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Mace & Crown

Providing Student News to Old Dominion University Since 1930

Mace & Crown

Providing Student News to Old Dominion University Since 1930

Mace & Crown

Lady Monarchs Drop Sun Belt Match Against Georgia Southern 3-0

Bob Bradlee (Courtesy of ODU Athletics)
Image taken in Volleyball contest against Georgia Southern

This past weekend was an unfortunate one for ODU volleyball. Coming into Friday against Georgia Southern, ODU was 9-7 and 1-1 in Sun Belt play, but left the weekend at 9-9 and 1-3 in the Sun Belt. 

The opposition, Georgia Southern, has put together a strong 2023 campaign, coming into Friday’s gold game with 11-2 (1-1 Sun Belt). The Eagles left the weekend with two more Sun Belt wins, putting their record at 13-2, 3-1 in the conference. 

The first match on Friday at 6:30 pm started well for the Monarchs, who were able to take the first set 25-18 after an ace by Junior Alice Munari. This set win gave Monarch fans high hopes, as ODU volleyball seemed to be firing on all cylinders and possibly had a chance to steal a match from the strong opposition hailing from down south. 

Unfortunately for the home crowd, this was not the case. The Monarchs played from behind for the rest of the match, falling 25-16 in the second set, 25-20 in the third, and 25-11 in the fourth set. ODU struggled to claw back to within striking range in these sets after giving way early to large leads. With these set losses, the visiting Eagles took the first match by a score of three sets to one. 

Quality individual performances on the evening came from the Italian duo of freshman Elisa Maggi and junior Munari. Maggi tallied 10 kills and seven digs to supplement Munari’s double-double of 16 kills and 13 digs. Senior setter Teresa Atliano tallied her 3000th assist on the evening, an ODU record, to add to her 40 assists and 12 dig performance. 

ODU looked forward to the second match of the weekend on Saturday at 2 p.m., but things did not improve. 

The Monarchs fell behind 7-1 to open the first set but clawed their way back with blocking that ODU had made a pinnacle of past performances. However, an attack error came back to bite ODU and the first set went in the Eagles’ favor 25-23. Despite the loss, the Monarchs forced the Georgia Southern head coach into a bind. He was forced to use both of his timeouts late in the set to reconvene with his team and rethink strategy as the Monarchs roared back to win 3 at 23-20 and then again at 23-22. 

The Monarchs were not able to threaten again for the rest of the day, falling 25-15 in the second and 25-18 in the third. A part of the Monarchs’ downfall was that Georgia Southern was able to sneak the ball past ODU for eight aces in the match. 

From the ODU offense, junior Myah Conway contributed 11 kills to tie Georgia Southern’s Reagan Barth. Atliano again tallied a double-double with assists (29) and digs (16). 

When asked about the performance that afternoon, head coach Fred Chao commented, “I feel a lot better about today’s match than yesterday’s 3-1 loss, mainly because through the ups and downs, we stayed tough today.”

Chao also had praise for setter Atilano when asked about her 3000 assists milestone. 

“She has been there from the very first point. She played the first point in our program’s history and she’s still playing now. It’s incredible what she’s been able to do, and she has developed with the program. That in itself is hard because every year, every recruiting class we’ve gotten better and better and better. But she’s been able to stay on pace to keep getting better and better, and that’s why she’s still on the court.”

Looking ahead, the Monarchs will be at home again next weekend as they take on James Madison in the royal rivalry. This is another Sun Belt series match and will take place Friday, Oct. 6 at 6:30 p.m. and Saturday, Oct. 7 at 2 p.m.

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About the Contributor
Art Neal
Art Neal, Assistant Sports Editor
Art Neal serves as an Assistant Sports Editor for the Mace & Crown. He is in his second year at Old Dominion and is currently majoring in Biology with a concentration in Biomedical Sciences. Art is excited for the opportunity to write sports journalism and further expand his sports fanaticism that he has had since a young age. After Old Dominion, Art hopes to head off to medical school where he is hopeful for the opportunity to incorporates his journalism experiences into his future career. You can reach him at

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