ICC Volleyball Preview: McGregor era begins in Fulton

Published 2:11 pm Friday, August 12, 2022

FULTON, Miss. – The Itawamba Community College women’s volleyball team has hit the hardwood in preparations for the upcoming 2022 campaign under the direction of first-year head coach Annie McGregor. The Indians are coming off a 19-12 season and advanced to the Gulf District Tournament. The Indians should have the pieces in place to make another postseason run to Florida.

Schedule Breakdown
Four key dates to circle are the Sept. 16 home match against Northwest, Sept. 27 home match with Pearl River, Oct. 21 road match at Northwest, and Oct. 25 match at Pearl River. These matches will determine if the Indians can make its third-straight appearance in the Gulf District Tournament. Additional home non-regional matches will include Pearl River (Sept. 7), Champions Christian (Sept. 30), Bevill State (Oct. 5), Southeastern Baptist (Oct. 10), Mississippi University of Women (Oct. 17), and Lawson State (Oct. 28). All home matches are scheduled to stream on LetsGoICCTV.com.

Key Returners
The Indians are returning all eight sophomores from last season’s squad. Sarah Allyn Thornell (Atoka, TN), Lydia Hitchcock (Boaz, AL), and Kaitlyn Johnson (Olive Branch) are returning starters with Kate Nakagawa (Corinth) was one of the first subs in the match last season. Thornell recorded a team-high 720 assists with 320 digs, 162 kills, and 26 aces in 107 sets as a freshman. Hitchcock was second on the team with 141 assists to go along with 131 digs, 26 aces and 7 kills in 94 sets. Johnson had 133 kills, 119 digs, 34 blocks, 19 aces, and 9 assists in 100 sets played. Nakagawa recorded 91 digs, 27 kills, 19 aces, 6 blocks, and 5 assists in 70 sets. Jakailyn Brown (Starkville), Brooklyn Ward (Columbus), Vakeria Jett (New Albany), and Kathryn Cooke (Aberdeen) will look to build on the experiences from last season to help contribute more as sophomores.

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Important Newcomers
Coach McGregor will welcome nine new faces to campus this season. Three of those top newcomers are Audrey Hamill (Pontotoc), Mia Griffin (Corinth), and Olivia Hines (Olive Branch). Hamill, Griffin, and Hines bring a championship pedigree to the program after winning state championships during their high school careers. Marlee Robinson (Ellisville), Aubrey Swanson (Corinth), Anna Grace White (Lexington, AL), Bailey Baker (Saucier), Abbi Upchurch (Starkville), and Savanna Carr (Corinth) will look to quickly adjust to the collegiate level of play and contribute as freshmen this season.

The volleyball team will host Frontier Community College on Tuesday, August 16 in a scrimmage match scheduled to start at 5 p.m. in the Davis Event Center.

For more information on ICC volleyball and the ten other intercollegiate athletic programs, follow ICC Athletics on Twitter (@LetsGoICC) and visit LetsGoICC.com.

Link to the 2022 Volleyball Schedule >> https://letsgoicc.com/sports/wvball/2022-23/schedule

Link to the 2022 Volleyball Roster >> https://letsgoicc.com/sports/wvball/2022-23/roster