What you need to know:

* Georgia State court volleyball heads into the off-season after a strong 2016 campaign. The Panthers made significant strides from last season and appeared in the Sun Belt Tournament for the second time in three years.

* The Panthers finished 10-18 overall and 6-10 in the conference. GSU’s signature wins included William & Mary, South Alabama and UT Arlington as well as season sweeps of Troy and Appalachian State.

* Seniors Kristina Stinson and Eliza Zachary led the Panthers offensively all season long. Both averaged over two kills per set and combined for 467 kills. Libero Celeste Friesen capped an impressive freshman season with 11 digs against Arkansas State in the SBC Tournament. The Marietta, Ga. native averaged over four digs per set on the year.

ATLANTA – Georgia State volleyball heads into the holidays and off-season with increased confidence after a strong showing in 2016. Head coach Sally Polhamus and the Panthers battled all season long and will look to build on their performances in 2017.

GSU reached double-digit wins and the Sun Belt Tournament for the second time in three seasons. The Panthers boasted a 4-1 record in five set matches, a testament to the team’s toughness and resiliency from start to finish.

The Panthers swept SBC foes Troy and Appalachian State to go along with their conference wins over South Alabama and UT Arlington.

The team managed to finish 20th in the nation in aces per set (1.61). Underclassmen Anna Rantala and Celeste Friesen had stellar seasons serving the volleyball as the two ranked number one and two respectively in the SBC in aces per set.

Seniors Kristina Stinson and Eliza Zachary carried the Panthers' offense in 2016. The outside hitter and middle blocker averaged well over two kills per set and accounted for over 40 percent of the team’s kills.

Sophomores Sarah Renner and Crystal Lee also played well down the stretch for GSU. Renner dished out nearly nine assists per set and Lee ranked third on the team in kills with 187 on the year.

Georgia State featured a very balanced defensive unit throughout the 2016 season. Five players tallied triple-digit dig totals including Friesen, Rantala, Renner, Stinson and Lee. Friesen average over four digs per set while Rantala achieved an average of nearly 2.5 per set.

All five freshmen saw action this season. Outside hitters Morgan Hash and Sydney Stroud will likely carry more of the offensive work load with the departure of seniors Stinson, Zachary and Katelyn Rawls.

The Panthers are expected to return 12 players including three starters next season. Polhamus and the team will welcome two newcomers this fall.

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