ATLANTA –Georgia State volleyball will host "The First Four" in the school's first-ever Georgia State Sand Invitational Saturday and Sunday at the GSU Sand Volleyball Complex. These "First Four" teams in this inaugural tournament will be playing just down the street from the national "Final Four" basketball tournament in town this weekend.
This "First Four" field includes No. 3 Florida State from the ACC, 7-2 Tulane from Conference-USA and 4-3 Louisiana-Monroe, who is riding a three-match win streak, from the Sun Belt, along with host GSU in its inaugural season as the teams compete head-to-head and in Bracket Pairs Play over the two day tournament.
The GSU Sand Invitational will be the first home tournament for the Panthers (5-6), who are in the midst of their inaugural season. It will also be the last time fans can see Georgia State play at home this season with the rest of the schedule on the road.
To kickoff the tournament on Saturday, No. 3 Florida State (4-0) will face Tulane (7-2) in the first of four duals. The two teams haven’t met since last year, when Florida State won both of their matchups 5-0. The Seminoles and Green Wave will begin the day at 8:30 a.m.
Georgia State will then play back-to-back duals. At approximately 10:30, the Panthers will kickoff their weekend campaign against Louisiana-Monroe (4-3). This will be the first meeting between the two teams who will become conference foes. Following the conclusion of that match, the Panthers will turn around and face Florida State around 12:30 p.m..
The last dual of Saturday will start at approximately at 2:30 p.m. and will feature Tulane and Louisiana-Monroe. When the two teams met up on March 15, Louisiana Monroe won 3-2.
After the duals are complete, four "Gold Bracket" matches will take place. At 4:30 p.m., games one and two of the Gold Bracket will start, followed by games three and four of the Gold Bracket at 5:30 p.m. The Gold Brackets consists of No. 1 and No. 2 pairs from each of the four schools.
Sunday’s play will be only bracket games, alternating between the Gold and Silver Brackets. The Gold Bracket will be seeded with No. 1 and 2 flights from the day before and be double elimination, while the Silver Bracket will have flight three, four and five pairs and be single elimination. Matches are scheduled to start at 8 a.m., with the championship finals starting at approximately 3:30 p.m.
The match will take place at the new GSU Sand Volleyball Complex, which is located on the southwest side of the Sports Arena, adjacent to Piedmont Avenue and half a block from the State Capitol. Admission is FREE. Fans can use MARTA and exit the Georgia State stop on the East-West line that is directly across the street from the courts. Fans can drive and utilize the FREE parking in the G Deck beside the Sports Arena off Collins Street. The Sports Arena is at 125 Decatur Street.