Gulf Coast Volleyball Ready for Home Opener

PANAMA CITY, Fla. - The Gulf Coast Commodores Volleyball Team won their first game of the season Tuesday night in New Orleans over Dillard College.

Now they’re getting ready for their home opener.

The Commodores are taking on Florida Gateway College Thursday night at 6:00 in Billy Harrison Field House.

This year's team is a bit younger than last year, with four starting freshmen, but they have plenty of talent.

The big returning sophomores are Shelby Freese, Taylor Lawhorn, and Madison Pickens from Sneads.

The locals joining the team this year are Arnold's Alyssa Lang, Mosley's Madison Iferd, and Port St. Joe's Haley Wood.

This season will be different for Gulf Coast – the Panhandle Conference has expanded from two teams to five teams.

In year's past it was just the Commodores and Pensacola, where the winner of 3 out of five would make the playoffs.

Now they've added Santa Fe, St. John's River, and Florida State College in Jacksonville, and the top two in the conference will make the postseason.

It's a big change, but coach Kristian Robertson says it's a welcome one.

"I think it's an exciting conference,” Coach Robertson says, “It's definitely more competition. It's a lot better than just us and Pensacola playing the best 3 out of 5. But it's nothing new to our schedule. We've been playing these teams throughout the years. It's just more competition now that they're in our conference."

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