What you need to know:
*Georgia State defeated Mississippi State 3-1 in Starkville after falling by the same score to California Baptist earlier in the day.
*Up next for the 2-1 Panthers is a trip to Chicago for the Rambler Challenge next weekend.
STARKVILLE- Georgia State volleyball bounced back to defeat Mississippi State 3-1 after falling earlier in the day to California Baptist on Saturday afternoon. The Panthers are now 2-1 on the season after beating Mississippi Valley State Friday night.
The Panthers played Cal Baptist extremely close in the days opening match, but were eventually downed 3-1 by the Lancers.
Despite recording a .327 hitting percentage and 20 kills, the Panthers dropped the opening set of the day 35-33. The Lancers put up five aces in the marathon first set.
GSU led for the majority of the second set, earning a 24-21 lead. Cal Baptist would rally back to tie the score at 24, but a service error by the Lancers and a block by Cierra Sillmon gave Georgia State the 26-24 win and tie up the match.
The Panthers got out to a quick 2-1 lead in the third, but a 13-2 run by the Lancers gave Cal Baptist a 14-4 lead and they would not look back. CBU would take the set 25-10 as the Panthers mustered only six kills in the frame.
GSU got out to a hot start in the fourth set behind a 6-0 for a 7-1 lead. Cal Baptist would rally to tie the score at nine. The teams would go back and forth leading to a 23-23 stalemate. CBU would take the next two points and the match.
Sydney Stroud recorded the first double-double of the 2018 season, notching 12 kills and 17 digs in the match. Morgan Hash added 15 kills with a .295 hitting percentage, while Carley Eiken dished out 32 assists in three sets of play. Freshman Lauren Bandera had 21 digs in the losing effort.
In the first set of the night cap GSU was down early, but a 6-0 run gave the Panthers a 12-7 lead. The Panthers would not look back taking the opening frame 25-21 powered by six kills from Stroud and 14 assists from Sarah Renner.
The Panthers took control early in the second frame with a 6-0 swing that made the score 14-6. The team would not look back cruising to a 25-14 win. GSU’s defense was a big part of the dominating set two performance, holding Mississippi State to a -.061 hitting percentage.
In the third it was Mississippi State that used a pair of 4-0 runs to distance themselves from GSU. After trailing 13-18, Georgia State would battle back to cut the lead to one before the Bulldogs shut the door for a 25-22 win.
Crystal Lee would start the fourth set off with an ace, setting the tone for the rest of the frame. A 5-0 swing gave GSU a 9-5 lead, and the Panthers would not look back. Georgia State cruised to a 25-15 win to clinch the match, capped off my an ace from Renner.
In the match GSU saw three players earn double-doubles. Stroud notched her second twofer of the day with 18 kills and 11 digs, Renner posted 17 digs to go along with 44 assists, and Lee was solid all around with 12 kills and 13 digs.
Griffin had 14 blocks on the weekend while Stroud and Hash finished with 35 and 36 kills respectively.
“Over the weekend we got better every single match” said coach Polhamus. “We were able to find our strengths and this afternoon one of those strengths was at the service line.” The Panthers had eight aces to Mississippi State’s two.
Next up for GSU is a trip to Chicago for the Rambler Challenge. The Panthers will face off against Marshall, Furman, and Loyola next weekend.
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