When her daughter Brittany was a freshman at the school, she played with five teammates on the basketball team — total. And the volleyball team was nearly as bad. Things have certainly changed for girls sports at GCHS.
“When we had volleyball tryouts this past May, we had 30 girls in the gym,” coach Foster said. “It was a great feeling.”
With that many girls trying out for volleyball, coaches Foster and Charles Stephens were able to divvy them up into four teams this season: Two middle school teams, a junior varsity team and the state-finalist varsity team. The GC middle school “A” team finished second in its division and lost in the state finals this season and the JV team finished 17-6 overall, so the future looks good for GC volleyball down the line.
“I think we’ve built a winning expectation here at Griffin Christian now,” coach Foster said. “The girls know how to win and they expect to win. That should feed into next year and the years to come, hopefully.”
The GC varsity loses seniors Leyah Brown, Brittany Foster, Cara Grobbelaar and Abby Yarbrough, but does return setter Madison Bertelsbeck and middle blocker Savannah Newman, who will be seniors next year. Veteran defender and libero Mary Kate Blalock will return and youngsters Brittany Brogdon, Katy Hammond and Ruby Mathews got plenty of varsity experience and will be expected to shine as hitters next season.
Coach Foster said she expects some of the eighth-graders to push the current freshmen and sophomores for spots on the varsity as well to replace hitters Brown, Foster and Grobbelaar.
“Most of the eighth-graders play club ball so they should be ready for next season,” said coach Foster. “We should have a good back row and we should have consistent servers in Mary Kate, Madison, Katy and Brittany Brogdon. We’ll just have to develop some hitters.”