Eagles Dispatch UT Martin, 3-0, in Season-Opener
“There were some great points to the match, but we pinpointed some areas that we need to improve upon as well,” stated Head Coach Chad Callihan. “I was disappointed in letting our lead slip away in the third set, but I was pleased with the way we regained our composure and held off two set points for the win. Overall, we were good at the baseline and we blocked well in the first set, but we need to maintain that throughout the match.”
As a team, the Eagles collected 40 kills on 96 attempts and just 12 errors, while forcing 24 Skyhawk errors.
Leading the way for the Eagles was junior Sanford (Avondale, Ariz.), who finished with a team-high 10 kills and 10 digs. Committing only four errors, Sanford also served up two aces. Junior transfer Ashley Roe (Campbell, Calif.), competing in her first match as an Eagle, collected 10 digs to match the team-high. Sophomore setter Kate Van Dyke (Shawnee, Kan.) led with 29 assists.
For the Skyhawks, Jenna Miller recorded 25 assists, while Kasey Elswick tallied a match-best 13 digs. Britany Wilburn tied Sanford with a match-best 10 kills.
Georgia Southern opened set one on an 8-2 run on two kills from senior Sarah Gildersleeve (Naples, Fla.) and two Eagle block assists. UT Martin brought the match back to 9-6 and closed the gap to within three points again at 13-10, but the Eagles ran away putting together 10 consecutive points. The Skyhawks scored their final three points of the set with a kill, Eagle error and service ace before the Eagles closed out the set, 25-13.
UT Martin was limited to a -.045 attack percentage in the second set while GS stood steady. The two teams kept the set close in the beginning before Sanford’s third kill of the set handed the Eagles a 14-9 lead, forcing the Skyhawks to take a timeout. The Eagles continued to pull away, limiting UT Martin to an additional six points to finish with a 25-15 victory.
Georgia Southern’s most productive offensive attack came in the third set with a .333 attack percentage, as did UT Martin’s with .200. The Skyhawks pulled the set to eight ties and led four times, while the Eagles fought off two set points to take the match with a 29-27 victory. At an 8-8 draw, the Eagles took a four-point lead following two Skyhawk errors. GS pushed out to a seven-point lead, 20-13, on a Gildersleeve kill, but UT Martin fought back, drawing the set to 22-all. After two ties, the Skyhawks took their first lead since 2-1, at 26-25. Parker Small (Charlotte, N.C.) and Sanford brought the Eagles even at 27-27 and Small sealed the match serving up two consecutive aces.
“The team was extremely excited to start the season. We just have to get back into match rhythm instead of practice rhythm,” Callihan noted. “The match was a good learning experience for us and tomorrow we just need to go out and keep our focus for the entire match. If we can take care of our first contact, ball control and serve receive, it will open our offense up and get us into a better rhythm.”
The Eagles return to action on Saturday, August 28, for two matches on day two of the War Eagle Invitational. GS first takes on Troy at 11 a.m. and closes out the tournament facing host Auburn at 8 p.m. Fans can follow both matches via live stats which can be found at the tournament home page by clicking here. Live streaming for the Auburn match at 8 p.m. will be available on Auburn’s official athletics website, AuburnTigers.cstv.com.
- Category: Volleyball
- Published on Friday, 27 August 2010 21:06