Eagles prepare to battle for conference lead

Dakota Flake

The Georgia Southern Eagles volleyball team 10-9 overall (3-1 Sun Belt) have battled through their first weekend of conference play on the road and at home and have found themselves atop the eastern division of the Sun Belt Conference. The Eagles picked up conference wins over South Alabama 9-8 overall (0-4 Sun Belt) and Troy 6-13 (0-4 Sun Belt).

Weekend Recap

The Eagles beat South Alabama Friday in a five-set match that seen the Eagles victorious. The Eagles won the first, third and fifth sets as they seemed to never let South Alabama fully take momentum. Katie Bange recorded her sixth triple-double of the season with 18 kills, 18 assists, 10 digs and three blocks. Lauren Reichard had another productive game posting 11 kills, 8 blocks and three digs. Cathrine Murray posted a solid 15 dig, 9 kill and two block night.

It seemed as if every time South Alabama would start to gain momentum, Lauren Reichard would come through with a massive block or huge kill that would energize the team and crowd.

“It means everything to come in when we’re down, even when we’re up, to come in and bring even more intensity to the game with a huge kill or a huge block. It’s big not only on the court, but on the bench as well, always remaining positive and then going in to do the best that I can to win,” Reichard said.

Saturday night was a three-set match that marked the Eagles dominate of Troy in a quick-match. Katie Bange nearly had another triple-double 14 kills, 12 assists, six digs and two blocks. Kendra Koetter had a great match with 17 assists and 10 digs. Megan Chevalier posted 10 kills, while Stephanie Spencer provided 10 digs, eight kills and two blocks for the Eagles.

Another Conference Player of the Week

Alex Beecher became the second Eagle to earn Sun Belt Conference player of the week honors after Katie Bange received the offensive honor three weeks ago. Beecher earned the defensive player of the week honor after registering 37 digs and 14 assists last weekend. The conference honors represent the great work the Eagles have done on the court thus far both as a team and individuals.

Big Weekend in Statesboro

Typically if Appalachian State is coming to Statesboro, that’s without a doubt the biggest thing of that weekend, but that’s not the case this year. Although it will still be a rivalry environment that’s been fueled for decades, it can’t change the fact that the Mountaineers are simply 2-15 overall (0-4 Sun Belt) and that the Eagles get their first battle with new Sun Belt Conference member Coastal Carolina 12-4 overall (3-1 Sun Belt) for the top spot in the east division.

“App is always a big game. They’ve been with us since the SoCon days and I know personally we’ve played them all four years that i’ve been here. So we’re definitely going to bring that dynamic for the younger girls to feel as well,” Beecher said.

Beecher also said that although Appalachian State hasn’t been doing too well this season, they always seem to play their best against the Eagles and won’t be taken lightly. Beecher also said that team has looked forward to planning for their first matchup with Coastal Carolina and holding onto the number one spot in the conference by themselves would mean everything to the team.

“Although Georgia State is becoming more of our rival than Appalachian State, but I know all of the girls have a really bad taste for them. It’s always fun to beat them, but I’m sure they’re going to come in and play well. And then we have Coastal who we’re tied for first within our division, but we just take it one match at a time. I think it’s the job of the staff to know what’s going on with both teams. We work all week to prepare them, and they perform,” Dustin Wood, head coach, said.

The Eagles will face longtime rival Appalachian State at 6:30 p.m. Friday night in Hanner Fieldhouse, followed by Coastal Carolina in Hanner at 6:30 p.m. Saturday night. The Eagles are currently 8-2 when playing at Hanner this season and look forward to seeing students support them through a big weekend at home.

Update: Volleyball games on Oct 7 and 8 have been postponed, dates TBD.