Gulf Coast volleyball brings in more local talent for upcoming season

Local Sports

PANAMA CITY, Fla. (WMBB) – The Gulf Coast volleyball team is gearing up to get back on the court in August.

The Commodores have eight new faces joining the squad this year and some of them are very familiar.

The freshman class includes Snead’s Hadley Barfield, Niceville’s Peyton Chambers, Fort Walton Beach’s Sarah Duckett, Arnold’s Kaylan Gunning and Reece Rhodes and Blountstown’s Sarah Shuler.

They also are taking on Florida State University School’s Ashtyn Tilton and Valdosta High School’s
Kemari Smith.

“We’re adding a lot of versatility with their skill sets,” Gulf Coast head volleyball coach Scott Allen said. “Most of these girls are really competitive, they come from winning programs. We’re happy about that. Most of them are captains or leaders on their high school or travel teams. It’s a great class.”

“So if you are a good player in the local area, you don’t have to go across the country to find a home to have competitive volleyball,” Allen said. “You can do it right in the local area.”

Some of the players freshman class know each other really well as they played against each other in high school or travel ball.

“Kaylan and Reece play on BUEV because they are from Panama City. We’ve always been playing against each other. It’s a crazy rivalry, we beat them, they beat us,” Gulf Coast volleyball player and Niceville alum Peyton Chambers said. “So it’s cool that we are all going to come together with talent and be on the same team now. “

Gulf Coast is also in a good spot this season. They only lost one starter from last year, so they have a shot at making it to nationals once again.

“We’re all there to enjoy it, do good and play the sport we love. I definitely want to be able to go to nationals with them and enjoy every minute of it,” Blountstown alum Sarah Shuler said.

Before they get there, they have to get back on the court.

The Commodores start practice on August 1.

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