GSU volleyball goes undefeated in Jaguar Invitational

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Zakyra Colvin

The Georgia Southern University volleyball team dominated at the Jaguar Invitational and finished the opening weekend 3-0.

The Eagles defeated Southern Utah University in the first match of the weekend without dropping a set (25-22, 25-17, 25-17).

It was the season opener for both teams and the coaching debut for new head coach Dustin Wood.

Junior outside hitter Jamie DeRatt and sophomore setter Katalin Minnerly led GSU. DeRatt finished the match with 13 kills and eight digs, and Minnerly added 40 assists and 12 digs.

The Eagles hit .376 as a team and collected 13 kills on 23 swings in the third set.

The Eagles won their second match against Tennessee State University on Saturday 3-0 (25-19, 25-20, 25-10).

GSU tallied eight team blocks and DeRatt led the team with 10 kills and five digs.

Redshirt junior outside hitter Naomi Wells led TSU with nine kills, and freshman middle Shuantia Carr had six kills, but the Eagles held the Tigers to a .057 hitting percentage.

In the first set, the Eagles trailed 17-15 but scored five straight points to open a 20-17 lead.

The Eagles never trailed in the second set but found themselves behind in the third. However, behind a 15-2 spurt the Eagles took back control of the set.

The final game of the Jaguar Invitational put the Eagles at a 3-0 record when they defeated the University of South Alabama 3-1 (25-13, 18-25, 25-16, 25-23).

The Eagles won the first set, but trailed in the second, which allowed South Alabama to tie the match at 1-1. GSU regained control in the third with a 25- 16 win and a 25-23 win in the fourth.

Minnerly earned all- tournament honors with 43 assists, seven digs and three blocks. Junior middle Kym Coley tallied eight kills and four blocks and was also named all- tournament.

Sophomore defensive specialist Alexandra Beecher added a match-high 16 digs and senior outside hitter Nicole Jeschelnik added 13 kills and nine digs for the Eagles.

The Eagles held the Tigers to a .026 hitting percentage while they hit .294 as a team.

DeRatt was named Most Valuable Player of the tournament posting 14 kills and 15 digs in the final match versus South Alabama.