Volleyball Faces Tough Competition at USF Tournament
The Eagles open play Friday with a doubleheader against the host Bulls at noon and James Madison at 5 p.m. Saturday the team takes on Toledo at 10 a.m. and wraps things up against Harvard at 5 p.m. Live stats for all matches are available here.
“I think it will be a competitive tournament for us,” said head coach Chad Callihan. “It will probably be the most competitive we’ve been in. I feel like we improved on our play last week and hopefully we can just continue to do that.”
While South Florida (5-5) has lost five of their last six, Toledo (5-4) has won five of six, including a sweep of Auburn who defeated GSU in five sets on Sept. 6. Harvard enters the weekend at 1-4.
“(Our opponents are) a little bigger and more physical than what we’ve played the past few weeks,” said Callihan. “I think the Eastern Michigan match last Saturday is similar to what we’re going to see this weekend. I’ve been able to watch some film on some of the teams. (They have) good athletes I think they’re physical kids, maybe more physical than what we’ve run up against so far.”
Last weekend the Eagles swept their first two matches at the Bash in the Boro before dropping the championship match in five to Eastern Michigan. GSU took a 2-1 lead in that match before being edged out in the final two sets.
“We just need to be able to stay precise (and) try to stay in our offensive system a little bit more,” said Callihan. “We caught glimpses of it this past weekend, particularly the first game against Eastern Michigan. If we can sustain that then that will be the key to our success this week.”
Bethany Sanford continued her solid play by being named to the Bash in the Boro All-Tournament team. The freshman from Avondale, Ariz. is currently second in the Southern Conference in kills per set (3.77) and has six straight double-doubles. She averaged 4.18 kills over the tournament and recorded a .421 attack percentage in the team’s two wins.
“She’s been great; she’s doing a wonderful job for us,” said Callihan. “She’s a hard-working kid and really trains well each day and wants to get better. She’s been mature for us and really competent on the court doesn’t make a lot of mistakes like we’ve talked about in the past and plays as though she’s not a freshman. She just doesn’t make some of those mistakes. We don’t lose her mentally she’s pretty good at maintaining her focus over a long period of time over the course of a match. I feel like everyone is continuing to get better each week but she’s definitely been a bright spot.”
The USF Tournament will be the team’s final non-conference action as the Eagles open SoCon play Wednesday at Davidson.
- Category: Volleyball
- Published on Thursday, 18 September 2008 00:10