Eagles Capture Holiday Inn Invitational Title with 3-1 Win Over Troy
STATESBORO, GA – Led by sophomore Bethany Sanford’s 14 kills and freshman Kate Van Dyke’s 38 assists, the Georgia Southern volleyball team captured the Holiday Inn Invitational title Saturday night (August 29) defeating Troy, 3-1 (25-20, 25-18, 17-25, 25-18). Sanford was named the Tournament MVP for registering 37 total kills in three matches leading the Eagles to a 3-0 start for the 2009 season.
Georgia Southern used 53 digs while hitting .258 for the match to capture the win. The Trojans kept the score close in the opening set as the Eagles held a 10-8 lead before running away with the margin. A kill/assist combination from Hayli Ketner (Spartanburg, S.C.) and Van Dyke (Shawnee, Kansas) sparked the Eagles who held a seven-point lead before closing out the set, 25-20. Sanford (Avondale, Ariz.) contributed seven of her 14 kills in the opening stanza.
“It was great to see how we played this weekend. I didn’t think it was our best volleyball we could play, but I was extremely happy with the good effort we put forth and the way we kept our composure,” said Eagle volleyball head coach Chad Callihan. “Troy has a very talented team and they really forced us to earn the victory. They did not give up after the second set when they could have, but really made us earn the win.”
Hitting a match-high.308, the Eagles held the Trojans to a .086 hitting percentage in the second set. Georgia Southern jumped off to a 4-1 start, but lost the lead when Troy’s Meghan Gilroy hammered a kill to pull the Trojans ahead 10-9. The Trojans pushed their lead to three before the Eagles battled back twice to retake the lead and win. Van Dyke served out the final four points for the Eagles as sophomore Lauren Claybaugh (Danville, Calif.) registered two of her 13 kills for the match down the stretch. That set closed, 25-18.
After the break, the Trojans sparked an early 8-0 run pushing the score to 13-2. Troy capitalized on Georgia Southern’s .107 hitting attempt to take the third set, 25-17.
Georgia Southern regained its momentum in the fourth set, tying its first-set attack percentage of .303. Sarah Gildersleeve (Naples, Fla.) combined with Sanford and Van Dyke for 10 kills in the final set. With GSU on top, 11-6, the Eagles used two Trojan attack errors and three kills from three Eagles to force a timely Troy timeout at 16-8. The Trojans tried to capitalize on four attack errors by the Eagles, but could not cut the margin from the match-point, 24-18. The Eagles secured the match off Van Dyke’s fourth kill of the match.
In earlier action, Presbyterian College took its first victory of the season with a 3-2 victory over Stetson.
Following the conclusion of the tournament, the All-Tournament Team was announced. Sanford, Claybaugh and Van Dyke were named to the team as well as Troy’s Meghan Gilroy and Megan Henderson, Stetson’s Kaylee Ream and Presbyterian College’s Presley Mabrey.
“All three of our players named to the team did an outstanding job this weekend. We had a number of players that played well, but I thought these three really brought the team’s energy up maintaining their poise,” said Callihan.
For a complete recap of the Holiday Inn Invitational, check the tournament page by clicking here.
- Category: Volleyball
- Published on Saturday, 29 August 2009 22:44