ATLANTA- The Georgia State Panthers defeated Northwestern State 3-1 in a close match Friday evening. 

The Panthers held the Lady Demons to a .097 hitting percentage. Dzemila Hadzic, Meisheia Griffin, and Sydney Stroud all recorded hitting percentages over .300 with Hadzic and Stroud finishing with double-digit kills.  Jordan Shoemaker and Kampbell Hehr split the setting responsibilities. Shoemaker dished out 21 assists, while Hehr sent 22.

Northwestern State jumped to a quick 16-8 lead in the opening frame. Despite holding the Lady Demons to 0.087 hitting, the Panthers could not close the gap and dropped the set 25-22. 

The second set was a back and forth affair. With the match knotted at 18 each, GSU spread the Northwestern State defense by utilizing four different productive hitters. Georgia State recorded a .222 hitting percentage en route to the 25-21 victory. 

The Panthers kept their offensive rhythm in the third. Dzemila Hadzic compiled seven kills, which helped separate GSU in the tight frame. Hadzic secured the frame with an ace deep in Northwestern territory. 

In the final frame Georgia State jumped to a 16-10 lead. Northwestern State continued to fight and tied the game 20-20. The match would remain tight, but big blocks from Leah Wilcox would keep the Panthers in the lead. GSU took the set 25-23 with a final kill by Meisheia Griffin 

On Sunday the Panthers will return to the GSU Sports Arena to finish non-conference play. GSU will face Brown at noon. Admission is free. Fans can park in the G Deck adjacent to the Arena.