Season ends with second place GSC finish for Lions volleyball

Junior setter Andrea De Leon gets ready to set the ball against Christian Brothers University in the first round of the GSC tournament Nov. 11. The Lions advanced to the championship game and lost to Valdosta State University 3-0 Nov. 16.

The Lions season did not end the way they wanted it to, but there is plenty of room for optimism for the future.

The volleyball team lost in the Gulf South Conference Championship game to Valdosta State University 3-0 Nov. 16 in Rome, Georgia. Despite making it to the championship game, UNA (20-12) was not selected into the NCAA tournament.

“It is disappointing that we did not make the NCAA tournament because I felt that we should have been in there,” said junior setter Andrea De Leon. “I mean we beat Shorter in the (GSC tournament) and they were the No. 1 seed.”

De Leon said although the team came up short in the GSC championship game and did not make the NCAA tournament this season was a success.

“I don’t think by losing in the championship that this year was a failure,” she said. “I think we learned a lot and our freshmen really stepped up. We won 20 games which is more than twice that we won last year.”

De Leon was selected to the GSC All-Tournament team alongside a trio of freshmen: Megan Wadsworth, Jessica Austin and Lexie Bradley.

“That’s why I’m so excited for next year,” De Leon said. “Ashtyn (Kapovich) is a freshman too and played well for us this year. We have four freshmen on the court playing regular and that says a lot about the future of this team for next year.”

The Lions lose seniors Megan Gorey, LeAnna Lloyd, Shantel Federick and Joanna Calhoun.

Gorey made the All-GSC First Team after leading the conference in kills with 444.

De Leon said losing Gorey will be difficult because she is someone on player cannot replace.

“We do have a couple players that can work together and make a Megan Gorey,” she said.

De Leon said the goals for next is to not only make it to the GSC championship game but to also win it this time.

“We’re winning the GSC championship and there is no other option,” she said.