Eagles take two wins at SpringHill Suites Tournament

Robert George

Georgia Southern’s volleyball team hosted the Spring Hill Suites Tournament this weekend at Hanner Fieldhouse. The Eagles went 2-1 in the tournament and improved their record to 6-5 on the season. Every match went at least four sets, and two of them went the full five sets.

Game 1 vs Buffalo (W 3-2)

The Eagles cruised to a 2-0 lead before dropping a pair to tie the match. In the deciding set, Katie Bange had four kills and Lauren Reichard and Stephanie Spencer each added a pair to give the Eagles the 15-13 win.

“We started off on fire,” head coach Dustin Wood told GS Athletics after the match. “I really liked the way we were playing, but we got a little too comfortable.”

But for the Eagles earning a hard-fought, five set win was important. Going the distance and overcoming adversity can help the team in the long run.

“We’ll take the win,” Wood said.

Game 2 vs Wake Forest (W 3-1)

The Eagles carried the momentum from the win over Buffalo into the match against the Demon Deacons. While they out-hit the Bulls in the first match, the defense led the charge in the second win of the tournament.

They blocked 12 balls to Wake’s three on their way to victory. Reichard tallied 10 and Bange added four. Alex Beecher led the way in the back line with a match-high 16 digs.

“(Bange’s) doing everything well – digging balls, blocking balls, putting balls away, hitting over .500. Not many people in the country can do that so we’re going to go to her if she has the hot hand,” Wood said.

Game 3 vs South Carolina (L 2-3)

The Gamecocks came in undefeated and ranked ninth in the nation and the Eagles took them to five sets before falling 15-13 in the final frame.

It took a total team effort to push the Gamecocks to the brink as Bange, Spencer, Catherine Murray and Kendra Koetter all put up double-doubles in the match.

The Eagles fell behind in the fifth set before a 10-4 run put them just three points away from victory. But South Carolina scored five of the final six points to win 15-13.

“It was back and forth all night,” Wood said. “ It was good volleyball; we just came up short in the end. I’m proud of my kids and the way they fought.”

The Eagles will play again this weekend in the Crimson-White Tournament in Alabama. Their first match will be against Presbyterian on Friday afternoon.

Photo by Xxavier Roberts.