Volleyball Storms Back to Top Samford 3-2
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. - Meredith Paskert recorded a career high 22 kills, and Georgia Southern overcame a 2-0 deficit in the match to take a 3-2 (16-25, 20-25, 25-21, 25-23, 15-8) Southern Conference volleyball victory over defending league champion and North Division leader Samford Saturday afternoon.
It was the Eagles' second consecutive five-set win after dropping their previous eight straight five-set affairs. The victory was also the 99th for head coach Chad Callihan in his five-year tenure at Georgia Southern.
Moriah Bellissimo added 10 kills and 11 digs for the Eagles (17-6, 8-1 SoCon), and Nicole Jeschelnik tallied eight kills and 19 digs. Crysten Curry finished with seven kills and seven blocks, and Kate Van Dyke had 47 assists, 11 digs and five kills. Alexandra Beecher collected 17 digs.
Michaela Reesnor finished with 18 kills and 16 digs to lead Samford (15-8, 7-2), and Katie Murphy finished with 17 kills. Elizabeth Neisler had 12 kills, and Casey Garvey finished with 53 assists.
With the match tied 2-2, the Eagles took a 6-5 lead in the fifth set on a kill by Kym Coley. Beecher then served for seven straight GSU points to open a 13-5 advantage. Paskert had two kills during the run, while Curry and Van Dyke each posted one. The Bulldogs trimmed the margin to 14-8, but another Paskert kill off a Van Dyke assist ended the match.
"This team has really developed an attitude where they believe they can win no matter what," said Callihan. "We were really being outworked and out-executed by a very talented Samford team, and we just tried to hang in there as our defense started to improve. That was the difference. We were able to extend rallies, and eventually our offense came through."
Down 2-0 in the match and facing a six-point deficit in the third set, the Eagles used an 8-2 run to tie the score at 17-17 at get back in the match. Paskert had two kills in the run, and the Eagles got the last three points on Jeschelnik's serve. The Bulldogs pushed ahead for a 20-17 lead, but Paskert answered with consecutive kills and Curry and Van Dyke combined for a block to tie the score. The Eagles finished out the set on 5-1 run, with Paskert getting a kill and Curry and Bellissimo posting a block, forcing a fourth game.
A Paskert kill broke a 20-20 tie in the fourth set, and Bellissimo and Curry combined for a block to give the Eagles a two-point edge. Neisler got a kill for the Bulldogs, but Curry and Jeschelnik made the score 23-21 with a block. Neisler and Jeschelnik traded kills before Garvey's kill made the score 24-23 in favor of the Eagles. Samford served and got the ball back with a chance to tie, but Reesnor committed a hitting error, sending the match to a fifth set.
The Eagles travel to Chattanooga for a 3 p.m. SoCon contest Sunday.
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- Category: Volleyball
- Published on Saturday, 20 October 2012 18:35