Entering a two-game stretch at Hanner Fieldhouse this past weekend the Georgia Southern Woman’s volleyball team had won four out of their last five matches.
Spirits were high as the Eagles took on a pair of Sun Belt rivals they had never beaten in UT Arlington and Texas State, but unfortunately, the excitement was short-lived.
Friday night’s match against the UT Arlington Mavericks started out favorably for the home team. Carried by the intensity of sophomore Lauren Reichard, the Eagles led by as many as eight points in route to winning the first set 25-18.
The Mavericks were able to jump out to an early lead and despite a valiant Eagle comeback, they took the second set 25-18. The third set was largely dominated by UT Arlington, leading by 12 at one point, before winning 25-17. The fourth and final set of the night was characterized by several lead changes and in a thrilling, but ultimately disappointing finish the Mavericks won the set 28-26 and the match 3-1.
Putting Friday’s loss behind them, Georgia Southern squared off against a red-hot Texas State Bobcats team on Saturday night. In a tight first set which never saw either team lead by more than a few points, the Bobcats were able to edge out the Eagles 25-23.
The second set was marred by a rash of mental errors by the Eagles, giving the Bobcats the advantage and the set 25-20. Following some questionable calls early in the third set, the Bobcats pulled away winning the set 25-18 and the match 3-0.
After the game, GS coach Dustin Wood praised his team’s hard play and chalked the loss up to inconstant play.
“We outplayed them the first set, but had too many serving errors. I was pretty proud of what the kids did in that first set, then they [Texas State] made adjustments,” Wood said, “we played a little one-dimensional tonight.”
With the two losses this weekend, the Eagles fall to 11-12 overall and 4-4 in the Sun Belt. Georgia Southern plays their final non-conference match of the season at Savannah State on Monday, Oct. 24 at 6 p.m.