Volleyball Rallies to Split at USF Tournament
GSU downed JMU (5-8) 3-2 (12-25, 22-25, 25-16, 27-25, 15-10) after losing their opener 3-0 (25-14, 25-20, 25-15) to host South Florida. The Eagles’ record stands at 6-6 overall and continue play Saturday at 10 a.m. vs. Toledo.
“It was a rollercoaster,” said GSU head coach Chad Callihan. “We played our worst volleyball and best volleyball of the season all in the same day. Even though we played poorly, we showed some resilience and were able to bounce back and get it rolling here in the afternoon.”
Georgia Southern got 49 assists from senior Mae Chabra (Mt. Pleasant, S.C.) and a career-high 14 kills and .423 hitting percentage from freshman Parker Small (Charlotte, N.C.) in the finale as the Eagles rallied from an 0-2 hole for the first time since Nov. 6, 2005 vs. Western Carolina.
“Mae stepped in and did a great job,” said Callihan. “She really established a flow to the offense and I was really proud of her. I think it’s tough to step in in the middle of a match and I thought she handled that really well.”
Prior to Friday GSU had not won a match after dropping the first set by 10 or more points since rally scoring was implemented before the 2001 season.
“We switched setters about halfway through and shuffled the lineup a little bit and it gave us a little bit of a spark,” said Callihan. “I think the girls were really tired of not playing well. We talked after the morning match we played real tentative and almost looked nervous and scared. This is a new group with a new coach and I think going on the road, trying to get used to playing on the road is an adjustment. I don’t think we’ve handled it very well until this afternoon. Really it was just making a couple of changes and the kids deciding they weren’t satisfied with the way things had been going.”
Freshman Bethany Sanford (Avondale, Ariz.) led all players with 16 kills and junior Cristin Haines (Palos Heights, Ill.) totaled 31 digs.
“I think Mae, Parker, Cristin and Hayli Ketner really stepped up and did some nice things for us,” said Callihan. “And Hannah too; her stat line isn’t great she had some silly errors and had a couple of errors that really weren’t her fault but she gave us a nice blocking presence over on the right side. She had four block assists which we had been missing. Cristin was just amazing she’s incredibly solid.”
In the opening match of the day, South Florida (6-5) hit .255 as a team and received 21 kills from Marcela Gurgel to easily earn the sweep.
The Eagles were held to a .042 percentage, including -.069 in the third set.
“I think (USF) intimidated us a little bit,” said Callihan. “It got us back on our heels and before we could react and get going the match was pretty much over. ... I think with the travel and going up against a good team because they have a talented group we weren’t able to find our footing and gain any ground. It was really some bad volleyball for us.”
Sanford recorded eight kills and nine digs, ending her streak of six straight double-doubles.
- Category: Volleyball
- Published on Friday, 19 September 2008 00:23