ATLANTA - The GSU volleyball team kept it close all three sets, but in the end fell to Samford 3-0 Friday night in the opening day feature match of the GSU Invitational. With the loss, the Panthers fell to 1-7 while the Bulldog improved to 3-5.

Senior Jamiee Freeman was one kill shy of a double-double with nine to go along with 11 digs on the night. Junior Emily Averbeck led the Panthers with 16 digs.

Freshman Dede Bohannon led the Panthers and was one kill shy of a personal match-high with 12 on the night. Freeman's nine kills was second-best while Andrea Book and Eliza Zachary each added five.

The freshman duo of Andrea' DeLeon and Natalia Nieto each posted 16 assists.

The Bulldogs edged the scrappy young Panthers with their eight freshman, 25-22, in the first set.

In the second frame Samford committed five straight errors to bring the Panthers within one point at 23-22. However, Samford posted three straight kills to close out the set by an identical 25-22 margin.

In the third set, a kill by Bohannon put GSU up 15-13. The Bulldogs rallied to take the third frame 25-21.

GSU will play two matches Saturday to close out the tournament. The Panthers face Mercer (2-3) at 1 p.m. and South Alabama (4-4) at 7 p.m.

GSU athletics will host a free tailgate party at the GSU Sports Arena beginning at 1 p.m.