Small Leads Eagles Past Bears, 3-0
“We had some ups and downs this weekend, but I think it will make us stronger as a team,” stated Head Coach Chad Callihan. “It was nice to see us steady out there in the last match of the day. These early tournaments are definitely giving us ideas of what we need to work on to get better as we continue to try to improve.”
Morehead State 3, Georgia Southern 1
Georgia Southern and Morehead State split the first two sets, but MSU held strong, closing out a 3-1 (25-16, 24-26, 25-22, 25-19) decision over Georgia Southern in the second match of the tournament for both teams. Sanford and Small teamed up for an Eagle offensive attack, combining for 28 kills.
A Moriah Bellissimo (Blackstone, Va.) kill put Georgia Southern in front 9-6, but Morehead State (6-4) answered with a 5-0 run to take an 11-9 lead. Sanford’s fourth kill knotted the score at 13-13 before a 4-0 Morehead State run forced GS to take a timeout at 17-13. Sanford snapped the 7-0 Morehead State run, but MSU wrapped up the set with a 25-16 win. Sanford led the Eagles with six kills in the set.
Georgia Southern pulled away with a 4-1 lead to open frame two, but Morehead State climbed back and took a three-point lead, 10-7. Consecutive Sanford kills returned the lead to GS following a 13-13 tie. A Ellie Roberson kill put MSU back in front, 16-15, but Georgia Southern held strong and a Bellissimo and Small block assist ignited a 3-0 GS run capped by a Small kill for a 20-19 Georgia Southern lead. Small spiked a kill to put the Eagles on top, 23-22, but a GS service error and MSU kill handed Morehead State set point at 24-23. Small erased set point for Morehead State with a kill and then went up for a block assist with Kate Van Dyke (Shawnee, Kan.) to give Georgia Southern its first set point of the match at 25-24. A Morehead State net violation sealed the set two win for Georgia Southern, 26-24.
Small hit .500 for the set with six kills on 12 attempts and no errors and combined for three block assists.
Trailing 13-10 in the third set, Georgia Southern trimmed the score to one point with a 3-1 run. Holding on to a two-point lead, Morehead State committed two attack errors to knot the score at 15-all. At 20-17, Bellissimo blasted a kill only to serve up an ace bringing the score to 20-19. Small followed with a kill to even the set 20-20. Tied at 21-21, Morehead State’s Holly Evans put her team back on top with a kill as the MSU Eagles closed out the set on a 4-1 run for a 25-22 victory.
Tied at 8-8 in the fourth frame, Georgia Southern took a two-point lead, 10-8, following a Small and Van Dyke block assist, but Morehead State pulled back, knotting the score at 10 and surging ahead, 15-10. MSU took another five-point lead at 20-15 and closed out the match win with a 25-19 fourth set win.
Georgia Southern 3, Mercer 0
Georgia Southern closed out tournament action sweeping Mercer 3-0 (25-18, 25-15, 25-16). Small led the Eagles with 14 kills, hitting .619 for the match. As a team, Georgia Southern struck .356 while holding Mercer to .081. Georgia Southern improved to 4-6 on the season, while Mercer dipped to 2-10.
Mercer held the Eagles close to start the match, leading by two at 8-6 before Georgia Southern regrouped and answered with a 5-0 run to take the lead, 11-8. A Sanford kill pushed the score to 13-10 before Van Dyke served up four aces intermixed with another Sanford kill. Bellissimo capped what became a 7-0 run for a 19-10 Georgia Southern advantage. The Eagles claimed set one, 25-18.
The Eagles controlled the second set jumping out to an early six-point lead at 10-4 and never looked back. With a pair of Sanford kills to cap the set, Georgia Southern took the victory, 25-15. The Eagles dominated the set by a tune of a 75% sideout percentage and .414 hitting percentage on one error. Small and Sanford, leading with four kills each, combined for eight kills and no errors on 16 swings. Ashley Roe (Campbell, Calif.) reeled in five digs to total nine for the match.
Mercer opened the third and final frame with a 4-1 lead, but Georgia Southern quickly regained the lead after a 5-5 tie. The Eagles led by as many as 13 at 22-9 and closed out the match with a 25-16 final set win. The Bears were limited to a .097 hitting clip, while the Eagles hit .324 in the set. Small racked up seven kills to lead the Eagles and three block assists. Roe and Lauren LaRocque (Borger, Texas) each posted four kills to lead Georgia Southern.
Small posted a match-high 14 kills, while Van Dyke tallied 24 assists in the win. Roe collected a team-high 13 digs.
The Eagles return to the court hosting the SpringHill Suites Invitational, Sept. 16-18. The five-team field consists of South Alabama, Winthrop, East Tennessee State and Charleston Southern in addition to host Georgia Southern. The Eagles open tournament action on Thursday, Sept. 16 against South Alabama at 7 p.m. in Hanner Fieldhouse.
- Category: Volleyball
- Published on Saturday, 11 September 2010 19:24