Cougars ready for first volleyball match since '81 - WRBL

Cougars ready for first volleyball match since '81

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COLUMBUS, Ga. -

Friday night, a 30-plus year wait comes to an end at Columbus State University.

At 7:00 p.m., the CSU volleyball team will face Johnson C. Smith University in the school's first varsity volleyball match since 1981.

The match is part of the inaugural CSU-Hughston Clinic Invitational.

The team is made up of freshmen and transfers, with no seniors. Junior captain Katie Poole said the team talks about being the group to restart the volleyball program a lot.

"We're all ready to set some records and just show people volleyball's a lot of fun to watch," said Poole, an outside hitter. "We want people to come out and support us. We're just really excited."

CSU athletic director Jay Sparks made the decision to add volleyball in March of 2012, and head coach Casey Cornett started the following June. After a year setting up the program, she has no intention of easing into the season and just being "happy to be there."

"One of the traditions that we're starting is setting the bar high," Cornett said. "We are going to be a fast, competitive team. That was one thing to get people here and to set that tradition and that bar of, ‘This is how CSU sports are.'"

Being essentially a first-year program, there were no veterans to guide the new Cougars on how to do things.

"Surprisingly, everybody was just really quick to be friends with each other and just bond together," Poole said. "It made it a lot easier, the process of getting going for the first team because, as you know, girls can be girls sometimes, but sixteen players, we all just did really well getting to know each other."

Cornett never worried about the talent on her team; it was the social aspect, off the court, that—at first—concerned her, and then impressed her.

"I have sixteen amazing players that are all athletic and competitive, but it was the whole factor of getting them all to bond and gel as a group," she said. "That was our biggest trial, and I think they've done a really good job doing that."

Following the match against Johnson C. Smith, CSU will face Limestone at 12:30 p.m. Saturday, then Fort Valley State at 7:00 p.m. Saturday night.

Jonathan Huskey

Jonathan comes to News 3 from Fort Smith/Fayetteville, Ark., where he anchored weekends and reported during the week on some of the best high school sports in the state. More>>

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