With a win under their belt, the Eagles returned to Hanner Fieldhouse this weekend. It was their first time playing there since November 16 when they beat Appalachian State 3-0. This weekend would be their first conference opponents in Hanner.
UL Monroe (3-0 W):
What do you do when it’s your first match back in Hanner? You dominate completely, and that’s exactly what the GSU did. With a first set win of 25-13, the Eagles made sure that the Warhawks knew they weren’t playing around. They scored in bunches, and once the Eagles started scoring, it truly was hard to get them to stop.
Ga. Southern also had something that truly wasn’t there at Statesboro High, and that’s homefield advantage. It was quite obvious that the loud crowd noise of the Eagle fans was getting into the heads of both the Warhawk players and coaches.
However, it wasn’t all fun and games as the last set definitely caused some stress for Eagle fans. There was a point in time during that final set that the Eagles were only a point away from losing the set and having to move on to a fourth. Cathrine Murray didn’t let it happen, though. She had back to back kills to end the set and match.
UL Lafayette (3-1 W):
Going into this match, many spectators were unsure if the Eagles were going to be able to keep up with the Ragin’ Cajuns from UL Lafayette. Going into this match, the Ragin’ Cajuns were boasting a record of 15-7, with 5 of those wins being against conference opponents. However, they also had lost their previous two matches, including one at Appalachian State.
The Eagles got up big in the first set but let the Cajuns cut the lead to two before winning the set 25-22. They dropped the second set with some sloppy play, but battled back and dominated the third set. An intense fourth set saw long rallies and great plays from both teams. The Eagles fell behind 24-22, but were able to tie the game with excellent serving and accurate spiking. With the Eagles up 28-27, the Cajuns hit a spike long and the Eagles won the match 3 sets to 1.
The Eagles were led offensively by Murray with 15 kills. Both Jamie DeRatt and Megan Chevalier added 14 kills, and Lea Joseph had 5 blocks on the afternoon. Kat Minnerly had 50 assists, and continues to be the Eagles best setter.
The Eagles continue their homestand Tuesday night when they host Savannah State at 6 p.m. for the annual Dig Pink match.
Robert George contributed to this story