Volleyball comes up short in Tennessee Invitational

Amanda Arnold

The Georgia Southern volleyball team went 1-2 in the Tennessee Classic, in the last non-conference tournament of the season.

“Overall, we learned a lot about ourselves in the pre-conference schedule that will benefit us now that we head into the start of Sun Belt play,” Head Coach Chad Willis said.

GS picked up a 3-0 win in the first game of the weekend against North Dakota State. Four Eagles had strong performance in the victory, with junior middle hitter Skylar Ball leading with seven kills and four blocks, freshman right side hitter Mya Wilson and sophomore outside hitter Maddie Bryant adding a combined 13 kills and five blocks, while senior outside hitter Carly Turner contributed seven kills.

Junior libero Landon Jones led the match with 17 digs, while the Bison were held to a .017 hitting percentage compared to the Eagles’ .219.

“I’m proud of the way we came out of the gate tonight,” Willis said. “We spent the short week really focusing on first contact, and it showed this afternoon. I thought we did a great job of pressuring from the service line and taking care of our priorities defensively.”

In the second game of the tournament, GS could not keep the momentum going as they fell to Tennessee, 3-0. The Volunteers hit .400 in the match and held the Eagles to .133.

Sophomore setter Madison Brown added 22 assists, while Wilson led the team with eight kills. GS played in front of almost 800 attendees in this match, which is the largest crowd they’ve seen all season.

In the last game of the tournament on Saturday night, GS could not rally to defeat ETSU, falling 3-2. 

Jones was named to the All-Tournament team for her career-high 36 digs in the match, while the team was led by Turner’s 17 kills.

“It was a tough day, but our team really showed our ability to battle in our last match against ETSU,” Willis said. “We’re starting to see when we take care of our priorities and play within the system how good we can be and the potential we have.”

The team holds a 5-6 record as they travel to Coastal Carolina and Appalachian State this weekend to begin conference play.

Amanda Arnold, The George-Anne Sports Editor, gasports@georgiasoutherm.edu