After an impressive 3-1 victory against The Citadel in Charleston, Samford improved their overall record to 9-4 on the season, including an undefeated start to the team’s Southern Conference slate.
Samford was able to take the first set 25-19 against the Bulldogs from Charleston, dropped a close second set 24-26 and then solidified the win with a dominating 25-6 final set. Samford edged The Citadel in almost every statistical category in what was a well-rounded performance from head coach Keylor Chan’s squad.
Samford has been impressive across the board so far this season, as multiple players have stepped up to contribute and play key roles.
While the team has had to replace some key pieces from last year’s group, Chan spoke highly of the play of his senior class this season, also speaking in regard to their leadership off the floor.
“They’ve been through a lot,” Chan said. “They know how to win. They know what it takes to win at this level. But we are also looking to do other things and climb mountains we never have here at Samford, so they have a lot ahead of them.”
Senior Kelsi Hobbs recorded the 1,000th kill of her career in Saturday’s match, and is now second on the team in kills this season with 176. She also ranks third on the team in digs with 92 this season.
Outside hitter Lauren Deaton has put together an impressive sophomore campaign thus far, leading the Bulldogs with 180 kills while placing fourth on the team in digs with 90.
Other players that have stepped up for the Bulldogs this season have been senior libero Grace Tiesman and redshirt sophomore setter Corinne Meglic.
Tiesman has used her experience and floor play to guide the team, ranking in the top four of almost every statistical category.
As for Meglic, she was faced with replacing star Taylor Anderton and has exceeded expectations.
After starting the season 6-1 with non-conference victories over No. 24 Arizona, North Alabama, Jacksonville State, UAB, Kennesaw State and South Alabama, the Bulldogs dropped three straight matches before opening up conference play with a victory over Chattanooga.
Chan’s team looks to be playing at a high level as they begin a crucial stretch of their season. Continued success from this group will be key if the Bulldogs are to make a run in the postseason.
Samford’s next home match will be against Furman in the Pete Hanna Center on Oct. 11 at 7 p.m. The match will be streamed live on ESPN+.
Collin is a sports writer for The Crimson. He is a senior finance major.