Volleyball Opens Home Conference Schedule This Weekend
The Eagles face Chattanooga Saturday at noon and Samford on Sunday at 2 p.m.
Georgia Southern got their quest for a league title off to a good start Wednesday with a road sweep at Davidson to win their league opener for the first time since 2005. Both of GSU’s opponents open conference play Saturday.
“It was a good confidence boost for the team,” said head coach Chad Callihan. “Any time you get a good win, especially kicking off conference play, it gives the team a good boost and hopefully we can carry that over to the weekend.”
Chattanooga has won two of their last three to end a run of three straight losses. The Lady Mocs’ defense is led by senior Lara Newberry, who earned SoCon Libero of the Year and National Libero of the Year honors and set the modern NCAA record for digs in a season in 2007.
“The main thing for us is knowing that they’re going to be a strong defensive team and they’re going to make some good defensive plays and good digs,” said Callihan. “For us, it’s just a matter of being patient and continuing to attack but not get overaggressive and not get frustrated when they continue to play the ball back. I feel like we’ve done that a few times this season where we’ve run into a good defensive team and can’t put that first or second ball down and then all of the sudden we press and that’s where the unforced error comes from. We just have to remain patient and diligent and continue to try to chip away and eventually we’ll find the floor.”
Samford has emerged early on as the team to beat in the SoCon. The Bulldogs, in their first year of membership in the conference, hold a league-best 11-2 record and top the SoCon in hitting percentage (.290), opponents’ hitting percentage (.122) and kills (13.48).
The Bulldogs have three of the top four players in attack percentage, including Ashley Adams, who ranks first in percentage (.379) and kills (4.15 ps), just ahead of Georgia Southern freshman Bethany Sanford (Avondale, Ariz.) who averages 3.67 kills per set.
“They’ve got a strong go-to player that they picked up in the offseason so that’s helped them bolster their attack,” said Callihan. “Their main thing is that they’re just balanced and playing with five or six seniors on the floor. They have a lot of experience out there and those kids aren’t going to be intimidated by anything and I’m sure they feel very comfortable on the floor. They’ve pretty much seen everything at this point in their career and that’s probably their biggest strength and it’s our biggest weakness right now. Hopefully we can just play with confidence and that will balance things out for us.”
- Category: Volleyball
- Published on Friday, 26 September 2008 00:05