Volleyball Concludes Regular Season this Weekend
The Eagles host Furman Friday at 5:30 p.m. and Wofford Saturday at 7 p.m. The team will honor their three seniors - Mae Chabra, Christy Dowd and Bianca Julio - in ceremonies prior to Saturday’s match.
Georgia Southern has a 1-3 record in their last four outings but two losses came to the two division leaders in the Southern Conference (Samford, College of Charleston).
“We are always improving,” said head coach Chad Callihan. “We’ve made strides, it’s just a matter of competing hard night in and night out when we’re in match competition. I feel like the competitive nature of the group has increased and now it’s just a matter of executing in crucial situations. That’s the only thing that we feel is holding us back.”
Georgia Southern has held two of their last five opponents to a negative hitting percentage and are averaging 3.2 blocks in their last three outings. Savannah State hit a season-low -.236 on Oct. 28 and The Citadel recorded just a -.061 percentage on Friday.
“(The defense) is improving,” said Callihan. “We tie so much of that to our serving. If we’re serving well then the other team’s hitting percentage is normally down, if we’re not serving quite as well or as aggressive, you’ll see a rise in their numbers. But our defense has been good, it’s been a point of emphasis and we feel like it can be a real difference come tournament time.”
Freshman Parker Small is averaging a team-best 3.2 kills per set in her last four matches and has a .491 hitting percentage during that span.
“She’s just getting more and more comfortable each week,” Callihan said. “I think she has improved a great deal in a short period of time. Each week is on-the-job training for her there hasn’t really been a situation where they’ve been able to sit back and learn for a year. She’s really come into her own and I’m excited to see what she’s been able to do this season and definitely looking forward to seeing more of it.”
Wofford (15-16, 5-11) has lost their last three matches and are on the outside looking in for the SoCon Tournament. But the Terriers swept the Eagles in Spartanburg on Oct. 25 thanks to a .273 attack percentage, the highest allowed by GSU since Oct. 4.
“They beat us up pretty bad last time,” said Callihan. “It was a combination of us not coming prepared to play and them coming out and playing hard early. They set the tone early and put us back on our heels and before we recovered the match was over. I don’t know if we got a true indication of how we stack up with them because the way the match went last time. They’re strong defensively and have a good setter that moves the ball around well and doesn’t give you an opportunity to key on one or two players. They’re a difficult task for us.”
Furman (16-13, 9-7) is one game ahead of Georgia Southern in the South Division and is currently in second place. The Paladins have split their last six matches, beginning with a five-set loss to GSU on Oct. 26.
“Furman has a couple of really dynamic athletes that you constantly have to account for,” said Callihan. “They’re able to move the ball around but they have a couple of kids that can take over a match at any given time. We have to try to keep those players at bay and work to contain them and hope they don’t have a big night.”
- Category: Volleyball
- Published on Thursday, 13 November 2008 00:13