Eagles Bounce North Florida, 3-0
“After a long swing on the road, it was nice to get back home and play in front of a good crowd,” said head coach Chad Callihan. “I thought it was a well-played match with our blocking and attacking definitely being our strengths tonight. But we did identify some things we need to work on this week before we get back into Southern Conference play.”
Trailing only twice the entire match, Georgia Southern erased a 2-0 deficit in the first set with a 6-0 run, sparked by two Hannah Nelson (Norcross, Ga.) kills and an Osprey error, putting the Eagles in the lead, 6-2. Georgia Southern led by as many as 10 points in the set, which would be the final margin of the first stanza, as the Eagles set the match pace with a 25-15 opening set win. The Eagles held the Osprey to .139, while hitting at a .583 clip. Nelson led the attack from Georgia Southern, posting five kills with a .833 hitting efficiency in the opening tilt.
The second set was reflective of the first as the Eagles trailed early, but took command at 4-3 and never relinquished control. Displaying a balanced offensive attack, the Eagles, led by Parker Small (Charlotte, N.C.) with five kills (.833 attack percentage), secured the second set, 25-20, heading into intermission.
Georgia Southern quickly opened the third-and-final set with an 11-5 lead, but North Florida slowly clawed its way back to within one point at 17-16. Georgia Southern picked up its defense and maintained its lead, widening its margin back to 22-18 before an Eagle timeout. An immediate kill from Kaley Read set the score at 22-19, but the Osprey would gain only one more point as Georgia Southern closed out the match with a 25-20 third set win.
“I thought Sarah [Gildersleeve] really stepped up tonight and did a nice job of executing our game plan on the court,” stated Callihan. “Kate [Van Dyke] also did a great job of distributing the ball and keeping our hitters involved.”
Overall, the Osprey were held to .151 hitting on the night, while the Eagles hit .350 from the floor. Nelson and Bethany Sanford (Avondale, Ariz.) led Georgia Southern with nine kills apiece as Lauren Claybaugh (Danville, Calif.) and Small added eight kills each to the Eagles’ offense. Gildersleeve (Naples, Fla.) followed with seven.
Freshman setter Van Dyke (Shawnee, Kan.) posted 34 assists, while senior libero Cristin Haines (Palos Heights, Ill.) contributed 18 digs.
On the Osprey side, Paige Pridgeon posted a match-best 13 kills to go along with six digs. Defensively, Nicole Baran paced North Florida with 11 digs, while Jessica Cateland contributed 25 assists.
Georgia Southern returns to the court and conference play hosting The Citadel on Friday night, October 9 and College of Charleston on Saturday, October 10. Match times are slated for 7 p.m. and 2 p.m. starts in Hanner Fieldhouse, respectively.
- Category: Volleyball
- Published on Tuesday, 06 October 2009 21:20