Georgia Southern, Georgia State, Louisiana, Troy advance on day 1 at Sun Belt Volleyball Tournament

Published 8:34 am Friday, November 19, 2021

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Georgia Southern, Georgia State, Louisiana and Troy all won their first-round matches at the 2021 Sun Belt Conference Volleyball Tournament on Thursday at the Foley Event Center to advance to Friday’s second round.

Day two of the Sun Belt Volleyball Tournament is slated for a 12 p.m. CT start on Friday at the Foley Event Center. All four matches will be broadcast on ESPN+.

Match 1: (3E) Georgia Southern 3, (6W) ULM 1 (24-26, 25-19, 27-25, 25-12)
Box Score | Photo Gallery

Four Georgia Southern players recorded double-figure kills, led by 14 each from Maddie Bryant and Hannah McGlockton, to direct the Eagles to a 3-1 (24-26, 25-19, 27-25, 25-12) victory against ULM on Thursday.

Georgia Southern (17-10) advances to face UTA, the second seed from the West, at 12 p.m. CT on Friday. The match will be broadcast on ESPN+.

The Eagles out-blocked the Warhawks 12-4 in the match and totaled 11 service aces.

Baylor Bumford registered 13 kills and six blocks, while Robin Rosser added 11 kills and four blocks for Georgia Southern. Madison Brown dished out 52 assists and Ashlyn Lovett charted 20 digs and five service aces.

ULM (5-27), which won the opening set, was led by Logan Jeffus who recorded 11 kills on .556 hitting. The first-set win was the first frame won by a Warhawks’ team in Sun Belt Tournament history.

Match 2: (5E) Georgia State 3, (4W) Arkansas State 1 (25-15, 27-25, 21-25, 25-22)
Box Score | Photo Gallery

Led by 2021 Sun Belt Conference Defensive Player of the Year Meisheia Griffin, Georgia State defeated Arkansas State 3-1 (25-15, 27-25, 21-25, 25-22) on Thursday.

The Panthers (8-19) advance to face 2021 Sun Belt Conference regular-season champion South Alabama at 2:30 p.m. CT on Friday. The match will be broadcast on ESPN+.

Griffin, as she has been all season, was a difference-maker for the Panthers. She had a team-high 14 kills – which tied for the match-high – and charted seven blocks. Teammates Erin Wyatt (13) and Leah Wilcox (12) also reached double-figure kills.

For Georgia State, Claire Lewis and Jenna Brown dished out 26 and 22 assists, respectively, while Ana Vlkovic scooped 23 digs.

Georgia State out-blocked Arkansas State 12-5. Both squads charted four service aces apiece.

Arkansas State (15-14) was led by Macey Putt’s team-high 14 kills. Sun Belt Conference Libero of the Year Tatum Ticknor came up with 18 digs. Ticknor increased her career digs total to 2,077, which ranks sixth all-time in Sun Belt Conference history.

Match 3: (3W) Louisiana 3, (6E) App State 0 (25-15, 25-23, 27-25)
Box Score | Photo Gallery

Louisiana benefited from a balanced attack, led by Kara Barnes’ 11 kills on .600 hitting and three blocks, to notch a 3-0 (25-15, 25-23, 27-25) win against App State on Thursday.

The Ragin’ Cajuns (15-10) advance to face Coastal Carolina, the second seed from the East, at 5 p.m. CT on Friday. The match will be broadcast on ESPN+.

Five Louisiana players totaled six or more kills in the match, including nine each from Kelsey Bennett and Coco Gillett. Three Ragin’ Cajun players charted double-figure digs, led by 13 from Jordan Valley.

Louisiana hit .239 on the match, while App State hit .158. The Mountaineers had six blocks to the Ragin’ Cajuns’ five. Louisiana led in service aces 6-5.

App State (7-22) was led by Mccall Denny with 11 kills and five digs. Emma Reilly totaled a match-high 18 digs. That increases her career total to 2,153 digs, which ties for fourth-most in Sun Belt Conference history.

Match 4: (4E) Troy 3, (5W) Little Rock 1 (19-25, 27-25, 25-9, 25-23)
Box Score | Photo Gallery

Cheyenne Hayes recorded 15 kills and Tori Hester added 13 as Troy won a hard-fought 3-1 (19-25, 27-25, 25-9, 25-23) battle with Little Rock on Thursday.

Troy (17-11) advances to face Texas State, the No. 1 seed in the West, at 7:30 p.m. CT on Friday. The match will be broadcast on ESPN+.

Hester charted a double-double with 10 digs to complement her 13 kills. Amara Anderson recorded her ninth double-double of the season with a match-high 35 assists and 14 digs.

Troy turned in a season-high 15 blocks in a match that featured 29 total team blocks. Defense took center stage in the match as Troy hit .191 and limited Little Rock to just .049 hitting for the match.

Little Rock (14-15) was led by Nicole Medlin’s 10 kills and Leigh Maher’s 26 digs.

2021 Sun Belt Volleyball Tournament (Foley, Ala.)

Thursday, November 18, 2021
Match 1 – (3E) Georgia Southern 3, (6W) ULM 1
Match 2 – (5E) Georgia State 3, (4W) Arkansas State 1
Match 3 – (3W) Louisiana 3, (6E) App State 0
Match 4 – (4E) Troy 3, (5W) Little Rock 1

Friday, November 19, 2021
Match 5 – (2W) UTA vs. (3E) Georgia Southern – 12 p.m. CT
Match 6 – (1E) South Alabama vs. (5E) Georgia State – 2:30 p.m. CT
Match 7 – (2E) Coastal Carolina vs. (3W) Louisiana – 5 p.m. CT
Match 8 – (1W) Texas State vs. (4E) Troy – 7:30 p.m. CT

Saturday, November 20, 2021
Match 9 – Winner Match 5 vs. Winner Match 6 – 4 p.m. CT
Match 10 – Winner Match 7 vs. Winner Match 8 – 6:30 p.m. CT

Sunday, November 21, 2021 (Championship)
Match 11 – Winner Match 9 vs. Winner Match 10 – 1 p.m. CT

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