Eagles go 3-0 in weekend tournament

Katie Tolbert

Georgia Southern University’s volleyball team defeated University of North Carolina at Greensboro 3-0 and Elon University 3-2 at home this weekend.

Taking on the 10-8 UNCG Spartans on Saturday, the Eagles came into each set receiving the first point and continued to stay strong with the momentum that they had with set scores of 25-19, 25-21 and 25-21. Senior outside hitter Meredith Paskert was the lead hitter in the match for GSU with 12 kills. Behind her was junior outside hitter Nicole Jeschelnik with 11 kills and senior outside hitter Moriah Bellissimo with 10 kills and nine digs.

“I think all around we played well today, and we just had to come in and make sure we put it on them because we knew they had a few strong hitters. So, we want to make sure our hitters are strong to deflate their energy,” Paskert said.

Sunday was a different match atmosphere for the Eagles. GSU was facing EU with a new lineup, due to Bellissimo’s current injury, and a packed house for the Zeta Tau Alpha sponsored “Think Pink” for breast cancer awareness. The Eagles overcame these challenges winning the match with set scores of 25-18, 25-22, 19-25, 19-25 and 15-6.

The Eagles faced some challenges in the third and fourth game with several errors and the extra effect of having to adjust to the new lineup, but they returned to the team that won the first two sets and beat the Spartans with ease in the fifth set.

“We knew that we weren’t playing our best ball, but we were just trying to get focused back on playing clean volleyball. We knew it was a short set, so we needed to come out strong from the very beginning. I think we wanted it, and we haven’t played many five set matches this season, so we wanted to make sure we got this one tonight,” senior setter Kate Van Dyke said.

There were several playmakers for the Eagles including freshman lebaro Alexandra Beecher with a match-high of 27 digs and Van Dyke with 56 assists and 16 digs. Up at the net, Jeschelnik finished the match with a career-high of 19 kills and Paskert had 19 kills as well.

“I think they collected themselves a little bit and realized they were making too many unforced errors and just decided they were going to play. I was really proud of the way that our kids came out and competed. It didn’t always go perfect for us, but we’re grinders. We’ve got a tough group of kids and they understand what it means to compete, and they showed that today,” head coach Chad Callihan said.

GSU will be playing at Samford University on Saturday at 3 p.m. and at University of Tennessee at Chattanooga on Sunday at 3 p.m.