Texas State sweeps Panthers out of Sun Belt tournament

On Thanksgiving night in San Marcos, Texas, seventh seeded Georgia State’s volleyball season came to a close with a straight set loss to the second seeded Texas State Bobcats during the first round of the Sun Belt tournament.

The match also concludes a set of quarterfinal matchups on the first day of the tournament in which higher seeds prevailed over lower seeds.

Top seeded UALR swept eight seeded South Alabama, fourth seeded UT Arlington prevailed over fifth seeded Appalachian State in four sets, and third seeded Arkansas State swept sixth seeded Louisiana Lafayette.

Set One

The first two points went to the Bobcats via kills from Alexandra Simms and Jordan Kohl. Georgia State would obtain their first point courtesy of Deidra Bohannon’s first kill of the match.

The match would tie at two apiece after a Brooke Smith attack error that went out of bounds. Texas State would go back in front by two after an error from Andrea Book and Lauren Kirch’s first kill of the match.

With the Bobcats ahead 5˗3, Kristina Stinson’s first kill and a bad set from Caylin Mahoney tied it at five apiece. The two teams would then knott up at six before a 4˗0 Bobcats run that included two Georgia State miscues gave Texas State a 10˗6 lead. Mahoney placed her first kill and Kirch contributed a service ace in that sequence.

Three of the next four points went to Texas State including kills from Shelby Vas Matt as well as Mahoney with Panther points courtesy of a Vas Matt attack error. A Bohannon kill, a Natalia Nieto service, and a bad set by Smith equaled a 3˗0 Georgia State run to bring the Panthers to within 13˗10.

Texas State responded with a 3˗0 run including kills from Brooke Smith and Alexandra Simms along with a Kitan Ajanaku error to expand their lead to 16˗10, prompting the Panthers’ second timeout of the match. The Bobcats then turned it into an 8˗0 run that included four Georgia State errors as the Texas State lead became 21˗10.

Bohannon’s third kill and an error by Kohl cut the Georgia State deficit to nine at 21˗12 before two Bohannon errors made it 23˗12. Stinson contributed her fourth kill for a 23˗13 score before two Stinson attack errors allowed Texas State to claim the first set, 25˗13.

Set Two

The Panthers played their most competitive set in the middle frame. Four of the second frame’s first six points came courtesy of errors for both teams. Georgia State and Texas State were all knotted at three points apiece in the early going.

With the score tied at four, an error from Sierra Smith and Eliza Zachary’s first kill would give the Panthers an early 6˗4 lead. After a Kirch kill, Bohannon’s fourth kill along with an error by Mahoney opened up a three point lead for Georgia State at 8˗5.

A Mahoney kill and an error by Bohannon closed the Bobcats’ gap to 8˗7 before two Texas State miscues gave the Panthers the two points right back as the Georgia State lead became 10˗7.

Kills from Kirch and Simms made it 10˗9 before Ajanaku’s first kill made the tally 11˗9.

The Panthers’ lead would be maintained at 13˗11 before a 6˗2 Bobcats run that included three Panther errors along with kills from Brooke Smith, Kohl, and Mahoney, giving Texas State a 17˗15 lead. Zachary and Bohannon scores led to the two Georgia State points.

Off the timeout, an error from Kirch was followed up by Ajanaku’s third kill of the match to bring the two teams all even at 17 apiece.

The two teams would trade the ensuing pair of points prior to a 4˗0 run by Texas State to pull away by four at 23˗19. The four˗play sequence included kills by Smith and Kohl along with two service aces from Simms. Her next serve would go into the net for the Panthers’ 20th point of the match.

An attack error from Brooke Smith would close the gap to two at 23˗21 before a Mauer error and an ace from Sierra Smith would seal the second set for the Bobcats, 25˗21 entering the intermission period.

Instrumental in Texas State’s early lead was their .197 hitting percentage to a ˗.053 for the Panthers. Defensively, the Bobcats put in eight blocks to none for Georgia State. Stinson led the Panthers at this point with eight kills. Mahoney had five kills along with a .444 hitting percentage to lead Texas State.

Set Three

The Bobcats began with three straight points before Ajanaku put in her fourth kill for a 3˗1 score early. Two kills from Vas Matt produced a 5˗1 Texas State lead and a Georgia State timeout.

A bad set by Stinson followed by kills from Kirch and Kohl opened up a 8˗1 Bobcats advantage. The Panthers’ second point of the match would come off a service error by Sierra Smith before Kirch’s fifth and an attack error by Stinson gave Texas State a 10˗2 lead.

After Stinson’s ninth kill of the match, Vas Matt’s seventh kill along with Mahoney’s sixth plus an ace from Vas Matt extended the lead for the Bobcats to 13˗3, leading to a Georgia State timeout.

Vas Matt then committed a service error to make the score 13˗4 before two Georgia State errors plus Smith’s fourth kill made the score 16˗4. The next five points went to the Panthers as three Bobcats errors, a service ace from Nieto and a kill from Brianna Jones made the score 16˗9.

Smith then placed her fifth kill, which was followed up by an attack error by Ajanaku to make the score 18˗9. A pair of Bobcats miscues brought Georgia State within seven at 18˗11, prompting a Texas State timeout. Simms’ fifth kill, an Ajanaku error, Kohl’s sixth, and Simms’ sixth led to a 22˗11 Bobcats advantage.

The next two points would belong to Georgia State after Andrea’ Ezell’s first kill and an error by Kohl made the set 22˗13. A Zachary error and Kohl’s seventh kill forced match point at 24˗13.

Texas State closed the gap to 24˗16, but Kohl’s eighth kill would complete the Bobcats’ 25˗16 victory to end the Panthers season with a sweep.

The 2014 season for first year head coach Sally Polhamus and her team ends with a record of 10˗20 along with an 8˗12 mark in Sun Belt play.


Final Stats
Georgia State Texas State
Stinson: 9 kills Bohannon:5kills
Kohl: 8 kills Mahoney: 6 kills, .500 hitting, 25 assists