that at all times, in all places and under all circumstances Christ would be at the very center of all that we do.


One of Nature’s Greatest Killers

Posted Sunday, October 3rd, 2010

This Saturday Varsity had two home games… first against Blackburn, and then Webster. The Blackburn game went very well! We schmeemed them in 3 very quick, but disciplined games! Everyone seemed to be on the ball and doing exactly what they needed to do. And although it was a wonderful match, and we had lots of fun on both the court and the bench, it didn’t even come close to the excitement of what was next in store for us. 

 This was the day that everyone has been anticipating since the championship game last season… and let me tell ya, it had nothing to do with us playing Blackburn. Preparation for the Webster game started day one of preseason, and I don’t think any of us have ever wanted something more! Before the game we all met in the locker room (including Coach Jill and Coach Heather-soon-to-be-not-Caddell :) )  Coach Ackerman started out by informing us of Greenville College’s previous record against Webster- 3-31. Since the day Volleyball began here at Greenville, only 3 teams have beat Webster! He also shared that both his wife and new sister in-law have played on these winning teams, so it was very close to  home, and important to him for us to “change the family tree.” This was the goal. We were NOT about to let Webster make that record 3-32…HECK NO!!! Everybody was sooo pumped up, yelling, cheering and crying, and then before we left the locker room, Nelly shared a quote from a book she read with the team. It said:

“Unless it’s in a zoo, you don’t ever want to be that close to a Panther! They’re one of nature’s greatest killers. They move silently and speedily. In a one-on-one fight they’ll almost always come out on top. You can’t outrun them, since they’re faster than you, and you can’t out-climb them, because they can climb too. The best thing is to stay out of their way completely, unless you’re an experienced big game hunter and have come packing a rifle!!!!!”  ….. Right then, WAR was declared in HJ Long :)

The first game we came out and destroyed the Gorlocks, 25-17! Every single player was kicking butt!!! (Including the bench players… we DOMINATED! I think probably 5 girls lost their voice cheering) We were feeling very confident after this game, and everybody was excited to come out and whoop them again! The second game was much closer-the end was neck in neck, and we pulled out the win with a score of 30-28!!! IT WAS SOOO INTENSE! I was standing next to Janelle and she was flipping out :) The third game was also very close, however Webster just barely took this one- 23-25 :( Then game 4 came along and the look in every persons eyes was the same: thirsty. We were determined to finish the match right then and there.. and we did it! The final score was 25-20 and as soon as the last ball hit the floor everyone in the gym was on their feet! It was the most exciting volleyball game that GC our team has probably ever seen, and it was so much fun to be a part of it all! On top of getting the win, we had an insane total of 66 kills in 4 games which is absolutely RIDICULOUS! It is the most any team has had so far this year-the closest team had only 61, and it was in 5 games!

Needless to say, Saturday was amazing, and it definitely went down in history, and I am so proud of every player on our team! Now the fight for 1st place begins… :)


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