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Georgia Southern Defeats UNCG, 3-1, Advances to Semifinals

Updated: November 17, 2012 11:05 p.m. (ET)
by Southern Conference
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2012 Volleyball Championship: Match 1 - Elon vs Furman
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2012 Volleyball Championship Highlights: Session One
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2012 Volleyball Championship Interviews: GSU's Moriah Bellissimo
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2012 Volleyball Championship: Match 2 - UNCG vs Georgia Southern

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Georgia Southern 3, UNCG 1

Davidson, N.C. - The Georgia Southern Eagles (25-6, 15-1 SoCon) used a team-high 16 kills from Moriah Bellissimo to rebound from a 0-1 deficit to defeat the UNCG Spartans (13-16, 7-9 SoCon), 3-1 (19-25, 25-21, 25-15, 25-16) in the second quarterfinal game on Saturday.

The Eagles advance to Sunday's 2:00 p.m. semifinal and will face the South's No.3, Furman.

Georgia Southern hit .238 as a team and held UNCG to just a .160 hitting percentage. The Eagles also out-blocked the Spartans, 9-0, and recorded 57 kills to UNCG's 48.

Bellissimo recorded 16 kills (.279 hitting percentage) and 11 kills for her 11th double-double of the season. The senior also added a service ace and two solo blocks for the Eagles. Fellow senior Meredith Paskert recorded 12 kills and 12 digs for Georgia Southern, while 2012 SoCon Player of the Year, setter Kate Van Dyke, recorded a team-high 16 digs and dished out 44 assists.

The Spartans were led by junior Karrian Chambers, who tallied a team-high 14 kills and added 13 digs. Senior setter Ari Lysacek amassed 38 assists and 11 digs, while junior libero Kellie Orewiler recorded a team-high 20 digs.

Behind a team-high five kills by Freeman, the Spartans took set one from Georgia Southern, 25-19. Trailing 7-6, UNCG used an 8-2 run to take a lead that they would never relinquish. The teams each recorded 12 kills in the set with UNCG taking advantage of some costly Eagle errors. The Spartans out-hit Georgia Southern .400-.194 in set one.

UNCG jumped out to a quick 7-1 lead in set two, behind play of Harley and setter Lysacek. After a timeout, Georgia Southern used a balanced offensive attack to take a 13-12 lead. After UNCG went on their own 7-3 run, Georgia Southern finished the game on a 9-2 run to take set two, 25-21. The Eagles out-hit the Spartans .311-.188 in set two.

The teams traded points early in set three, but Georgia Southern used a 12-3 run to defeat UNCG, 25-15, sparked by a kill by Bellisimo. Bellissimo recorded a team-high five kills in the set, and the Eagles also used two key blocks to steal the momentum from the Spartans.

In set four, Georgia Southern capitalized on some key UNCG errors in the midst of a 5-1 run to take a 17-9 lead over the Spartans. The game saw two long rallies, one won by each team, which brought the crowd to their feet for a post-point standing ovation. The Eagles held the Spartans to a .043 hitting percentage in set four, winning 25-16, and taking the match from the Spartans, 3-1.

Georgia Southern will now face Furman in Sunday's 2:00 p.m. semifinal.

Furman 3, Elon 0

Davidson, N.C. -  Behind solid hitting performances from seniors Caroline Adams and Chandler Ambrester, Furman defeated Elon, 3-0 (25-19, 25-22, 25-15), in the first game of the 2012 SoCon Volleyball tournament. The Paladins improved to 23-9 (11-6 SoCon) on the season, while the Phoenix dropped to 16-16 (9-8 SoCon).

Furman will face the winner of quarterfinal game two - Georgia Southern and UNCG - in tomorrow's 2:00 p.m. semifinal.

The Paladins hit a blistering .389 in the match, including .514 in the third set. Ambrester and Adams each tallied 13 kills, while junior Christina Dorismond recorded 11. Adams .667 in the match and recorded a team-high five blocks, including two solo blocks.

SoCon Freshman of the Year Jo Wilks dished out 46 assists for the Paladins, while senior captain Natalie Braun recoded 14 digs.

Elon was led offensively by sophomore Chanelle Smith, who recorded nine kills and hit .207 in the match. Freshman Megan Gravley and sophomore Danielle Smith each tallied eight kills, while senior libero Ali Deatsch amassed eight digs on the day.

Furman used strong performances from Dorismond and Adams to take set one from the Phoenix, 25-19. The teams traded points throughout the beginning, until, with the teams tied at 17, Furman used two kills from Dorismond and a kill from Ambrester to take a 21-17 lead, forcing an Elon timeout. The Paladins then continued their solid hitting, using a 4-2 run to take the set, 25-19. Adams and Dorismond, and Elon's Gravley, each recorded five kills in set one.

The teams traded points early in set two, before Furman used a 5-0 run to jump out to a 19-14 lead. Then, Elon went on their own 7-3 run to pull within one, 21-22. Furman then used kills from Braun and Dorismond to take set two, 25-22. The teams combined for 28 kills in set two, while Furman hit .306 and Elon hit .276.

Furman took set three 25-15. The Phoenix took an early 10-8 lead, before the Paladins came storming back and used a 17-5 run to close out the set and take the match from the Phoenix, 3-0.

The Paladins will face the winner of the Georgia Southern/UNCG quarterfinal match, tomorrow at 2:00 p.m. 

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