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.

 

For more news and notes follow @GeorgiaStateVB on Twitter.