From the beginning of the fall semester, students can enjoy Georgia State volleyball. Led by seniors Kristina Stinson and Eliza Zachary, the team looks to bounce back from a 7-19 2015 season. The team will also be returning key players Shae Chapman, Sarah Renner, Crystal Lee and Sydney Mauer.
Renner was named the Sun Belt Freshman of the Week on Nov. 16. Zachary earned honors at the season’s first tournament, shortly before having her season end to injury. Stinson was named the MVP of the High Point Tournament, Sun Belt Offensive Player of the Week and GSU Offensive Student-Athlete of the Week.
High school standouts Morgan Hash, Madelyn Ott, Sydney Strout and All-American Celeste Fitzgerald are the freshmen on the team while sophomore Jocelyn Mahayag is the squad’s newest transfer.
In addition to injuries, late match collapses contributed to the team’s’ struggles last season.The Panthers had five more matches where they won the first set in comparison to overall season victories. In matches that went the maximum five sets, Georgia State had a 1-7 record.
The atmosphere at the volleyball games is an intense one. After every point, each team shows a great deal of emotion and the crowds at Georgia State matches are usually filled with Panther athletes from other sports screaming and heckling the visiting schools.
Football senior tight end Keith Rucker, Jr. and Dan Wilson are two fans whose voices stand out among the volleyball crowds. During the matches breaks, the arena DJ plays some of the most popular songs on the day of the match, allowing spectators to show off some of their best moves. Some home games will feature members of the 2016 Cheersport National Champion Panther Spirit Squad.
Home matches for the volleyball team are played in the GSU Sports Arena.