Eagles Defeat Blue Hose In Season Opener, 3-0
STATESBORO, GA – Georgia Southern volleyball kicked off its 2009 campaign Friday night, August 28, in Hanner Fieldhouse with a dominating 3-0 win over the Presbyterian College Blue Hose. Opening night of the Holiday Inn Invitational witnessed Troy defeat Stetson, 3-1, before the Eagles came out firing to go 1-0 on the season. The crowd of 531 is the second-largest in Eagle volleyball history.
Sophomore outside hitter Bethany Sanford (Avondale, Ariz.) tallied a game-high 12 kills in three games for a .333 attack percentage. Fellow classmate Hayli Ketner (Spartanburg, S.C.) contributed 11 kills to the 1-0 Eagles. Georgia Southern hit .319 for the match tallying 39 kills to PC’s .179 percentage and 35 kills.
“It was a great first win for the team. I thought we had great energy, as I knew we would. Everyone comes out ready to play in the first match of the season,” said head coach Chad Callihan. “We managed our nerves well and keep our errors low. We really put forth a pretty consistent effort for the first match of the season.”
The Eagles secured the first set by a margin of 25-19 led by five kills from both Sanford and Lauren Claybaugh’s (Danville, Calif.). Amanda Kettles and Presley Mabrey led the attack for the Blue Hose, each posting four kills in the opening set.
With the same momentum from the opening set, the Eagles came out firing in the second frame. Georgia Southern held the lead until errors plagued the home team and the Blue Hose took an 18-17 advantage. PC held the set close before an assist by Kate Van Dyke (Shawnee, Kansas) and kill from Sanford gave Georgia Southern a 22-21 lead, forcing a Presbyterian College timeout. A kill by Sarah Gildersleeve (Naples, Fla.) followed by a block from Claybaugh and Gildersleeve gave the Eagles a set point at 24-21. Van Dyke’s second service ace of the match capped off the second frame, 25-21, for the Eagles.
“I thought Kate [Van Dyke] did an excellent job for her first collegiate start. She maintained great poise throughout the match and kept her consistency,” said Callihan. “She helped lead the team and did a nice job for the Eagles.”
The Blue Hose came out strong in the third set, taking an early lead. A back-and-forth affair persisted until a kill from Claybaugh gave Georgia Southern a 17-16 advantage, and the Eagles never looked back. Georgia Southern widened the margin to 23-20 before two ball handling errors from PC gave the Eagles match point at 24-22. Gildersleeve secured the match at 25-22 for the Eagles, recording her third kill of the evening.
Van Dyke registered 37 of Georgia Southern’s 39 assists in her first appearance as an Eagle. Lone senior Cristin Haines (Palos Heights, Ill.) posted a game-high 12 digs for the Eagles. Ketner and Sanford registered seven digs each.
In earlier action of the Holiday Inn Invitational, Troy handled Stetson in four sets. The Trojans dominated the court in the opening two sets, taking the frames 25-18 and 25-13, respectively, before the Hatters returned from halftime to conquer the third set 25-22. Troy hit a .355 in the fourth set with 14 kills to take the final frame 25-9. Overall, the Trojans nailed a .366 percentage, tallying 63 kills to Stetson’s .107 and 30 kills.
The final day of the Holiday Inn Invitational, Saturday, begins with a Troy vs. Presbyterian match-up at 10 a.m. The Eagles return to the court for a noon match against Stetson before night action commences with Presbyterian vs. Stetson at 5 p.m. and Troy vs. Georgia Southern at 7 p.m. Visit the Holiday Inn Invitational Tournament page to follow all the action and get the most up-to-date scores and information. To view the page, please click here.
Single match tickets to Georgia Southern volleyball are $5 for adults and $1 for youth (ages 3-12). A season ticket pass for general admission is $15 and a family plan (two adults and two children) can be purchased for only $35. For more ticket information, please call the Georgia Southern Athletics Ticket Office at 1-800-GSU-WINS or visit the official website of the Eagles at www.GeorgiaSouthernEagles.com.
- Category: Volleyball
- Published on Friday, 28 August 2009 22:21