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Eagles fall in home opener
Georgia Southern's Crysten Curry (3) hustles over to help as teammate Jamie DeRatt digs deep to save a point against Georgia at Hanner Fieldhouse Tuesday. - photo by SCOTT BRYANT/staff

    Brittany Northcutt led Georgia with 11 kills, and the Bulldogs held Georgia Southern to an .078 hitting percentage to earn a 3-0 (25-18, 25-14, 25-13) volleyball victory over the Eagles Tuesday night in Hanner Fieldhouse.
    Kym Coley led Georgia Southern (6-2) with 10 kills, and Jamie DeRatt added eight. Alexandra Beecher collected a match-high 17 digs.
    Northcutt had 14 digs for Georgia (5-1), and Stacey Smith recorded eight kills and three blocks. Lauren Teknipp added nine kills.
    The Eagles had 20 hitting errors and six serving errors in the game. Meanwhile, Georgia notched 41 kills with just eight hitting errors.
    “We don’t play the game we played tonight; that’s not us,” said Georgia Southern first-year coach Dustin Wood. “I think we were pressing a little too much because it’s the home opener and it’s Georgia. We didn’t capitalize on our opportunities when we had them, and Georgia did capitalize on their opportunities.”
    The Eagles fell behind 5-1 early in the first set but trimmed the margin to 13-12 with the help of two kills each from Coley and DeRatt. The Bulldogs won three straight points to push a 15-13 lead to 18-13.
    After Eagles Crysten Curry and Katie Bange got a block to make the score 20-17, Georgia went on a 5-1 run to finish the set, with consecutive kills by Teknipp capping the spurt.
    The Bulldogs opened a 7-2 lead in the second set and used a 5-1 run to push the margin to 12-6. The lead never dipped below four the rest of the way. The third set saw more of the same as Georgia started with a 7-2 run. A DeRatt kill trimmed the lead to 11-8, but the Bulldogs responded with an 11-3 run to put the set and the match out of reach.
    The contest began an 11-match homestand for the Eagles, which includes two home tournaments and their first four Southern Conference matches. The Eagles are back in action Friday as they host High Point in the SpringHill Suites Invitational in Hanner Fieldhouse. The match is slated for a 7 p.m. start.