Gildersleeve Propels Eagles to Five-Set Win Over Davidson, 3-2
Carrying momentum from a recent victory, the Davidson Wildcats gained command early, garnering a 10-5 first set lead. Sarabeth Peele’s seven kills helped lead the Wildcats to a 25-15 opening set win as Davidson hit .500 from the floor in the stanza, while committing only three unforced errors. A kill from Jorden Benedict sealed the set for the Wildcats.
Georgia Southern pushed Davidson in the second set, led by Hayli Ketner’s (Spartanburg, S.C.) five kills. But Ketner’s offense could not give the Eagles the extra edge they needed, succumbing to the Wildcats, 26-24 in the second stanza and falling behind 2-0 in the match. Trailing 19-13, Georgia Southern called a timeout before a kill from Parker Small (Charlotte, N.C.) pulled the score to 23-20, Davidson. Freshman Ashleigh Wienbarg (Monroe, Ga.) pushed the score to 24-22 before a Ketner kill followed by a Wildcat error knotted the set score at 24-apiece. Peele notched her fifth kill of the set following a Davidson timeout as Erin Lupfer sealed the set for the Wildcats, 26-24.
The Eagles took intermission to regain focus and came out firing in the third set, led by Gildersleeve’s (Naples, Fla.) five kills on .714 hitting and Bethany Sanford’s (Avondale, Ariz.) five kills. Lauren Claybaugh (Danville, Calif.) contributed four as the Eagles struck .412 from the floor, holding the Wildcats to .188. The stanza witnessed five tied scores before Georgia Southern took the final lead following an 8-all tie. Sanford pushed the Eagles in front, 11-8, notching three consecutive kills. Davidson took a break before Kirby Monson (Houston, Tex.) gave Georgia Southern a four-point edge, 12-8. Holding an 18-12 lead off Sanford’s fourth kill of the set, Gildersleeve gave the Eagles an eight-point margin at 21-13. A Claybaugh kill earned set point for Georgia Southern as Gildersleeve secured the set on her fifth kill, 25-15.
The Wildcats claimed an early 2-0 lead in the fourth set, but the Eagles quickly tied the set at 2-all before pulling away with control after a 3-all tie. Georgia Southern took a five-point lead at 13-8, but Davidson closed the gap to within one at 13-12 perpetrated by a 5-0 run. A pair of Sanford kills reinforced a lead for the Eagles as three Davidson errors returned a six-point lead to Georgia Southern, 19-13. Set point for the Eagles was found following a Claybaugh kill and the match was evened at 2-all after a Davidson error closed the set, 25-17, in favor of Georgia Southern.
A battle for the SoCon win ensued in a deciding fifth set that saw seven ties and three lead changes along the way. Davidson opened the final set with three unanswered points giving the Wildcats a strong start and Davidson led 5-2 before Georgia Southern chipped away at its deficit, drawing the set to a 5-all standstill. At 8-all, the Eagles maintained control of the set until a 12-all draw. The conference foes tossed the lead back-and-forth to a 14-all knotting. Claybaugh ended the match, securing the five-set battle for the Eagles, with consecutive kills, finalizing the set at 16-14.
The Eagle offense was paced by Gildersleeve who recorded a career-high 15 kills in the win, hitting .500 off only three errors and 24 attempts. Sanford picked up her 14th double-double of the season with 14 kills and digs. Leading the team with 46 assists was freshman setter Kate Van Dyke (Shawnee, Kan.) and tallying 27 digs on the evening was lone senior Cristin Haines (Palos Heights, Ill.)
Peele led Davidson with 22 kills, followed by Christine Perzinski who added 10. Anna Bradbury owned a match-high 52 assists, while Molly Crenshaw lead the Wildcats’ defense with 19 digs.
The win closed out the final road trip of the regular season for Georgia Southern. The Eagles return home for their final regular-season match of the 2009 season, Saturday, November 14, playing host to Samford. In conjuction with Homecoming events, anyone who presents a ticket from the afternoon Furman-Georgia Southern football game will receive free entry into the volleyball match. The final regular-season match has been designated “BLUE OUT” and senior day as lone senior Cristin Haines will be honored prior to the match, which is set to begin at 7 p.m.
- Category: Volleyball
- Published on Tuesday, 10 November 2009 21:27