Volleyball Rallies to Defeat Central Florida in Five
GSU improves to 2-0 on the young season while UCF drops to 1-1.
“I thought (our team) worked hard,” said GSU head coach Chad Callihan. “We talked about hard work and enthusiasm will take us a long way, and I thought with the exception of game three, we showed that. It was a good performance for us.”
The Knights led throughout set four and held a 22-17 advantage until the Eagles took six of the next seven points to tie it up at 23-23. GSU held off two match points before freshman Bethany Sanford (Avondale, Ariz.) finished the set with three straight kills.
Georgia Southern went on a 6-1 run in the fifth set to take a four-point lead but after a Central Florida timeout, the Knights came back with a 4-0 rally to tie. GSU took four of the last five to complete the comeback.
“We just wanted to keep playing hard,” said Callihan. “We talked before that game started and just said Take care of our serve, but other than that, let’s play to win we have nothing to worry about right now.’ ” It’s the second match of the season and we’re just trying to continue to improve. The one thing I didn’t want to see them do was let up and play not to lose. We just wanted to go out and be aggressive and see what happens.”
Junior Cristin Haines (Palos Heights, Ill.) paced the Georgia Southern defense with 24 kills, sharing match-high honors with senior Bianca Julio (Curitiba, Brazil)
“(Haines has) just been crucial for us right now,” said Callihan. “She really solidifies the defense for us. Just having another upperclassman on the court helps. Even though she’s new to the program, it’s someone else for the freshmen to be able to lean on in crucial situations. She’s able to give them an encouraging word. Sanford struggled a little bit at the beginning of game five Cristin gave her a little pick-up and I think it helped her. She’s bringing intangibles beyond just digging and passing that we really need.”
Sanford posted a team-best 18 kills and 14 digs.
“I think she’s doing a great job,” said Callihan. “We’re asking a tremendous amount of a true freshman to have to step on the court and play right away. I think she’s handling it extremely well. (She was) a little bit nervous there in the fifth game but I thought she settled in nice and really finished strong. A good start to hopefully a great career.”
The Eagles recorded 14 team blocks for the second straight match.
UCF’s Janine Williams led all players with 25 kills and added 13 digs and three blocks.
Central Florida wraps up play later today at 5 p.m. against Presbyterian while Georgia Southern faces off against Jacksonville at 7 p.m.
- Category: Volleyball
- Published on Saturday, 30 August 2008 00:24