Volleyball's Season Ends at UNCG
The No. 2 North-seeded Spartans (23-9) advance to the semifinals where they will face top-seeded College of Charleston Saturday at 4 p.m. The Eagles, the No. 3 seed from the South, end their season at 16-18.
“I thought we competed hard for a couple of sets but we started to lose our composure in the third,” said GSU head coach Chad Callihan. “It’s hard when you know your season is on the line it’s hard to keep that composure and stay focused. It was a good opponent we definitely played a quality team. They’ve got as good a chance as any to win this thing this weekend.”
After two close battles in the first two sets, UNC Greensboro came out firing in the third set, jumping out to an 11-3 lead. The run was capped off by a block from Kaitlyn Nortz and Caley Redden.
The Eagles were able to pull within 13-8 after a kill by freshman Bethany Sanford (Avondale, Ariz.), but a ball-handling error began a 4-1 spurt and UNCG led by no fewer than six the rest of the way, eventually finishing off the match on two straight GSU attack errors.
“We were 2-0 down and we kind of lost our fight there a little bit,” said Callihan. “By the time we got our composure back and tried to make a run at them, we had allowed the gap to get too big. They did a good job of continuing to play their game and we had a let-down and that was the difference.”
The Spartans hit .440 in the final set, compared to just .167 for the Eagles.
Freshman Hayli Ketner (Spartanburg, S.C.) posted a team-best nine kills for GSU while junior Cristin Haines (Palos Heights, Ill.) paced the defense with 12 digs. All-Freshman Team member Sanford had eight kills and six digs.
Nortz posted a match-high 11 kills and added three blocks. Catherine Hanners led all players with 15 digs.
GSU totaled the most overall and league victories by the program since 2005, despite bringing in eight new players at the beginning of the season, including five freshmen.
“Any time you bring eight new players into a program there will be some ups and downs,” said Callihan. “We certainly experienced those this year. We’ve got a good young nucleus to build around and our seniors did a really nice job of working hard day in and day out. They take a lot of pride in the program and want to see it get back where it was when they arrived on campus four years ago.”
- Category: Volleyball
- Published on Friday, 21 November 2008 00:02