LAKELAND, Fla.—The Fire volleyball team trailed Coastal Georgia 2-1 on Wednesday night, but overcame the deficit to take the match 3-2 (16-25, 25-23, 20-25, 25-23, 15-9). Down 23-20 in the fourth set, Southeastern won five straight points to even the contest before overpowering the Mariners in the final frame. With the come-from-behind victory, SEU is now 19-3 overall and an impressive 11-2 in league action this season.
Coastal Georgia started the match strong, hitting .359 in the opening set to take a 1-0 lead with a 25-16 win. However, the Fire immediately responded with their best hitting of the night to tie the match at one.
Southeastern recorded 17 kills in the second frame, while hitting .318 as a team, both match-highs for SEU. Senior Emily Kalmink led the offensive charge with five kills in the set, followed by four each from Hannah Kaszubowski and Avery Bradshaw, as the Fire defeated the Mariners 25-23. Bradshaw ended the night with 14 kills.
After CCGA pulled ahead 2-1 in the competition, the Fire answered once again. Behind three points late in the fourth, two of Kalmink’s 13 kills and one of her four blocks fueled a 5-0 run to steal the set and even the match at two.
The Fire overwhelmed the Mariners with kills from four separate players in the final set, sealing the triumph with a 15-9 win in the fifth. Emily Boehlein, who added seven kills on a .292 hitting percentage, capped off a 7-2 run with a kill on the last point.
“The only way to combat against an offensively strong team like Coastal Georgia is for us to bring that as well and the girls stepped up and did that,” stated Goldsberry.
Keniah Rivera Santiago kept SEU in the match with a team-high 21 digs, while Kaszubowski contributed with 19. On offense, Kaszubowski finished with a career-high 16 kills on a .300 hitting percentage, notching her second double-double in as many games.
“Hannah [Kaszubowski] has come a long way and I could not have been more thrilled with her performance,” Goldsberry said of the sophomore.
The comeback marks the third five-set victory of the year by SEU. Last season, Southeastern posted a mere 2-5 record when a match went the distance.
When asked about the recent stretch of success in tight games, Goldsberry responded, “These girls are not going to back down and they’re going to fight for whatever it takes to make sure we take the win home. We practice hard so they want to see that have an effect on the outcome of the match and we did tonight”.
The Fire will be back in action when they travel to Warner, looking to avenge their only home loss of 2018. First serve is scheduled for 2:00 p.m. on Saturday.