Third-Ranked Eagles Host Top-Ranked Furman to Begin SoCon Weekend Action
The top two hitting programs in the Southern Conference will face-off in a Friday night showdown at 7 p.m. when the Eagles take the court against the Paladins. Furman ranks first in the conference with a .269 hitting percentage and holds their opponents to the lowest attack percentage in the conference at .138. Georgia Southern is second in the conference in attack percentage at .254.
The Eagles and Paladins both own a 14.11 kills per set average as Georgia Southern holds a slight edge over Furman in assists per set averaging 12.97 to Furman’s 12.84; led by senior libero Cristin Haines, the Eagles place second on the conference leaderboard in digs per set average sporting a 16.94 average.
Georgia Southern is coming off consecutive 3-0 sweepings over Appalachian State and Western Carolina. Led by sophomore Lauren Claybaugh (Danville, Calif.) who posted a combined 21 kills over the weekend, the Eagles improved to 17-8 overall and 7-3 against conference opponents with the wins. Freshman setter Kate Van Dyke (Shawnee, Kan.) recorded 60 assists in the two matches for an average of 10.0 assists per set. Van Dyke stands behind senior Paladin Kelsey Salava in the conference with an 11.44 assists per set average. Salava sports an 11.51 average to stand in first.
Furman, riding an 11-match win streak, the longest in program history, is coming off a 3-1 win over the Samford Bulldogs. The Paladins are perfect in league play going 10-0 and own an 18-3 overall ledger. Sophomore Alexis Shaffer led the Paladins to victory posting 14 kills with a .538 attack percentage coupled with three blocks. Chandler Ambrester also tallied 14 kills as Stephanie Smith posted a team-high 13 digs.
For the season, the Paladins are paced by Kelly Kirby with 206 kills and Salava with 850 assists. Shaffer leads the conference in attack percentage, owning a .418 hitting efficiency. Smith leads the Furman defense collecting 289 digs in 80 sets to average 3.61 per set.
Furman holds the all-time series advantage over Georgia Southern, 27-14. The Paladins captured a 3-1 victory over the Eagles earlier this season in Greenville, S.C. The last recorded Georgia Southern victory against Furman occurred on October 29, 2005 when the Eagles swept the Paladins for a road win.
Recently recording a 3-0 victory over Chattanooga, Wofford improved to 17-9 overall and 4-6 in league action. Senior Shanna Hughes led the way for the Terriers with 11 kills and 17 digs for her seventh double-double of the season. On no errors, junior Catelyn Amende recorded 10 kills on 18 attempts for a .556 attack percentage. Sarah Palmer notched a team-high 21 digs to lead the Terriers.
Georgia Southern holds a strong advantage in the all-time series record between the conference schools, going 20-6. The Eagles took a 3-1 decision over Wofford in the first half of a home-and-home earlier this season.
Friday night’s match is also Junior Eagle Club Day and “Parents’ Night Out”, while a costume-contest will take place at halftime of the Wofford match. To read the full release on the weekend’s promotions, please click here.
Both matches on Friday and Saturday are slated for 7 p.m. starts. Season tickets for the 2009 Georgia Southern volleyball season are on sale at $15 for a general admission pass. A family plan, which includes two adult passes and two children passes, can be purchased for only $35. Single-game tickets are priced at $5 for an adult and $1 for youth (ages 3-12).
For more information regarding tickets, please call the Georgia Southern Athletics Ticket Office at 1-800-GSU-WINS or visit the official website of the Georgia Southern Eagles at www.GeorgiaSouthernEagles.com.
- Category: Volleyball
- Published on Thursday, 29 October 2009 18:08