Eagles on the attack again

Photo by: Courtney Bonacci

Kaitlyn Glenn

After winning its fourth and final title in the Southern Conference Tournament, the Georgia Southern University volleyball team received the league’s automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament to face the Florida State University Seminoles (24-7).

The Eagles were happy to win the tournament before moving to the Sun Belt Conference next year, but senior libero Lauren LaRocque made it clear that the team is still focused on getting this next win.

“It feels great to say that we have won the regular season and the conference tournament, but those wins mean nothing in the NCAA Tournament, so we really have to focus and pretend that it’s a new season,” LaRocque said.

The Eagles have continued to keep their game pretty consistent overall and head coach Dustin Wood contributes that to the consistency of what the team is doing day in and day out.

“They do what is being asked of them, so we’re on them pretty hard, we let loose a little bit and give these girls some freedom to make some mistakes throughout the year and I think we’ve found our niche in range,” Wood said.

Junior outside hitter Jamie DeRatt has stepped up in the last few games leading the Eagles with an overall 428 kills this season so far, helping to strengthen their offense.

From the coach’s observations FSU is pretty opposite-heavy, which is forcing the Eagles to focus on that attack and work on their blocking, so they can come out and be competitive in the upcoming match.

“We know what they’re going to do, it’s just us executing what we need to do off of that,” Wood said.

The Eagles are 0-3 all-time against the Seminoles. GSU’s last trip to the NCAA Tournament in 2010 resulted in a 3-1 loss to FSU.

The two previous matchups were in 1990 and 1997, where FSU won 3-0 in both matches.

The Eagles will be on the road to go toe to toe with the Seminoles in Gainsville, Fl at 5 p.m. today.