Furman Knocks off Georgia Southern in SoCon Volleyball Tourney
DAVIDSON, N.C. – Furman overcame a 2-0 deficit and held off three match points in the fourth set to take a 3-2 (15-25, 13-25, 25-22, 29-27, 15-8) victory over Georgia Southern in the semifinal round of the Southern Conference volleyball tournament in Belk Arena Sunday afternoon.
The Eagles see their season come to an end with a 25-7 record, while Furman improves to 23-10 and advances to the championship match Monday night.
With a 2-1 lead in the match, GSU fought back from a 23-21 deficit in the fourth set to take a 24-23 lead on a kill by Nicole Jeschelnik. Furman fought off three match points as the teams traded points, and the Paladins took a 27-26 lead on block by Christina Dorismond and Jo Wilks.
Paskert got a kill for the Eagles to tie the score, but Chandler Ambrester and Wilks finished out the set with consecutive kills to tie the match at 2-2.
Furman used the momentum to open the fifth set with a 5-1 run, and the Eagles just could not get back in synch. Alexandra Beecher made the score 9-5 when her return of serve hopped over the net and fell in, but Caroline Adams and Natalie Braun got consecutive kills to push the margin to 11-5. The lead grew to 14-7 before Kym Coley got a kill for GSU, but Braun finished the match with a kill.
Coley and Meredith Paskert (right) each had 17 kills to lead Georgia Southern, and Kate Van Dyke posted 52 assists and 10 digs. Beecher finished with a match-high 31 digs, and Moriah Bellissimo had seven kills and 14 digs.
Ambrester led all players with 24 kills to go along with 13 digs, and Braun finished with 16 kills and 18 digs for Furman. Dorismond had 14 kills and three blocks, and Wilks posted 57 assists and 10 digs. Elle Ross recorded 28 digs.
With Furman trailing 2-0 in the match and the score tied 21-21 in the third set, Dorismond, Wilks and Braun had consecutive kills to give the Paladins set point. Coley got a kill for GSU, but Dorismond finished the set with a kill to trim the margin to 2-1. It was the first set the Paladins had won against the Eagles in their three matches this season.
"We made a couple of mental mistakes that have really been uncharacteristic for this team, and Furman was able to win that third set," said Georgia Southern coach Chad Callihan. "That gave them life, and they rode that momentum into playing with a lot of confidence. We got tentative and could not work our way out."
The Eagles held the Paladins to .021 hitting in the first set and had seven team blocks and 20 digs. GSU was efficient on the offensive end, putting down 14 kills in 35 swings. The Eagles jumped out to a 4-0 lead and extended the margin to 10-4 with the help of kills by Paskert and Crysten Curry. Furman never got closer than five the rest of the way.
The Eagles used a 6-2 run, keyed by two Coley kills, to open a 10-5 lead early in the second set. Leading 13-9 later in the frame, GSU went on a decisive 8-1 run, with two kills by Curry and kills from Bellissimo and Paskert to open 21-10 cushion en route to a 2-0 lead in the match.
"These seniors may be the best I've ever had," said Callihan. "They are selfless, team-oriented and truly care for their teammates and the program. They represented Georgia Southern very well over the years."
Notes: GSU's 13-match win streak came to an end... The Eagles fall to 18-13 in the SoCon Tournament and 4-3 in SoCon Tourney games at Davidson... Van Dyke, who already holds the school career assist record, finished with 1,349 assists this season, the third-most in a campaign at GSU.
Georgia Southern Athletics provides up-to-date information on all its sports through its official website, GSEagles.com, through social media channels facebook.com/GSAthletics and twitter.com/GSAthletics, and its new "Eagles GATA" mobile app for Android and iOS.
- Category: Volleyball
- Published on Sunday, 18 November 2012 17:16