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Solid hitting leads Eagles past Elon
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STATESBORO, Ga. --- Georgia Southern hit .356 as a team, including .500 in the first set alone in a 3-0 (25-16, 25-22, 25-13) sweep of Elon Sunday afternoon at Hanner Fieldhouse.
The win is GSU’s fifth in a row, the longest by the school since Nov.
2004. The Eagles improve to 12-11 overall and 6-3 in the Southern Conference. The Phoenix fall to 15-10 and 4-5.
“It was a good effort,” said Georgia Southern head coach Chad Callihan.
“Our offense seems to be getting a little bit stronger each match and that’s what carried us today. We were executing well in our serve receive and getting some solid sideouts. Our serving could have been a little stronger at times as far as minimizing errors but we also did a good job of getting them out of system with our serve.”
The Eagles are hitting .360 as a team over their last two matches, posting their highest two totals of the season. Four players hit .400 or better, led by sophomore Michelle Uzoh (San Antonio, Texas) who had six kills in seven attempts (.857).
“The hitters are all working really hard,” said Callihan. “They’re listening and getting a little bit better each day in practice. We try to pick things out each day to work on and I think they’re buying into that. Our setters have really done a good job and it helps that we’ve settled in to a rotation. That group is getting some cohesion out on the court and developing some good positive chemistry and I think that’s paying dividends as well.”
The third set was all GSU. They jumped out to a 5-1 lead and after Elon closed to 6-4, ran off a 6-1 rally to eventually lead by 11 points. The Phoenix recorded a -.118 attack percentage in the set thanks to 10 errors.
“That goes back to setting the tone,” said Callihan. “During intermission we weren’t real happy with the way we started the match, just a lack of focus to begin. It wasn’t that we were playing poorly, we just weren’t taking care of our responsibilities as best we could. We tried to make that a priority as we came out to start the third game and I was proud to see them come out and respond.”
Freshman Bethany Sanford (Avondale, Ariz.) led all players with 11 kills. Freshman Lauren Claybaugh (Danville, Calif.) had 10 kills and a .500 hitting percentage and Parker Small (Charlotte, N.C.) added seven on 14 swings. Senior Mae Chabra (Mt. Pleasant, S.C.) and junior Cristin Haines (Palos Heights, Ill.) tallied match-high totals of 34 assists and
14 digs, respectively.
The Eagles host UNC Greensboro Monday night as part of “Dig for the Cure”, a cancer-awareness promotion taking place nationwide.
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