BIRMINGHAM- Georgia State volleyball dropped a pair of matches in the UAB Blazer Invitational. The Panthers fell to Alabama 3-0 and UAB 3-1. 

GSU fell in the first half of the doubleheader to Alabama 3-0 (25-22, 25-17, 25-15). In the first frame the Panthers battled to tie 9-9. A run of Georgia State errors gave the Tide their first steady lead. Alabama continued to extend the gap by working around the Panthers blocking scheme. Two kills by Sydney Stroud late in the first chipped away at the Tide’s lead, but Alabama held on to take the first set 25-22.

The Tide jumped to a 6-0 start in the second. A pair of kills by freshman Julianna Truscott sparked the Georgia State offense. Ultimately, the Panthers could not slow down Alabama’s outside attack. The Tide secured the set 25-17. 

Alabama closed the game with a 25-15 victory in the third. During the match Lauren Bandera led the Panthers defense with 17 digs. Leah Wilcox notched six kills, her best in a Georgia State uniform.

Georgia State fell later in the day, 3-1 to host UAB. The Panthers fought through multiple deficits throughout the first frame. The Blazers held a six point lead over GSU early in the set. A pair of kills from both Sydney Stroud and Morgan Hash helped tie the first 17-17. UAB went on a 4-0 scoring and took the 24-19 lead. With the set on the line, Dzemila Hadzic’s serving game led a GSU 5-0 scoring run to knot the match 24-24.  UAB would then pull away to a 28-26 win. 

Georgia State jumped to a quick lead in the second and never looked back. Truscott led the offensive charge, recording a .625 hitting percentage and five kills. The GSU blocking scheme notched six blocks, which slowed the UAB offense. Georgia State secured a 25-20 second set victory. 

The Blazers found their offensive rhythm in the fourth and took the set 25-14. In the final frame Georgia State jumped to a 9-3 lead, but more aggressive play from UAB’s frontline chipped away at GSU’s early lead. The Blazers closed the set 25-20. 

The Panthers finish this weekend’s action against ETSU tomorrow at 1 p.m. EST. The series against the Buccaneers is knotted 3-3 with GSU taking the last meeting.

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