Directly across from the site that the SEC baseball tournament is annually held is the Finley Center, the site of the final three games of the 2021 GSC volleyball season. Although the season was much shorter due to the effects of COVID-19, the Lady Choctaws finished with a 6-1 record in the regular season, only losing to the eventual Spring Series Champions, Alabama-Huntsville.
MC entered the GSC tournament as the number two seed in Group A, and defeated Lee University in the second round in three straight sets (after receiving a bye in the first round). The Lady Choctaws then made the trip to Hoover, Alabama, for their semifinal game as they faced the University of Montevallo. The number one seed in Group B eventually came out victorious over the Lady Choctaws, as they won in four sets. MC certainly gave the Falcons a challenge as three of the four sets were decided by five points or less. Junior Lexie Laurendine thought that “we definitely weren’t expecting them [Montevallo] to come out and be such a strong serving team, and their middles really came alive for them.” Although the Lady Choctaws had their season ended, they accomplished something that had not been done in over 25 years.
With the tournament, the Lady Choctaws finished with a 7-2 record. The last time that a Mississippi College volleyball team finished the season with a winning record was 27 years ago, in 1994. That year, the Lady Choctaws finished at 21-8, but struggled to reach a winning record until this past season. Even with a shortened season due to COVID, the Lady Choctaws are extremely glad to snap this streak as well as making it to the semifinals of the Spring Championship Series. “It was probably the best feeling,” said Laurendine. “We’ve never made it that far in program history, I’m pretty sure. It was really awesome to see that we can be a part of that, and it just really helped all of us gain a lot of confidence in ourselves, as a team, and with each other. And I think we have a really good shot next year going back to our regular season, and we’re all really excited to get back into the fall.”
The future also looks extremely bright for the Lady Choctaws as only three seniors are graduating while many key players are returning for next season. Laurendine said, “The future is looking really good for us. We have four freshmen coming in next year, and we lost three seniors. We’re a really talented team overall, and I think this year gave us a lot of time to get everything together and helped execute during this Spring Series, and we’ll only continue to get better in each area.” With, hopefully, a normalized schedule and season for the Lady Choctaws volleyball team, they hope to continue their winning ways when next semester rolls around.