Gulf Shores, Ala. - Lane Carico and Katie Madewell's run at the AVCA National Championships ended with a two-set loss to USC in the semi-finals.

Carico and Madewell's trip to the semi-finals is the highest national finish of any athletes in GSU sports history. The Panther duo finish the season with a 33-8 record and Carico being named an AVCA All-American.

"We are so proud of Lane and Katie," head coach Tami Audia said Sunday afternoon. "This tournament was a great weekend for them and our Georgia State program.

"The girls fought for every point in every match. When you are still doing that in the last matches of the year, good things happen. To reach a Final Four in your inaugural season is something few programs do. The support and well wishes every day from many different people were appreciated!"

To start off their Sunday championship run, the No. 12 seed took on No. 5 Pepperdine's Caitlin Racich and Lara Dykstra. The weather was less than ideal, with high wind gusts and isolated rain throughout the match played right along the beach of the gulf.

Carico and Madewell upset the Pepperdine pair 21-15, 21-19. Carico and Madewell blazed out to the frist eight points in the opening match to set the tone. Both Dykstra and Racich were named All-Americans alongside Carico Saturday night, and finish the season with a 24-5 record.

In the quarterfinals, Carico and Madewell met with the No. 4 seed from FIU, Kate Stepanova and Ksenia Sukhareva. It took three tough sets, but the Panthers prevailed 21-15, 13-21, 15-12.

With two wins away from being named a national champion, Carico and Madewell met the No. 1 seed, USC's Burnham and Robinson, in the semi-finals. Both of USC's players were named All-Americans and had a 21-4 season mark. The Panther duo gave it all their all, but lost 21-17, 21-16 one match away from the championship game.


On the opening day Friday, the Panther’s duo lost to pairs from UAB (2-0) and FIU (2-1). That 0-2 start sent them into Saturday’s next round at the bottom of the pile and one more loss and they were done.


GSU’s amazing pair started Saturday with a win over the University of Pacific. Against UCLA, the Panther pair were down the first game and down to match point in the second, 20-18, where they took a timeout to regroup. GSU’s pair roared off four straight points to win, 22-20, and send it to the third set. Momentum had swung to GSU and they dusted off the Bruins from UCLA, 15-9.

Using that momentum, Carico and Madewell needed one more win not to be one of the 10 teams to be eliminated Saturday. The Panther pair crushed North Florida, 21-11 and 21-10 to move on to Sunday’s final elimination day and the Sweet 16.

Carico will not return next year, as she has used up all of her NCAA eligibility. Madewell will be one of two seniors on the team next season, when Georgia State sand volleyball returns for its second year.