Lady Barons win final regular-season match for 30th win

By Terry Gaston

MT. VERNON - No doubt, the Brewton-Parker College volleyball team has had a great season.

By finishing the regular season with a 30-10 record, the Lady Barons have won 11 more matches than their previous best and have completed 3-0 sweeps of opponents 21 times.

"Not one time were we swept 3-0 in the regular season, and there aren't many teams in the country who can make that claim," Brewton-Parker coach Jason Bryant said.

Now, the Lady Barons are faced with a situation that can determine if their record-setting year continues beyond the Georgia-Alabama-Carolina Conference postseason tournament this weekend.

The five GACC volleyball-playing schools will meet beginning Friday morning and continuing into Saturday night at Faulkner University in Montgomery, Ala., to determine the conference champion and the GACC's representative in the NAIA Region XIII tournament.

"Now we have to turn it up a notch going into the postseason," Bryant said after the Lady Barons' 3-1 victory Friday night over Brenau University in Gainesville.

Other than the No. 1 seed that belongs to Southern Wesleyan University (S.C.), the seeds for the conference tourney were not determined until GACC play concluded Monday night.

Brewton-Parker earned the No. 3 seed and will play No. 2 seed Georgia Southwestern State University in first-round play at noon Central time. Georgia Southwestern defeated the Lady Barons twice, including a 3-1 win in BPC's home finale on Nov. 5.

The winner will advance to Saturday's 10 a.m. semifinal match, while the loser will play Friday at 4 p.m. in an elimination match.

Faulkner and Brenau begin the tournament Friday at 10 a.m., with the winner playing Southern Wesleyan at 2 p.m. and the loser in the 4 p.m. elimination match.

Brewton-Parker, fourth-seeded Faulkner and No. 5 seeded Brenau all finished the GACC season with 3-5 records after Georgia Southwestern's win Monday night over Faulkner in Americus.

The Lady Barons, by virtue of their sweep of Brenau and split with Faulkner, earned the No. 3 seed.

The championship match is scheduled for 4 p.m. Saturday, with a second championship match if needed at 6 p.m.

"The girls have to step it up now. We've had a great season to this point, but it comes down to one weekend," Bryant said. "The way this conference is, anybody can beat anybody. The team that plays the hottest, with the most heart and character, and steps up and plays the best will be the conference champion."

Bryant said Friday's victory at Brenau was a challenge because the Lady Barons were dealing with several injured players.

"I think we played about as well as we have all year," Bryant said. "The girls laid it on the line and played hard."

On Nov. 5, the Lady Barons won the first game of their final home match against Georgia Southwestern before the Lady Hurricanes swept the next three games to win the match and complete a sweep of BPC.

"They took away everything we wanted to do," Bryant said. "They just outplayed us in every category."