Eagles drop first two Sun Belt matches

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BobCarmichael and Kevin Keneely

The Eagles did not open up Sun Belt Conference play as they had hoped to Friday night, losing to the defending Sun Belt Champions Little Rock in straight sets (25-22, 25-23, 25-16) in Hanner Fieldhouse.

The Trojans came out swinging, getting off to a 16-6 lead in the first set. This lead was quickly diminished when the Eagles rallied from that ten-point deficit to make it 22-20 before eventually losing the first set. The second set was just as competitive as the Trojans never had a lead of more than five points. Sophomore Ashley Jones led the Eagles in the second set with six kills as the Eagles tied the set 19-19. But the Eagles were unable to complete the comeback and dropped the set 25-23.

The Trojans seemed to have all the momentum in the third set, and rode that momentum to a convincing third set win of 11 points over the Eagles. With that win, the Trojans extend their conference win streak to 24 matches. The Eagles had a quick chance to bounce back on a short turnaround with a game the very next day against The University of Louisiana at Monroe.

Georgia Southern looked to redeem themselves Saturday afternoon against the Warhawks. The Eagles fought a heavily competitive match losing in five sets (20-25, 26-24, 25-20, 23-25, 13-15).

The first two sets were very close and both sets were tied 17-17 at one point. Late in the second set, the Eagles found themselves down 23-20, but managed to overcome adversity to win 26-24 in a thrilling finish. This comeback would not have been possible if it was not for redshirt sophomore Megan Chevalier’s three kills to end the match. Chevalier ended the day with an impressive 21 kills, which was the most for both teams. Her 21 kills in Saturday’s match now makes her the team leader in kills with 131 on the season, passing freshman Stephanie Spencer who recorded nine kills on the day and has 130 kills on the season.

During the third set, the Eagles got some momentum in their favor beating the Warhawks, 25-20. Just two points decided both of the final two sets. The Eagles looked as if they would finish the Warhawks off in the fourth set. Unfortunately, they surrendered two consecutive points late in the set. They then went to lost the match 13-15.

Georgia Southern is now 5-8 on the season and 0-2 in conference play. They play again this weekend at home against Florida Gulf Coast on Friday at 5 p.m. and South Alabama on Saturday at 6:30 p.m. in the Hanner Fieldhouse.