The Georgia State women’s volleyball is looking to rebound this season after a disappointing season last year. They lost a few seniors, but returned most of their roster. Coach Sally Polhamus has another year under her belt now at Georgia State.
The Panthers started off the season with an exhibition game against Mercer, in which they won in five sets, (25-23, 25-22, 22-25, 25-20, 15-11).
The match was back and forth for the entire time, even forcing a tiebreak after the fourth set with the match being tied 2-2. Since it was an exhibition, the fifth set wasn’t required, but both teams decided to play anyway, and the Panthers came out on top. Sydney Stroud, Anna Rantala, Carley Eiken, and Morgan Hash all performed well in the match. All 17 members on the team were able to play in this match.
The real season got underway on Aug. 25 against Big Ten member Rutgers at the ECU invitational. The Panthers beat the Scarlet Knights three sets to one. Eiken got the Panthers rolling to start the first set. The Panthers scored 10 straight points to start the match and Eiken served nine of those first 10. The Panthers went on to dominate the rest of that set and win it by a score of 25-8.
Crystal Lee got the Panthers going in the second set scoring six straight points to start. The Panthers went on to win the next set 25-15, but dropped the next set as the Rutgers would rebound to win 26-24. The Panthers scratched and clawed their way to victory in the final set 25-23, led by Lee with 16 kills and 10 digs. Eiken had 40 assists and Morgan Hash had 16 kills.
The Panthers continued action the next day in a double header against East Carolina University and William and Mary.
First up for the Panthers was East Carolina. The Panthers dropped that match in straight sets, (19-25, 17-25, 25-27). Celeste Friesen and Jha’Meisheia Griffin were the top performers in the match.
In the second match of the day against William & Mary, the Panthers dropped the first two sets, (16-25, 22-25). Georgia State battled back to win the third set before ultimately losing the match in the fourth set. Sydney Stroud led the team in kills with 11.
The Panthers started the Blazer Invitational with a match against UAB, in which they lost three sets to one. They were able to win the first set 29-27 after a few tiebreaks, but weren’t too fortunate the rest of the match, losing three straight sets (22-25,22-25,16-25). Stroud had 13 kills and 5 digs for the Panthers. Lee had 9 kills and 14 digs herself.
The Panthers are now 1-3 on the season as they finish out the UAB Invitational before a matchup with Kennesaw State University.
Despite the slow start, the Panthers still have time to rebound and have a very successful season.