Gulf Coast volleyball wins district title; prepares for national tournament

Local Sports

PANAMA CITY, Fla. (WMBB) – The Gulf Coast volleyball team is heading back to the Division II National Tournament.

The Commodores won another Gulf District title on Saturday, which secured their spot in the tournament.

“Well I feel like it’s a really big deal cause last year was the first time we have ever been so we were kinda going in blinded, so we didn’t really know what was gonna happen so this year we have an idea, we’re more prepared to get back there and compete,” Gulf Coast player Emma Richards said.

The Gulf Coast squad found out on Monday night where they would be seeded in the bracket. They are No. 8 and will take on No. 9 Muskegon Community College in the first round.

However, the team said it didn’t matter where they ended up on the bracket.

“I don’t think it really matters what the seedings are because like March Madness, anything can happen, at any day, to anybody, at any time. I feel like if we just show up and play the rankings don’t matter and we can just play our game,” Richards said.

Even though this year was crazy for the Commodores, they battled through it and made sure they were a force to be reckoned with on the court, boasting an 15-3 overall record and a 9-1 conference one.

“We don’t care whose on the other side of the net. It’s all about us, if we are playing well we believe that we’re a top ten, top five team in the country on paper,” Gulf Coast player Ava Shmueli said. “As I was telling the other girls earlier today, you can be the best on paper, but if you’re not showing up in that one game it doesn’t matter.”

The Commodores said they are taking it one day at a time, but ultimately want to prove to every team across the nation that they are a top-tier program.

“We want to have teams scared of us,” Gulf Coast player Olivia Whittle said. “They don’t want to play us and I think us going to the national tournament this year again is really gonna help them be scared of us. And hopefully, if we do good and when we do good that they eventually won’t want to play us anymore.”

Gulf Coast heads to Cedar Rapids, Iowa this week and will play their first round game on April 13 at 1 p.m.

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