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Porter Gaud High School
Charleston

 

P-G volleyball, football teams off to hot starts

By David Shelton
Senior Writer

Charleston – The last few weeks of the regular season and into the SCISA state playoffs look to be pretty exciting at Porter-Gaud, especially with the volleyball and football teams.
Both squads experienced great success during the first month of the regular season and look to carry the momentum into October. By the end of October, both will be ready to lay claim to a state title.
The volleyball team certainly is no stranger to winning state titles. Porter-Gaud has won eight consecutive AAA titles in SCISA, the last five under current coach Megan Crouch.
With the graduation of several key players from last year’s team, many thought the Cyclones would need a year to rebuild. Instead, Porter-Gaud has reloaded. The Cyclones finished September with a 33-10 record overall and look to be headed for the region championship.
This year’s team is somewhat younger in terms of age and experience but there is no shortage of talent. Three key seniors this fall have been Victoria Mabe, Olivia Varner and Hannah Lutz. Mabe has contributed 106 kills on the outside while Varner has 103 kills and 24 blocks. Lutz has been solid defensively with 150 defensive digs.
Junior Elise Pearson returns from last season and has been a key player this fall. Pearson has 173 kills, 21 blocks and 178 digs. Junior setter Anushka Fernandes has an expanded role this season and leads the team with 537 assists. She has recorded 29 service aces, 181 digs and 26 blocks.
Freshman Marianna Singletary has been a huge addition to the varsity roster. Singletary leads Porter-Gaud in kills (280) and blocks (66) as she controls the middle of the net. Junior Gracie Brown as 240 digs and freshman setter Alex Hariri has 125 assists and 29 service aces.
The football team is off to a 6-0 start but faces their biggest challenges down the stretch, starting with an October 5th home game against perennial SCISA AAA power Hammond. The Skyhawks have won the last two state titles in AAA and also are undefeated this season.
The Cyclones also face a challenge in the regular season finale when they take on area rival First Baptist.
Junior quarterback Gunnar Nistad, in his first season at Porter-Gaud, is among the leading passers in South Carolina prep football through six games. Nistad has completed 107 of 202 pass attempts for 1,596 yards and 13 touchdowns.
Nistad has a bevy of quality receivers, led by senior Andrew Thomas, who has 29 catches for 446 yards and five scores in six games. Jack Trouche has 20 receptions for 279 yards while Legend Waring has 18 grabs for 240 yards. Walker Coleman has 15 catches for 220 yards and the team’s leading rusher, Caleb Pierce, has 13 catches for 195 yards to go with his 407 rushing yards.
Pierce also rates as one of the team’s top defenders with 52 tackles, 13 for loss, 6.5 sacks and two interceptions. Senior Keesler Lawrence leads the team in tackles with 85, including 20 for loss. Robert Grubbs has 58 tackles, nine for loss, while Chase Merrick has 51 total tackles, including 13 for loss.

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