Eagles dig out tenth straight win

Photo by: Mark Barnes IIFreshman libero Alexandra Beecher (8) serves the ball in Saturday’s game against WCU. Beecher was awarded her fourth SoCon weekly award this week for Defensive Player of the Week.

Robert Huitt

The Georgia Southern University volleyball team improved to 22-6 overall (12-1 Southern Conference) with wins over the Western Carolina University Catamounts on Saturday and the Davidson College Wildcats earlier tonight.

The Eagles started their four-game home stand 2-0 and improved their winning streak to 10 games after the match against DC.

During the game against DC earlier tonight, it looked like GSU learned their lesson from the previous match and took the first set 25-18.

“We had to just not take any points for granted and start from the beginning and make sure that we come out fighting,” senior outside hitter Meredith Paskert said.

GSU had the second set under control with three opportunities to close it out but DC came back and won it 26-24.

“Passing broke down a little bit, sometimes the hitting broke down, and they got some nice plays,” Paskert said.

The Eagles rebounded and won the last two sets 25-20 and 25-15. Paskert led the team again with 19 kills, and Bellissimo chipped in with a great all-around game with 16 kills and 17 digs.

GSU was heavy favorites against WCU, but the Catamounts made the Eagles earn everything. Due to many unforced errors by GSU and its own opportunistic play, WCU was able to put GSU on the ropes by taking the first two sets 25-23 and 25-18.

“I thought Western played really well,” head coach Chad Callihan said. “They put a tremendous amount of pressure on us. I think it shocked us a little bit, and we didn’t respond really well to it.”

The Eagles turned things around in the third set as Paskert and sophomore middle blocker Kym Coley powered the team. Paskert finished the match with a team-leading 19 kills along with eight digs, and Coley finished with 15 kills and two digs.

GSU went on to win the last three sets 25-20, 25-15 and 15-8 showing its resiliency in the process.

“This group plays well when their backs against the wall,” Callihan said. “They are a group of fighters and do not like to fail at anything.”

GSU will play its last two games of the season at home against Furman University on Friday and Wofford College on Saturday.