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Aggies Set New Score for Panhandle Volleyball

By Alyssa Fox on 11/13/2018

Goodwell, Okla.— Aggie volleyball faced trials and adversity throughout their season, but while their path was arduous, the end of their journey made the hard work well worth it. Capping off their season record at 9-21 and going 9-13 in conference, the Aggies set record highs for Panhandle State University Volleyball and attained their own individual and team goals along the way.

Signe Coombs was welcomed as Head Coach just one week prior to the start of the 2018 school year, stepping in when the Aggies needed her most, and rising to the occasion of an inherited team and a radically swift start to the season. She has continuously commended her team on their acceptance of her headship of the program and their espousal of her new philosophies. Coombs, assistant coach Shelby Bartley, and the Lady Aggies took the challenge head on and reached levels of success never before accomplished of the sport at OPSU. The team culminated their overall season with a record-high nine wins, and for the first time in recorded history, the Aggies made a post season appearance. The team traveled to Oklahoma City for a contest against the Oklahoma City University Stars in the Sooner Athletic Conference qualifying match. The Stars proved to be a tough contender, overcoming the Aggies in three hard-fought sets, and eventually continuing on to take the SAC crown by taking down Texas Wesleyan in the championship match-up.

The Aggies returned to a campus community full of pride in their team and their accomplishments in Aggie Athletics. University President, Dr. Tim Faltyn, who attended the game in Oklahoma City, doted, "It was so exciting to be there as our volleyball team made history going to the conference tournament for the first time." He continued, acknowledging the tough road the team traversed to exceed their goals, "Our team overcame so much to get there and how they represented us was nothing short of excellence. A special thanks to Coach Coombs and Coach Bartley for a great season."

Kendra Butler, McKenna Clement and Cailyn Berry all earned conference nominations, and Quiara Poindexter joined the trio in a multitude of SAC rankings in the top twenty. Butler secured the No. 1 spot with the highest Hitting Percentage overall on the season with .280, ranked No. 7 in Kills with 198 and No. 7 in Kills/Set with an average of 2.9 per game. Butler also ranked No. 13 in Blocks with 40 in conference play. Clement topped the charts at No. 1 in Digs with an astounding 395 over the twenty conference games played. Accordingly, she also scored the No. 1 spot in Digs/Set, averaging 5.7 per game. Taking the No. 4 and No. 5 spots Assists and Assists/Set was Berry, accruing an momentous total of 579 assists over conference games, averaging 8.5 per contest. Poindexter joined Butler on the rankings for Kills at No. 13 with 165, also snagging the No. 17 spot for Kills/Set with an average of 2.4 per outing.

Bartley made an apt assessment of her team, saying that each player was a puzzle piece, coming together to create a bigger picture for the team. She and Coach Coombs are reveling in the historic season, but also looking toward the future of Aggie Volleyball with a promising outlook. Coombs affirmed, "We took a step forward this fall and put Panhandle Volleyball on the map," stated Coombs, "Our team embraced the changes, trusted in the process and ultimately we saw results. We still have improvements to make with physical technique, mental toughness and team chemistry. There are certain aspects of the game that we will be able to focus on more in the off-season to be able to grow as a team."

Both coaches are projecting making strides in the off-season and adding new recruits to their player puzzle. "We are excited for those returning and to get our recruits in here to continue moving the program forward," stated Coombs.