New Eagle shines in Chad Willis era

Michael Smith

Roster change is a part of any coaching staff overhaul, and Georgia Southern volleyball has been no exception. Part of the transition this past offseason under new Head Coach Chad Willis is sophomore Baylor Bumford. 

Bumford transferred in from UNC-Wilmington and quickly broke a 24-year standing single-game blocks record against Troy in the second weekend of conference play.

Bumford, a Winter Garden, Florida native, first met Willis on the high school recruiting trail and once he got the head coaching job at GS, Bumford felt it was too good of an opportunity to pass up.

“I knew Taylor and Chad prior to coming here,” she said. “I just, like, loved everything that they were about, and I knew that it was going to be a good environment to be around here and I knew I was going to grow as a player.”

She originally tried out for volleyball because of friends, “A few of my friends started trying out in middle school, and so I just kind of did it, just because they were doing it and it sounded fun.” 

She loves the action and pace of play in volleyball, and that enthusiasm carries over to her academic pursuits and long term passions. 

Bumford majors in International Studies primarily because of a trip across Europe she made a couple years ago. 

“I just fell in love with different cultures,” Bumford said. “I enjoy learning about different people and how different people do different things, and I’ve always really liked outreach and that kind of stuff.”

But for the next couple years, Bumford has school work to do and games to win before she can go globetrotting. She really feels like Coach Willis is building is something special here. She said the team’s effort is definitely noteworthy and indicative of a bright future and a chance to compete in any match. 

“We go hard in practice,” Bumford said. “I think it shows when we work and practice and then go to a game and seize the opportunity.” 

As she has already made her marks in the history books in her first few months as an Eagle, she hopes to cement her legacy under the Chad Willis era of GS volleyball.

Michael Smith, The George-Anne Sports Reporter,