Georgia Southern Sweeps Charleston for 2010 SoCon Championship
Boone, N.C. – Georgia Southern entered Sunday’s championship match seeking revenge over College of Charleston and got just what it was looking for, a 3-0 (25-18, 31-29, 25-20) sweep of the Cougars to claim the 2010 Southern Conference Tournament Championship.
The victory marks the third SoCon Tournament Championship for the Eagle volleyball program, with previous titles in 2001 and 2003, and earns GSU the league’s automatic bid to the 2010 NCAA Women’s Volleyball Championship.
Junior outside hitter Bethany Sanford (Avondale, Ariz.) recorded a match-high 22 kills, tying her previous season high (vs. Miami, Sept. 4), and hit .486 in match. She was also one of three Eagles named to the All-Tournament Team.
Sophomore setter Kate Van Dyke (Shawnee, Kan.), who received Tournament MVP honors, dished out 50 assists, a new career high for a three-set match and her eighth 50+ assist performance of the season.
The Eagles (27-8) shut down the Charleston (29-6) offense, holding the Cougars to .197 at the net and allowing CofC’s two leading hitters to tally a combined 22 kills. Junior libero Ashley Roe (Campbell, Calif.) paced the GSU defense with 17 digs, while sophomore middle hitter Moriah Bellissimo (Blackstone, Va.) finished with 10 digs and three block assists.
Leading the Eagles in blocks was senior middle hitter Sarah Gildersleeve (Naples, Fla.), whose four block assists in Sunday’s championship match bring her tournament total to 19 and helped earn her a spot on the All-Tournament Team.
Set One: Georgia Southern 25, College of Charleston 18
Georgia Southern jumped out to a 5-1 lead in the early goings of the first set and never looked back, using a 7-2 scoring run to pull ahead 22-12. Charleston fought back, scoring six of the next eight, including two on GSU set points to bring the score to 24-18 before a kill from junior middle hitter Parker Small (Charlotte, N.C.) sealed the opening frame for the Eagles.
Sanford posted five kills, fueled by 16 assists from Van Dyke, while Roe turned in seven digs on defense to pace Georgia Southern. The Eagles hit .485 as a team in game one, recording just two attack errors.
Set Two: Georgia Southern 31, College of Charleston 29
The Cougars made GSU fight for the victory in game number two, forcing extra points before Georgia Southern was able to grab the two-point win 31-29. The Eagles’ largest lead of the set came early, a three-point, 12-9 advantage in a game that featured 19 tie scores and seven lead changes.
With 11 kills, Sanford again paced the Eagles on offense, hitting .500 and recording all four of her digs in the match. Bellissimo posted her three block assists in the frame, contributing to all three of GSU’s team blocks for the second set.
Set Three: Georgia Southern 25, College of Charleston 20
Georgia Southern found itself down by two, 19-17, late in the third set, before rattling off seven-straight points as part of an 8-1 GSU run to win the game, the match and the championship with a 25-20 victory.
Sanford turned in another .500 performance at the net with six kills, while a pair of blocks from a powerful Eagle defense held Charleston to .057. Small was perfect, recording three kills in three attempts, with Bellissimo and junior right side hitter Hannah Nelson (Norcross, Ga.) each adding three kills of their own.
The 2010 NCAA Women’s Volleyball Championship selection will air November 28, 2010 at 3 p.m., as part of ESPNews. For more information on the NCAA postseason, click here.
2010 All-Tournament Team
Kate Van Dyke, Georgia Southern (MVP)
Sarah Gildersleeve, Georgia Southern
Bethany Sanford, Georgia Southern
Elyse Chubb, College of Charleston
Sarah Havel, College of Charleston
Sarah Schermerhorn, Elon
Kayren Finney, UNCG
- Category: Volleyball
- Published on Sunday, 21 November 2010 17:36