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Georgia State volleyball defeats Northwestern State in four sets

The Lady Panthers broke their five-game losing streak in Friday’s matchup against the Northwestern State Lady Demons. Junior Džemila Hadžić had a great night, as she recorded 18 kills. Senior Sydney Stroud added 14 kills of her own to help the team improve its record to 4-6 on the season. 

“Sydney has done a fantastic job all season when she was cleared to play,” head coach Sally Polhamus said. “Džemila is just coming off an injury, so this is her first weekend jumping in two weeks. She did a fantastic job of finding her kills and being a smart IQ player.”

The Panthers were without freshman Isabelle Percoco. Percoco will miss the remainder of the season due to an injury. 

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“She is an impact player for us, but we always look at the best of every situation,” Polhamus said. “Now we get her for another year, and so, she will redshirt this year. We are excited to have her another year to train her.” 

In the first set, the Panthers got off to a slow start. After the first timeout, the Panthers hit a switch, which turned the set into a very close and competitive battle. The team would ultimately fall, though.

Both teams fought hard in the second set. The Panthers were able to get over the edge thanks to Meisheia Griffin’s block and Džemila Hadžić’s kill late in the set. Stroud and Hadžić combined for nine kills in set number two. 

The battle continued in the third set. Hadžić’s back-to-back service aces in the last two plays helped the Panthers notch the set victory. On the night, Hadžić was the Panthers’ go-to for a score. She had sevens kill alone in the third set. 

In the fourth set, the Panthers began to take full control. The Demons fought hard and did make a comeback, but never found a lead. The Panthers went on to take the set and claim the match victory. 

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Head Coach Sally Polhamus said she saw improvements from her team. 

“We had a new line-up out there. In set one, it took us a little while to get into it, but then we got more comfortable that really showed in sets two, three, and four. Northwestern State had a really nice player, [Hannnah Brister], so we really tried to contain her. They also had a really nice back-row attack.”

The Panthers’ next matchup is Brown University’s Lady Bears. The Bears are currently 7-1 this season and currently boast a six-game winning streak. 

“They have a very nice attack. They don’t make a lot of errors. One thing we have to continue to work on is limiting our errors. We give too many points on our errors. They play very clean volleyball and they do not make a lot of those errors. For us, we have to find our kills early and eliminate our errors,” Polhamus said.