Eagles Prepare for Three Matches at MT Blue Raider Bash
STATESBORO, Ga. – The Georgia Southern Volleyball team continues fall tournament play traveling to Murfreesboro, Tenn., for the MT Blue Raider Bash, Sept. 3-4. The Eagles will face a Conference USA opponent and two ACC foes, meeting two for the first time.
Georgia Southern (2-1) opens the tournament challenging Southern Mississippi, Friday at 5 p.m., and will play two matches against Atlantic Coast Conference contenders on Saturday to close out the tournament. The Eagles take on Duke first at 4 p.m., and wrap up the tournament with an 8 p.m. matchup against Miami.
Georgia Southern opened the 2010 season at the War Eagle Invitational last weekend, going 2-1. A 3-0 (25-13, 25-15, 29-27) victory over UT Martin ushered in the new season before the Eagles topped Troy 3-1 (25-15, 23-25, 25-19, 25-19) on Saturday. Facing host Auburn to close out the tournament, Georgia Southern dropped a 3-1 (25-17, 16-25, 13-25, 19-25) decision to the Tigers.
Junior outside hitter Bethany Sanford (Avondale, Ariz.) and sophomore setter Kate Van Dyke (Shawnee, Kan.) garnered all-tournament honors. Sanford led the offense with 32 kills, while also leading the team with 33 digs. Van Dyke accumulated 101 assists, or 9.18 assists per set, in the three matches. She also posted 10 kills, five service aces, five block assists and 22 digs.
Scouting the Southern Mississippi Golden Eagles
Southern Mississippi returned five starters from 2009 and boasts a 3-0 record on the young season winning its own LaQuinta Inn Invitational to open the season. Redshirt junior Ashley Mell was named most valuable player and Kelsea Seymour and Lauren Sears added all-tournament honors. Standing fourth in Conference USA standings, Mell posts a 4.22 kills per set average, while Sears tops the C-USA leader board with 1.56 blocks per set. Junior setter Seymour ranks fourth in the league with a 10.89 assists per set average.
Southern Miss holds a 1-0 all-time series advantage over Georgia Southern taking a five-set match in 2004 at the McDonald’s Texas A&M Invitational.
Scouting the Duke Blue Devils
Fresh off a 3-0 sweep of Campbell, Duke brings a 2-1 record into the MT Blue Raider Bash. The Blue Devils, winners of two consecutive matches, posted wins over Campbell and Colorado. Senior Becci Burling is off to the best start of any Blue Devil since 2007, amassing 45 kills in her first 12 sets. She owns a team-high .388 hitting percentage. Junior setter Kellie Catanach leads the ACC with 118 assists, while freshman libero Ali McCurdy leads Duke with 41 digs.
This will be the first meeting between Georgia Southern and Duke.
Scouting the Miami Hurricanes
Boasting a 3-1 record after a sweep over Mercer, the Hurricanes enter the tournament returning nine letterwinners and four starters. After going 18-12 overall and 11-9 in league play in 2009, Miami made its second NCAA Tournament appearance receiving an at-large bid. Cross-town rival FIU slipped past Miami, 3-2, in the opening round of the NCAA Tournament (Gainesville Regional). Junior outside hitter Lane Carico leads the team with 3.29 kills per set, while freshman libero Ryan Shaffer leads the team with 3.94 digs per set.
This will be the first meeting between Georgia Southern and Miami.
Middle Tennessee will host the tournament with matches divided between Alumni Memorial Gym and the Murphy Center. Below is a full schedule of matches with match times in Eastern Standard Time.
Friday, September 3
5 pm GSU vs. USM Alumni Memorial Gym
8 pm MT vs. Duke Alumni Memorial Gym
Auburn vs. Miami Murphy Center
Saturday, September 4
12 pm MT vs. USM Alumni Memorial Gym
Auburn vs. Duke Murphy Center
4 pm Miami vs. USM Alumni Memorial Gym
Duke vs. GSU Murphy Center
8 pm MT vs. Auburn Alumni Memorial Gym
Miami vs. GSU Murphy Center
Sunday, September 5
2 pm MT vs. Miami Alumni Memorial Gym
Auburn vs. USM Murphy Center
Home team in bold italics
Follow the Action…
Live stats will be available for all matches played in Alumni Memorial Gym. However, due to coinciding matches, the contests played in the Murphy Center will not have live stats.
Two more non-conference tournaments lie ahead for the Eagles, including the SpringHill Suites Invitational, before they embark on the conference schedule. The Eagles will host the SpringHill Suites Invitational from Sept. 16-18.
But first, after six matches on the road, Georgia Southern will open the home schedule on Monday, Sept. 6 against Savannah State. First serve is slated for 6 p.m. For ticket information, please call 1-800-GSU-WINS or click here.
- Category: Volleyball
- Published on Thursday, 02 September 2010 15:11