What you need to know:

*Georgia State defeated Georgia Southern in five sets Wednesday night to earn Sally Polhamus her 100th win as a head coach

*Middle blockers Katie Creger and Jha’Meisheia Griffin led the way with a combined 25 kills and 15 blocks.

*The Panthers will look to sweep the season series, as they host Georgia Southern Saturday night at the GSU Sports Arena.



STATESBORO- It wasn’t easy, but nothing worth doing is. Georgia State grinded out a five set victory over in state rival Georgia Southern (20-25, 26-24, 25-20, 23-25,15-13) on Wednesday evening. The win kept GSU’s postseason hopes alive, and gave the Panthers another half point in the Rivalry Series standings.

All wins, especially those over a rival are special, but this victory marked a milestone for coach Sally Polhamus. The win was number 100 on the career for Polhamus. Coach Polhamus’ first win came on August 26th 2007 leading Winthrop University to a 3-1 win over ECU.

The first set saw both teams go on multiple runs. Southern wasted no time on Senior Night using a 5-0 run to jump out to a 9-4 lead. Throughout the set the Panthers would go on runs of their own, but the Eagles used a late 4-0 run to seal the set.

In the second set it was GSU that hopped out to an early advantage courtesy of a 5-0 run. Georgia Southern would rally back with a 7-0 run of their own to take the lead. The Panther were facing set point at 24-22 when three errors by the Eagles and an ace by Celeste Friesen would give State a 26-24 win.

The third set saw Georgia Southern jump out to a 5-1 lead, but the Panthers would roar back to take a 7-6 lead. GSU would not trail again in the set, cruising to a 25-20 win. The Panthers led for much of the fourth set, but a late charge from Georgia Southern gave the Eagles the set, and forced a fifth frame.

Set five did not disappoint. After going down 6-1 early in the set GSU battled back to win a thriller that would have six ties and three lead changes.

“I am so proud of the fight our team showed tonight”, said Polhamus. “To be down a set early, and then be down 6-1 in the fifth set and battle back was amazing. We have been in so many tight matches this year and tonight our experience paid off.”

The Panthers’ middle blockers provided a catalyst on both sides of the net. Jha’Meisheia Griffin provided a match high 14 kills hitting a .429 percentage and adding a season high seven blocks. Katie Creger set a new career high with eight blocks in the match, and provided 11 kills on a .357 hitting percentage.

Celeste Friesen (26), Kinkaid Padgett (13), and Crystal Lee (10) all totaled double digit digs. Setters Carley Eiken (27), and Sarah Renner (23) both eclipsed the 20-assist mark.

The Panthers will look to replicate the performance on Saturday night as GSU plays host to Georgia Southern for the final regular season match of the year.


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