Sep 30, 2018
Goodwell, Okla.— The Panhandle State Volleyball team embarks on a momentous excursion this week as they travel to Oklahoma City for their first post-season match-up in recorded school history. The team ended their regular season with an overall record of 9-20 and going 7-13 in conference, accruing the most wins in a season as far back as records date.
Athletic Director Meghan Mulcahy is proud to see programs excelling offering, “This is our third program in the past year to achieve post-season placement. The excitement has spread among all sports and it’s great to see pride on the faces of our student-athletes and coaches. I am proud of what Coach Coombs has done in her first year as a head coach, and know there is much more to come from Aggie Athletics.”
Taking a moment to revel in this exciting time in Panhandle State history, Head Coach Signe Coombs adulates, “I am so, so happy for the team.” Coombs remarks on the many changes she petitioned from her athletes, “Change is not easy and we asked a lot of them: commitment, dedication, physical technique, and to trust the process.” Through all their hard work throughout the overall season and continuation through conference play, the culmination of buying in to the changes has resulted in reaching team goals set at the beginning of the year. “We have met our initial goal of making it to conference and now it’s time to set new goals,” says Coombs.
Following a productive practice on Sunday, the team heads to Oklahoma City for their first contest against the OCU Stars in the Sooner Athletic Conference Qualifying match on Tuesday, Nov. 6 at 6:00 p.m. “Our attitude going into this trip is very business-like,” discloses Coombs, “Our body language, demeanor and mentality have to say, ‘We have been here before.’ The coaching staff and team is ready to fire on all cylinders and have been preparing to compete at their highest level.
Senior opposite hitter Summer Middleton has spent all four of her college years as an Aggie, and is looking forward to their first post season appearance. “This season exceeded all of our expectations,” said Middleton, “We knew coming into the season that it was going to be an uphill battle but I could not be more proud of everyone on the team for pushing through and staying positive. I’m blessed to have been a part of this team for four years and to finish my volleyball career with the best team Panhandle has had yet.”
Overall, the team is elated to have reached this historic goal, and Coombs, assiduously aided by Assistant Coach Shelby Bartley, is humbly honored that the coaching duo was able to do so in their first years at OPSU. “The goals we have set for this year will now become expectations going forward,” affirms Coombs, “For the team, for each individual athlete, and for us as a coaching staff.”
The entire team will travel to Oklahoma City for the qualifying match, as the staff acknowledges that each player is responsible for the team reaching its’ goals. Bartley created a paramount illustration of the season in saying, “I am so proud of each of our girls for playing their puzzle piece to create the full picture of conference.”
With a win on Tuesday, the team would advance to the SAC Tournament, which also takes place in Oklahoma City on Nov. 9-10. The coaching staff and team wish to extend their sincere thanks to campus and surrounding community who have shown their support throughout the season, and hope they will continue to keep up with their post-season journey. Live stats and streaming of the contest against the Stars on Nov. 6 will be available online at opsuaggies.com, as well as any SAC Tournament games.
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