The Georgia Northwestern Lady Bobcats saw their 2018 season come to a close in heartbreaking fashion Monday night as they lost a five-set decision to visiting Cleveland State at the Rossville Athletic Center.
Georgia Northwestern (6-17) looked primed to get the victory, jumping out to a 2-0 lead (25-23, 25-19) against the Lady Cougars, who were short-handed due to injuries. However, the visitors would find some momentum as they came back from a early deficit to win 25-19 in the third set.
Cleveland State would pick up a 25-16 victory in the fourth set and the tide would finishing turning for good in the fifth-set tiebreaker as the Lady Cougars rolled to a 15-5 win to clinch the match.
Savannah Walker had a team-high 15 kills in the season's final contest to go with nine blocks. Kayleigh Goff had five digs, four kills, three blocks, three assists and an ace. Jamese Miller came through with seven kills, a block, a dig and an ace, while Mia Clark served up 25 assists to go with four kills, four aces and a pair of digs.
Also getting on the scoresheet was Morgen Simmons (four digs, one ace, one kill) and Gracie Goode (one block, one dig).
"There was definitely a lot of growth this season," said a tearful head coach Amber Weaver afterward. "I told them at the beginning of the season that we were going to be able to look back on the schedule once we were finished and be able to pick out some games and matches that we should have won, but in the locker room, I just told them that they should be proud.
"They need to be proud of themselves and they need to be proud of this program. We did win a lot more games than we did last year and even when we didn't win the games, they were a lot closer than they were last year."
Weaver added that there would be plenty of good memories associated with this year's team.
"This team is fun and they're sassy," she continued. "There were moments when they would step up and lead, sometimes even over me and not in a negative way. I told them (when the season began) that they needed to be a self-coached team and that if I saw something wrong, I would let them know. Just like (Monday). There was one time when I was telling them where to play a ball and Morgen is calling the ball out. Sure enough the ball went out and I just love that they will step up.
"They are all their own people. They are all very different people, but they all come together and play well. I just love how much they've grown. At the beginning of the season, you could tell the second that the game was going to be lost because their attitudes changed. But about halfway through the season, they started fighting back and we got some wins that we probably wouldn't have gotten (earlier) because they didn't quit. I just really love their determination."