What you need to know:
*Georgia State volleyball begins the 2018 regular season Friday against Mississippi Valley State at 5:30 pm.
*The Panthers will also face California Baptist and Mississippi State in the Starkvegas Classic
*GSU’s match against Mississippi State will be broadcast live on SEC Network Plus, Saturday at 5:30 pm.
ATLANTA- After three weeks of preseason camp, the Georgia State volleyball team will head to Starkville, Mississippi this weekend to begin regular season play. The Panthers will open things up Friday afternoon facing Mississippi Valley State before Saturday’s double-header against California Baptist and Starkvegas Classic host, Mississippi State.
The Panthers will take on the Delta Devils at 5:30 Friday evening in the opener. GSU will battle the Lancers at noon on Saturday and wrap up the opening weekend against Mississippi State in the second act of the double-header. The Panthers and Bulldogs can be seen live on SEC Network Plus at 5:30 pm Saturday night.
“We are excited to see our hard work pay off on the court”, said Panther coach Sally Polhamus. “We had a great preseason with a lot of players stepping up in different ways, and we cannot wait to compete against the opposition.”
The three weekend contests will be the first of eleven non-conference tilts for the Panthers to begin the season. The matches will also mark the first time GSU has met Mississippi Valley State and the first match between the Panthers and California Baptist. The Delta Devils are looking to improve on an 8-26 2017 season, while CBU is coming off a 29-1 year at the Division II level.
The Panthers are 2-4 in six tries against Mississippi State with the last meeting coming in September of 2006. The Bulldogs were 10-23 in 2017, with a 5-12 record at home.
“It is exciting for us as a program to begin the season at such a quality tournament”, said Polhamus. “All three teams present different types of challenges, and we will need to be able to adjust from match to match.”
The 2018 Georgia State squad returns six starters and twelve letter winners from the 2017 team. The Panthers will welcome back three players that earned at least 200 kills and three that reached 150 digs during the 2017 campaign.
Coach Polhamus hopes the experience will translate into success on the court. “We have veteran players who understand our systems, and this is the furthest we have been entering a season in terms of preparation. We know the game and now we need to compete and give everything we have on every point.”
GSU vs. Mississippi Valley State- 5:30 pm
GSU vs. California Baptist- 12:00 pm
GSU at Mississippi State- 5:30 pm (Game available on SEC Network Plus)
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