Eagles Handle Wildcats for Southern Conference Sweep
“I thought we had another good attacking night. With the exception of the Charleston match, we’ve done well limiting our unforced errors over the past few matches and really keeping the pressure on our opponents’ defense,” said head coach Chad Callihan.
Lone senior Cristin Haines (Palos Heights, Ill.) averaged 7.7 digs per set, racking up a match-high 23 total, while freshman setter Kate Van Dyke (Shawnee, Kan.) continued to pace the offense with 36 assists. Sanford (Avondale, Ariz.) hit .333 on the night with her double-double performance as freshman Moriah Bellissimo (Blackstone, Va.) followed closely with 11 kills on 19 attempts for .526 hitting.
“Cristin [Haines] did a great job tonight. She has anchored our defense and serve receive all year and keeps having great performances for us in big matches,” stated Callihan. “I thought Moriah [Bellissimo] did a great job of coming in halfway through the second set and immediately providing some offense for us. She was doing a great job of closing the block up tonight, which is something that has plagued us throughout the season. We were really pleased with her performance.”
Davidson was held to a .136 clip led by Sarabeth Peele with 13 kills and Molly Crenshaw with 15 digs. Anna Bradbury posted 28 assists on the night.
A late comeback in the opening set gave the Eagles an early 1-0 match lead. The Wildcats led by as many as seven points twice in the first set before Georgia Southern fought its way back to a 19-all tie. After two more ties, the Eagles took the final set lead at 22-21 off a Davidson error. After a Sanford kill, the Wildcats posted their last point of the set before Sanford’s seventh kill of the stanza gave the Eagles set point. Georgia Southern closed out the opening tilt, 25-22, off an attack error by Davidson’s Erin Lupfer.
“I think we came out a little too excited in the opening set and you have to give credit to Davidson, they played really well,” Callihan said. “It knocked us back on our heels a little bit, but I was pleased with the way we held our composure and didn’t get frustrated and lose our focus. We just continued to attack and things worked out in the end.”
The Eagles turned up the offense to open the second set with an early 5-2 lead, but the Wildcats responded pitting the match in a 9-9 standstill. Following a 12-all tie, Georgia Southern took its final lead of the set and broke away allowing Davidson only another four points. The Eagles closed out the second stanza, 25-16, with Bellissimo’s sixth kill of the set.
Reminiscent of the second set, the Eagles opened with a 5-2 lead before the Wildcats tied the match twice at 6-all and 7-all, before Georgia Southern took the final match lead. Holding a five-point lead at 21-16, Davidson took a timeout before the Eagles closed the match on a 4-1 run. Georgia Southern secured its fifth conference decision with a 25-18 third set victory.
Georgia Southern hits the road for two matches this upcoming weekend. The Eagles travel to Elon on Saturday, October 17, before visiting UNC Greensboro on Sunday, October 18. Match times are slated for 2 p.m. starts both days.
- Category: Volleyball
- Published on Tuesday, 13 October 2009 21:15