STATESBORO, Ga. - The Georgia Southern Volleyball team (2-2) responded from a disappointing opening day of the 2011 season with a pair of 3-0 sweeps over Montana State and Jacksonville in day two of the SpringHill Suites Invitational. Senior outside hitter Bethany Sanford (Avondale, Ariz.) had a career-high 26 kills against the Jackrabbits and tallied 25 on Saturday to earn a spot on the all-tournament team.
Georgia Southern earned its first win of the 2011 season with a 3-0 sweep of Jacksonville in the Eagles' first game of the day on Saturday. The Eagles got double-digit kills from three players while holding the Dolphins' leader to just 9. GSU opened with a 25-18 first-set victory, the third in as many games, and continued with set wins of 25-21 and 25-13 respectively.
Sanford led the Eagles with 14 kills while Parker Small (Charlotte, N.C.) added 11. Junior transfer Meredith Paskert (Brecksville, Ohio) tallied 10 kills and led the Eagles with a .643 hitting percentage. GSU benefited from a much improved hitting percentage and posted a mark of .473. Kate Van Dyke (Shawnee, Kan.) was her usual self tallying 43 of the teams' 48 assists in the match and helped feed a Georgia Southern offense that posted its best hitting percentage so far.
The Eagles continued their streak of first-set victories with a 25-18 set win in game two against Montana State. Small posted five of the team's 17 kills in the set while Van Dyke assisted on 11 of them. Georgia Southern posted a pair of close set wins to complete the sweep.
Paskert tied for a game-high 12 kills while Sanford posted 11 more in the win. Van Dyke tallied 33 assists and 11 digs while Lauren LaRocque (Frisco, Texas) recorded a game-high 19 digs. The team posted a .244 hitting percentage and opened with a .317 percentage in the first set.
Stephen F. Austin swept South Dakota State 3-0 in the first game of the day and continued their perfect mark in the Invitational with a 3-1 over Montana State. The Jackrabbits rebounded with a 3-1 win over Jacksonville.
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All-SpringHill Suites Invitational Team
SFA - Sabrina Burns
SFA - Madison Hanlan
SDST - Shay Birath
SDST - Kelli Fiegen
JAX - Kendall Courtney
GSU - Bethany Sanford
MNST - Sarah Horton