Ashburn, Va. (February 2, 2015) – This past Friday, January 30, 2015, was a day of celebration for Stone Bridge High School volleyball program as it celebrated “signing day” for two seniors, team captains Amy Gottschling and Shannon Williams.
Shannon Williams will be attending the University of South Carolina to play sand volleyball. Shannon is only the fourth player in Stone Bridge history to get over 1,000 career kills and the first player to play in four state tournaments. In her senior year, Shannon was first team All-Conference, Region, and State, and selected first team All-Met by the Washington Post.
Shannon began her volleyball career in sixth-grade on Belmont Middle School’s Loudoun Youth Volleyball team. She joined NVVA that winter, where she first played with Amy Gottschling. In retrospect, the Williams family had no idea joining Loudoun Youth Volleyball would result in 14 school and club seasons and a Division I offer.
Shannon looked at Virginia Tech and Christopher Newport for indoor volleyball and Georgia State for sand volleyball. The combination of playing sand and the school, coaches and environment eventually swayed Shannon to choose South Carolina, as well as the opportunity to play in the SEC. Shannon is planning on major in retail and marketing, but time will tell.
As Shannon looks back over her Stone Bridge career, making varsity as a freshman, the friendships, and the 1,000th kill stand out as highlights.
Amy Gottschling will be attending James Madison University this fall. She finishes her career at Stone Bridge with over 1,000 assists and was first team All-Conference, Region, and State, and selected honorable mention All-Met by the Washington Post.
Amy also began her volleyball career with Loudoun Youth Volleyball for Eagle Ridge Middle School. That fall she joined NVVA 12’s with Shannon and made it all the way to the USAV Nationals Tournament in her first club season. Amy looked at University of Delaware, University of Pennsylvania, Southern Mississippi and East Carolina University before selecting James Madison University. Amy considers JMU a perfect fit – she loves the school, the girls on the team, and the coaches. She will be joining Broad Run alumna Taylor Austin, who is currently on the JMU squad.
Amy will start camp in early July and will be a setter for the Dukes. Stone Bridge volleyball will be attending the JMU high school camp in August and coach Jill Raschiatore is looking forward to seeing Amy as one of the JMU players instructing her team.
Amy’s top highlight of this past year was beating Loudoun County on September 3, 2014, in a grueling five-game match (14-25, 25-18, 26-24, 20-25, 15-10). Not only did Stone Bridge snap County’s 49-game home win streak, but it also set the tone for the young squad that would eventually lead to a 23-4 season and all the way to the State 5A semi-finals.
What makes Amy’s season even more remarkable is the fact that it almost did not happen. In April 2014 Amy had open-heart surgery and was on a heart and lung machine for four months before the start of the season. Amy not only recovered but well enough to play a varsity sport, and make first team all state.
Both Shannon Williams and Amy Gottschling will leave rich legacies on the Stone Bridge volleyball program. Their hard work, perseverance, leadership, and team-first personalities will be missed next fall.