What you need to know:
*Georgia State volleyball hosts Appalachian State and Coastal Carolina this weekend.
*The Panthers split five set matches against App State and Coastal earlier in the season.
*Three of GSU’s four remaining regular season matches are at home.
ATLANTA- After two straight weekends on the road, Georgia State volleyball returns to the GSU Sports arena this weekend to face a pair of familiar foes. The Panthers will host Coastal Carolina on Friday night before battling Appalachian State on Saturday. Both matches have a 6:00 p.m. start time.
If early season matchups against the Chanticleers and Mountaineers are any indication, GSU could be in for a pair of classic matches this weekend. The Panthers played the Sun Belt’s two Carolina schools in the first weekend in October and both matches went the full five sets. Georgia State split the two matches, outlasting App State in an epic fifth set (22-20) to pull out a victory in Boone, but two days later falling just short in a five set effort to Coastal Carolina.
“It is challenge to be playing tough teams for the second time, but this time we have the opportunity to get them at home”, said Panther coach Sally Polhamus. “These will be tight matches. We have had so many five-set matches and we are just focusing on how to convert big points at the end of matches.”
Sophomore libero, Celeste Friesen shined in the Panthers’ October matchups against App State and Coastal Carolina. Friesen’s 36 digs against Coastal Carolina are a single game Sun Belt high, just surpassing the 35-dig performance she displayed the same weekend against Appalachian State. The 71 digs and 7.10 dig per set average were good enough to win Friesen her second Sun Belt Defensive Player of the Week honor.
Celeste was not the only Panther to put up big numbers against GSU’s rivals from the Carolinas. Sarah Renner notched 66 assists and 25 digs in the two matches, highlighted by a 39 assist 20-dig performance against App State. Crystal Lee racked up 25 kills and 26 digs in the two matches, and Sydney Stroud added 19 kills of her own.
Georgia State will look to defend home court in the homestretch of the season. The Panthers are currently 3-4 at the GSU Sports Arena, but they have the chance to finish strong with three of their four remaining matches at home.
“We have a big opportunity in front of us playing three of our last four matches at home”, said Polhamus. “We control our own destiny and are going to try to protect our home court.”
Live stats and video will be available for both matches this weekend.
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