What you need to know:
- Panthers opened the 2019 season with a 2-1 run at the GSU Invitational.
- Faith Collector and Džemila Hadžić both recorded career high kills in today's games.
- The Panthers will travel to Kentucky next weekend to continue non-conference play.
ATLANTA- The Georgia State volleyball team swept Saturday play in front of a home crowd at the GSU Invitational. The first win came against Lamar (19-25, 25-19, 25-23, 18,25, 15-7) before defeating Fordham in the nightcap (25-18, 17-25, 25-20,25-17). The Panthers finished the weekend with a 2-1 record.
The marathon match between Georgia State and Lamar lasted for over three hours. The Panthers could not stop the Cardinals offense in the opening frame. Lamar continued to find gaps in the Panthers’ block coverage and accumulated 16 kills en route to taking the first set 19-25.
In the second set the Panthers tightened their blocking and nothing could get passed Meisheia Griffin, who notched eight blocks in the win. In conjunction with the improved defense at the net, Georgia State capitalized on several Lamar ball handling and serving errors. The Panthers took the frame 25-19.
Both teams fought for every point in the third set. The teams would go back and forth leading to a 23-23 stalemate. A crucial kill from Isabelle Percoco swung the momentum in the Panthers’ favor and Georgia State took the set 25-23.
In the fourth the Cardinals jumped to a quick lead. Despite Faith Collector’sfour kills in the set, the Panthers could not overcome the clean and tightened play of the Cardinals. Georgia State dropped the fourth 18-25, which forced the tiebreaker.
An early kill by Griffin set the tone for the deciding set. Georgia State’s young front went on a 7-1 run to pull away from Lamar. Another kill from Collector finished the long match. She notched a career high seven kills in the victory.
In the night match against Fordham, the Panthers took a quick 6-1 lead. The Rams matched the Panthers at 11-11, but a Cierra Sillmon kill down the line gave Georgia State momentum to take the set 25-18. The Panthers closed the first frame victory with 17 kills.
The second frame was tight in the beginning and contained eight ties. With the set knotted at 17, the Rams went on an 8-0 run to edge out the Panthers 17-25.
GSU got out to a hot start in the third with a 9-3 lead. A pair of Panther attack errors closed the gap, but the Rams could not overcome the beginning deficit. Julianna Truscott found a hole deep in Fordham territory to secure the GSU third set victory.
The fourth mirrored the previous frame with a 4-0 GSU lead to start. In the middle of the set Fordham once again closed the gap, but Džemila Hadžić finished the match with two consecutive kills en route to her career high 19 kill game.
"I am so proud of how our girls fought every point today," stated head coach Sally Polhamus "Our goal going into today was to improve with each play. That is what we did all day."
Next week, Georgia State will travel to Kentucky to continue non-conference play. The Panthers will battle Providence, Morehead State, and Presbyterian on their two day road trip.
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