What you need to know:
*Georgia State defeated UL-Monroe in five sets.
*GSU will continue play tomorrow against Louisiana.
ATLANTA- Georgia State volleyball won a five-set heart stopper over UL-Monroe (25-22, 21-25, 25-23, 14-25, 15-9) Friday night at the GSU Sports Arena. The win improved the Panther’s record to 7-7 on the season and 1-0 in Sun Belt play. GSU has won four of their last five matches.
The Panthers could not have asked for a better start, as Crystal Lee recorded an ace on the first point of the match. Lee’s 27 aces lead the Sun Belt. Georgia State would build a lead that at its largest point reached eight points. Monroe would not go away, cutting the GSU lead to 24-22 late in the first set before the Panthers were able to close the door and take the set 25-22.
The second set saw Monroe race out to a 5-2 lead, but Georgia State would rally to take a 6-5 advantage. The Warhawks would again take control of the set pulling away to 18-13 lead. The Panthers showed great resiliency cutting the lead to 19-18, but ULM would take the set 25-21.
The beginning of the third set was much kinder to GSU who hopped out to a quick 4-1 lead. The Panthers would continue to lead until ULM tied the set at 18. Monroe would take a 22-20 lead, but a 4-0 run following a timeout by GSU would give Georgia State the lead for good. The Panthers would roll to a 25-23 win.
Things did not go Georgia State’s way early in the fourth set as Monroe opened the set with an 8-0 run. The Warhawks would stroll to a 25-14 win, prompting a fifth set.
n the decider GSU jumped out to an early 2-0 lead. Kills by Sydney Stroud and Morgan Hash, along with an ace by Celeste Friesen would extend the lead to 8-2 for Georgia State. The Panthers would cruise to a 15-9 win behind four kills and a .571 hitting percentage by Hash.
“This is a big step for us to protect our home court and to control what we can control,” said Panther coach Sally Polhamus. “We finished playing aggressive tonight, and we came out for that fifth set ready to win.”
Sarah Renner dished out a season high 52 assists and added 12 digs for her first double double on the year. Crystal Lee notched a double double as well with 14 kills and 11 digs. Lee was not Renner’s only target as Sydney Stroud (16) and Morgan Hash (14) both had double digit kills. Celeste Friesen tallied 29 digs, and Katie Creger added seven blocks.
“What makes us a difficult team to defend is that we have so many options”, said Polhamus. “Sarah did a great job running the floor for us, and all of our options were working tonight."
Georgia State will continue conference play tomorrow with a match against Louisiana. The Panthers and the Ragin’ Cajuns will hit the court at 6:00 p.m. at the GSU Sports Arena.
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