Volleyball defeats Georgia Southern to earn first home victory

After three consecutive home match losses,Georgia State volleyball notched its first home victory with a 3-1 win over Sun Belt rival Georgia Southern on Wednesday at the Sports Arena.

The victory brings the Panthers to 4-12 on the season and 2-5 in conference play.

“I’m so proud of our players and how hard they fought,” head coach Sally Polhamus said. “They were just relentless on all sides of the ball. I really enjoyed this home crowd. What a great match overall from a tough Georgia Southern team.”

Set 1

After trading the first pair of points, Georgia Southern scored three consecutive points to go ahead by a score of 5-2.

Eventually, Georgia State evened up the score and would go ahead by three at 12-9. During this set, Deidra Bohannon and Kitan Ajanaku each had a pair of kills, prompting a timeout from the Eagles.

The Panther advantage extended to five before Georgia Southern closed the gap to within one point at 14-13. A 3-0 run including an ace from Sydney Mauer made the score 17-13, leading to another Eagles timeout.

Georgia Southern answered with a 3-0 run of their own before the Panthers answered with eight of the set’s final ten points to win the set 25-18.

Bohannon led Georgia State with four kills while three other Panthers had three kills apiece. Kym Coley had three kills for Georgia Southern.

Set 2

In the second frame, the Panthers would be the team to go ahead 5-2 early. Just as the Panthers did in the first set, the Eagles tied it up and would take the lead.

With Georgia Southern ahead 9-7, Coach Polhamus called a timeout.

Attack errors from the Eagles led to Georgia State regaining the lead at 12-10 before it was tied up again at 12.

Georgia Southern called another timeout after falling behind to the Panthers 15-12.

Georgia State’s lead evaporated and became a two point advantage for the Eagles, 21-19.

Georgia Southern would force match point going ahead 24-20. The Panthers would rally to close the gap to one at 24-23, including an ace from Natalia Nieto. The comeback came up short with a Nieto service error as the Eagles won the second set 25-23.

Set 3

The Panthers began the third period strong as Zachary led her team to an early 5-2 lead with the first two Georgia Southern points coming from Georgia State service errors.

That lead ballooned to 8-2, prompting an Eagles’ timeout. Georgia Southern would have to take another timeout as the Panthers’ lead became 12-4.

The Eagles were able to trim the Georgia State lead down to three at 14-11, before the lead expanded back to seven at 18-11. Georgia Southern again cut their deficit down to five, but a Bohannon kill and an attack error by DeRatt clinched the third set for the Panthers, 25-18.

Set 4

The fourth frame began with both teams trading points in the early going. Both teams were tied at six points apiece. The Panthers then took a 10-6 lead as four consecutive Georgia State points led to an Eagles timeout.

Later in the set, another Eagles timeout was taken as the Georgia State lead became 16-10. Three of the ensuing points would go to Georgia Southern as the score became 17-13 as the Panthers called a timeout. The Panthers would score eight of the match’s final eleven points to win the set 25-16.

In a winning effort for the Panthers, Bohannon finished with 22 kills. Zachary had 14, and Kitan Ajanaku ended up with ten. On the Eagles’ side, DeRatt had 12 and Coley finished with ten.

“This was a really big win for us, especially since it came against our arch rival in Georgia Southern,” Nieto said. “We played as a team tonight and didn’t just rely on one player. I think this is the type of win that will give us that step forward to go forward as we continue play in our conference.”

The Panthers will take to the court again as they travel to play Arkansas State Oct. 10.