ATLANTA- Georgia State fell just short to Brown 3-2 (25-19, 15-25, 23-25, 25-21, 15-9) in Sunday’s five-setter at GSU Sports Arena. Career performances from Leah Wilcox and Sydney Stroud could not close the match for the Panthers. The loss dropped GSU to 4-7 on the season.
Junior Wilcox posted a career high 18 kills in the effort. While Stroud bolstered the defense with a career high seven blocks.
The Panthers fell behind early in the match as Brown took the first frame 25-19 despite three late kills by Wilcox. In the second Georgia State would jump to a quick lead. The Santa Fe College transfers, Jordan Shoemaker and Wilcox, would set the pace of the GSU offense. Shoemaker would connect with Wilcox for four kills in the frame. The defense would hold the Bears to a .067 hitting percentage and a block from Meisheia Griffin would secure the 25-15 victory.
The Panthers would lead 17-12 in the third, but the Bears would rally to tie the match 22-22, and again 23-23. A kill by Stroud would give GSU the serve and ultimately the set 25-23.
GSU would drop the fourth set 25-21. Kampbell Hehr would dish out 8 assists and Shoemaker would tack on four, but the Panthers would hit .108 as a team compared to Brown’s .289 in the frame.
The Panthers battled until the end, but Brown would pull away with the 15-9 fifth set win.
The Panthers had a balanced offense with Sydney Stroud (10), Džemila Hadžić (14), and Leah Wilcox (18) all with double-digit kills. Hehr and Shoemaker recorded 25 and 27 assists respectively in the split effort.
Next up Georgia State will kick off the Sun Belt Conference slate on the road. Georgia State will face Appalachian State at 6:30 p.m. on Friday. The Panthers will continue their road trip and will battle Coastal Carolina on Sunday at 1:00 p.m.