The 2016 season was something of a struggle for the Georgia Northwestern Lady Bobcats.
Injuries and roster turnover forced head coach Carrie Powell to juggle lineups and manage matches with either just one or two substitutes or sometimes none at all.
However, "quit" was never an option for the Navy-and-Silver and they were rewarded for their efforts with a two-match winning streak to end the year.
After beating the Covenant College JV at home on Oct. 10 - the second win over the Lady Scots in two tries this season - the Lady Bobcats closed out the slate at home against visiting Oakwood University on Monday and avenged an earlier-season loss.
Georgia Northwestern won the opening two sets, were handled soundly in the third, but rallied to win in the fourth to finish the year at 3-10.
"It's huge win for us," Powell said. "I hate that it's the end of the season for us, but I'm glad to win these last two (matches) and end it on a positive note."
Georgia Northwestern got out to a lead in the opening set and held on for a 25-22 win. They kept rolling in the second set to claim a 25-15 win, but things would turn around in dramatic fashion in the third as the Lady Ambassadors from Huntsville, Alabama dominated to win the set, 25-12.
Things got worse for the Lady Bobcats in the opening stages of the fourth set as Oakwood jumped out to a 5-0 lead, forcing Powell to call time-out to regroup.
"I told them we had to stop blaming each other and start moving our feet," she explained. "It was like we were playing in cement, even in the first set. We were moving slow and sluggish and then in the third set, we finally crashed. I told them that if they wanted to win this and go out on a positive note, then they had to pick up their teammates and their attitudes and they did."
Georgia Northwestern came storming back to take a 10-9 lead and they extended their lead to 19-14 when Oakwood made a final rally. A 9-3 run would tie things up at 23, but one final kill by Sierra Crew and one final kill by Madalyn Morrison finally sealed the victory for the home team.
Crew had nine kills and an ace in the season finale, while Morrison had four kills, four aces and five big blocks. Kaitlyn Castle finished with seven kills, two aces and a block. Other standouts included Serena Turner (8 assists, 2 kills, 2 digs, 2 blocks), Shelby Thompson (10 assists, 2 digs), Misty Hunter (2 kills, 3 blocks) and Demi Hatfield (2 digs, 1 ace, 1 kill).
"This has been the best group I've had yet and, like I said, I hate to see it end," Powell added. "Even though we don't have many W's, I'm proud of what we've accomplished. We accomplished something great this year and brought together a group of girls that wouldn't have gotten together any other way. They are a really quality group of kids that became great friends. I know several are planning on coming back next year so I'm really happy about that."