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Senior Night sparks rush of emotions for South coach
South volleyball seniors
South Effingham honored its volleyball seniors Thursday. Pictured from left are Principal Dr. Torian White, head coach Chancey Garrett, Anna Freeman, Katie Cartrette, Michaela Zorbo, Ginger Vorel, assistant coach Karen Doolittle and assistant coach Tyson Corbin. - photo by Photo by Gilbert Miller

GUYTON — South Effingham’s volleyball team clinched wins against Region 2-AAAAA foe Ware County (2-0) and non-region opponent Savannah Arts Academy (2-1) on Senior Night on Thursday.

Lady Mustangs head coach Chancey Garrett was emotional while describing how much her four seniors meant to her and her program.

“There is no way I could pick just one or two that have contributed more than the other,” Garrett said. “With Anna Freeman, Ginger Vorel, Katie Cartrette and Michaela Zorbo, we are losing a starting setter, middle-outsider and right side, and libero. We are going to feel their loss next year for sure, but this is the first group I have seen and coached since they were freshmen. It was a meaningful night for me and this is a special group of girls for me.”

The quartet was part of South’ Effingham’s last two 2-AAAAA title teams, earning a trip to the Elite 8 their freshman year. The Lady Mustangs didn’t make it past the first round of the playoffs in 2018, making them eager to get back to the dominant team they used to be. 

For them, that starts with reclaiming the region championship. The Mustangs have won the title four times over the last eight seasons.

“We really want it back,” Garrett said. “We were runner-up last year. In 2016, we made it to the Elite 8. 

“That was the farthest any volleyball team in Effingham had made it up to that point. We want that region championship back and we want to at least make it to the Sweet 16. 

“That is what we are focusing on right now in the season.”

Even though powerful Statesboro is standing in their way, Garrett is hopeful that the Lady Mustangs will pull an upset Oct. 12 during the region tournament. The Lady Mustangs are 0-2 against the Blue Devils this year.

“We are preparing for Statesboro and we want to give them an upset game at the region tournament,” she said. “We played them last week and we took them to a third set.”

The Lady Mustangs, set to play at Effingham County on Tuesday, will finish the regular season against Richmond Hill on Wednesday and Oct. 8 against  Islands.