MILLEDGEVILLE, Ga. --- The Tusculum women's volleyball team jumped out to a two-set lead but Georgia College rallied to take the last three games in both teams' season opener.
The host Bobcats (1-0) won the match by scores of 21-25, 17-25, 25-22, 27-25, 15-13 over the Pioneers (0-1) at the 2019 Bobcat Classic.
Georgia College outside hitter Libby Bochniak had a stellar outing with 23 kills and 14 digs, while hitting at a .352 clip. Emily Pope also recorded double-digit kills with 10 and setter Lauren Talele notched 42 assists.
A Division I transfer from Florida International, Carly Sosnowski had a career-high 24 digs in her Pioneer debut. Also seeing her first action for Tusculum, Emiah Burrowes collected 12 kills, nine digs, and four block assists. Junior Gabby Gray made an impact with her double-double of 16 kills and 12 digs. Tatum Thornton, a senior middle blocker, finished with nine kills at .316, four digs, and six total blocks (one solo, five assists). Taylor Blythe recorded nine kills as well on a .333 tear.
Georgia College hit .141 as a team with 54 kills and 30 errors in 170 total attempts. Tusculum hit .126 with 62 kills, 39 errors and 182 total attacks. The Pioneers led the Bobcats in digs (80), assists (61), total blocks (16), and service aces (7).
Tusculum split the setting duties between freshman Elise Carmichael and senior Alyssa Rojas, finishing with 25 and 31 assists, respectively. Carmichael also racked up a game-high three aces in her first collegiate action.
Neither team hit in the positive in the first frame, but Carmichael started Tusculum's season with back-to-back service aces. Each team went on short runs until the Pioneers pulled away late, winning five of the last eight points to clinch the set, 25-21.
The second set swung to TU's favor, hitting .205 to the Bobcat's .024. After GC won the first point, the Pioneers claimed the next seven with three kills from Thornton. The home team responded with four points of their own. With the set tied at 10, TU tallied seven of the next nine marks, fueled by GC attack errors. Tusculum built an eight-point lead to take the set, 25-17.
With their backs against the wall, Georgia College clawed back to win the next three sets, due in part to a fiery fourth set in which they hit .382 and had only two errors. TU had match-point in the fourth frame before the Bobcats won the next three points to push the game to a decisive fifth set.
In the final game, the Pioneers were down by four on three occasions but kept battling back. After TU tied it up at 13, Georgia College called a timeout and finished off the visitors with the next two opportunities.
Tusculum will take the court again tomorrow for a double-header with Lindenwood at 10:30am and Limestone at 3:30pm to wrap up their time in Georgia.