Claybaugh Pushes Eagles Over Bulldogs, 3-0, for Conference Victory
“I was very pleased with the way we set the tone early tonight and the fact that we didn’t get caught looking ahead to tomorrow’s match against College of Charleston, but rather focusing our concentration on The Citadel first,” said head coach Chad Callihan. “College of Charleston has been a big match for Georgia Southern for a number of years now and it was nice that we didn’t lose focus against The Citadel, but came out and gave our best effort throughout the evening.”
The Eagles hit an impressive .443 in the match, holding the Bulldogs to .208, while committing only five errors on the night, but forcing 14 Bulldog mishaps. Georgia Southern out-blocked the conference foe, 8.0-1.0 and bested 11 more assists with 44.
Claybaugh (Danville, Calif.) finished with 13 kills on .565 hitting for 18 points to mark her best offensive performance in a match this season. Claybaugh also posted a season-best five service aces, four coming in a decisive third set.
Junior Sarah Gildersleeve (Naples, Fla.) and sophomore Parker Small (Charlotte, N.C.) added nine kills apiece with block assists, while sophomore Hannah Nelson (Norcross, Ga.) contributed eight kills and a block assist in the winning effort. Freshman setter Kate Van Dyke (Shawnee, Kan.) complimented 39 assists with two kills and five digs. Lone senior Cristin Haines (Palos Heights, Ill.) recorded a match-best 13 digs on the evening.
With one lead change coming early in the opening set, Georgia Southern took the set advantage at 4-3, eventually pulling away with a 25-11 opening stanza. Tied at 3-all, the Eagles sparked a 6-0 tear, rolling to a 9-3 edge led by two Claybaugh kills and the addition of Small and Van Dyke kills. The Bulldogs put a kill on the board before Georgia Southern pulled away on a 9-5 run, forcing The Citadel to burn a timeout at 18-9. The Eagles reached set point at 24-11 off a Van Dyke kill before closing out the set, 25-11, off a Bulldog bad set.
Mirroring the first set, the Eagles trailed early in the second stanza, but quickly rebounded pulling away to 9-3 after taking the lead at a 2-all tie. Following The Citadel’s first timeout of the set and a Bulldog kill, Georgia Southern continued its offensive attack opening out to a 17-8 lead forcing a second Bulldog timeout. Behind strong serving from Bethany Sanford (Avondale, Ariz.), the Eagles pulled away with a 12-point lead at 20-8. Following a service error on behalf of The Citadel, Georgia Southern found set point at 24-14. The Bulldogs fought off one set point with an Eagle error, but Georgia Southern secured the second set with Sanford’s second kill of the stanza.
The Eagles looked to be on pace for a quick third set, but the Bulldogs slowly clawed their way back, knotting the score at 9-all. After three more ties, The Citadel held a 15-12 lead, but a Claybaugh kill returned the ball to Georgia Southern at 15-13. With Claybaugh serving, the sophomore Eagle fired three service aces propelling Georgia Southern to a 17-15 advantage helped by a Bulldog error. Claybaugh’s serving sparked the Eagle offense as Georgia Southern found match point at 24-20. Nelson’s eighth kill of the match sealed the conference win for the Eagles at 25-20.
“I thought all our pin players, Lauren [Claybaugh], Bethany [Sanford] and Hannah [Nelson], did a nice job taking what the defense gave them and limiting their errors,” said Callihan. “And I thought our libero Cristin [Haines] again did a really nice job this evening controlling our serve receive and taking some of the pressure off our pin players in the back.”
Georgia Southern continues this four-game homestand Saturday with College of Charleston. Match time is slated for 2 p.m. with Girl Scout Appreciation Day. Single-game tickets for Georgia Southern volleyball matches are priced at $5 for an adult and $1 for youth (ages 3-12). Season tickets can be purchased for $15 for a general admission pass. A family plan, which includes two adult passes and two children passes, can be purchased for only $35.
For more information regarding tickets, please call the Georgia Southern Athletics Ticket Office at 1-800-GSU-WINS or visit the official website of the Georgia Southern Eagles at www.GeorgiaSouthernEagles.com.
- Category: Volleyball
- Published on Friday, 09 October 2009 22:16