(Photo Courtesy: Arkansas State)
ATLANTA, Ga. (A-State) - The Arkansas State volleyball team defeated the Georgia State Panthers by a score of 3-1 (22-25, 25-23, 25-14, 25-16) at the GSU Sports Arena in Atlanta, Ga. Saturday night.
Leading 2-1 in the match, A-State (12-19, 7-9 SBC) came out in the fourth set looking like a team wanting to break a six-game losing streak by jumping out to a 6-1 lead, capped by a Jackie Gerig service ace. Georgia State (9-20, 4-11 SBC) got within four points at 9-5, but wouldn't get any closer the rest of the set. The Red Wolves went ahead by as many as seven points at 18-11 after a Kendal Davis kill, but the Panthers got within five points at 20-15 before Arkansas State closed the set out on a 5-1 run, capped by a Kesley Sullivan kill to take a 25-16 game four victory and 3-1 match victory.
"Our freshmen stepped up huge tonight," A-State volleyball coach David Rehr said. "Shelby Holmes, Kelsey Reis, and Kendal Davis all had a great match for us and we needed someone to step up. It feels great to break that losing streak."
Davis led the Red Wolves with 18 kills during the match, while Sullivan (12) and Shelby Holmes (10) also registered double-digit kills. Mallory Warrington led the Red Wolves with 46 assists and also recorded her fifth double-double of the season by adding 10 digs. Kelsey Reis, Gerig, and Davis led the way with two service aces each. Defensively, Megan Baska recorded 28 digs, while Sullivan led the way with seven blocks.
Georgia State jumped out to an early 9-6 lead in the first set before A-State rallied to take an 11-10 lead after a Panther attacking error. The set went back and forth until a GSU 3-0 run with the score 16-16 gave the Panthers a 19-16 lead. The Red Wolves didn't get any closer than two points the rest of the set and GSU won by a score of 25-22 to take a 1-0 lead.
A-State started the second set off much better by earning an 11-8 lead after a Davis and Sullivan block, but GSU came back to tie the set at 16-16, but a 3-0 Arkansas State run gave the Red Wolves a 19-16 lead and forced a Georgia State timeout. A-State stretched its lead out to 23-19, but a 4-0 run by the Panthers tied the set at 23-23. The Red Wolves responded with two consecutive points on kills from Sullivan and Holmes to clinch the second set victory by a score of 25-23 and tie the match 1-1.
The Red Wolves and Panthers began the third set even at 4-4 before a 7-1 run, capped by a Shelby Crncic service ace, gave A-State an 11-5 lead. The Panthers wouldn't get any closer than five points the rest of the way and A-State stretched its lead to double-digits at 21-11 after a Sullivan kill. GSU got within nine points at 23-14, but Davis recorded consecutive kills to give the Red Wolves a 25-14 victory in game three and a 2-1 lead in the match.
The Red Wolves return to action against ULM Nov. 15 in Monroe, La. First serve is set for 6 p.m.