Release from Georgia State Athletics:
Seventh-seed Georgia State fell in three sets to second-seed Texas State, 25-13, 25-21 and 25-16 on Thursday in the first round of the Sun Belt Conference Championship. Sophomore Kristina Stinson led all players with nine kills.
Georgia State was outhit by Texas State, 0.200 to -0.056, and the Bobcats had 10 team blocks compared to the Panthers’ one. Junior Natalia Nieto recorded her 13 double-double of the season with 19 assists and 10 digs. The Panthers end the season with a 10-20 record overall.
“This was a tough way for our seniors to go out,” head coach Sally Polhamus said. “When you’re competing at the conference tournament, you need to play your best. Give credit to Texas State, they came in on their home floor and took care of business.”
Texas State jumped out to a 4-2 lead in the first set. The Panthers settled in and tied the match at 5-5 with two kills from Stinson. Texas State would respond with a 6-1 run to take an 11-6 lead. After a long rally, Bohannon terminated to bring Georgia State within five points at 13-8. The Panthers would close the gap to three before falling behind 19-10. With the support of the home crowd, Texas State closed out the first set with a 25-13 win. Deidra Bohannon and Stinson combined for all seven of Georgia State’s kills.
Stinson’s sixth kill of the match tied the second set at three. Georgia State built up an 8-5 lead and stayed in front until the Bobcats used a block to take a 14-13 lead. The Panthers tied the set at 19, but the Bobcats pulled away at the end to win 25-21 and take a 2-0 lead in the match. Texas State used four total team blocks in the second frame to keep the Panther attack at bay. Stinson led all players with eight kills after two sets.
Texas State started off Set 3 with a 5-1 run, leading to an early Georgia State timeout. The Bobcats continued to impress and stretched the lead to 8-1 with kills by Lauren Kirch and Shelby Vas Matt. Polhamus called her second timeout of the set with her team down 13-3. The Panthers put a 7-2 run together to pull within seven at 18-11, but that would be as close as GSU would get in Set 3. Texas State closed out the set on a 7-5 run to win 25-16 and complete the sweep.