ATLANTA – The University of South Alabama volleyball team defeated Georgia State in four sets (25-18, 25-21, 19-25, 25-14) Friday in a Sun Belt Conference East Division match at GSU Sports Complex.
Hannah Maddux and Niki Capizzi led the Jaguar attack with 14 kills apiece, while Carissa Bradford added 11 kills as part of setter Kailey Keeble’s game-high 50 assists.
South Alabama (21-6, 14-1 SBC) extended its win streak to nine games with the win, and clinched at least a share of the Sun Belt Conference regular-season championship. The Jaguars can win the championship outright with a win in Saturday’s regular-season finale at Georgia Southern.
– A kill by Keeble gave the Jaguars a 7-6 lead, but Georgia State answered with a 4-0 scoring run to take a 10-7 lead. USA then responded with a 6-0 run, highlighted by two kills each by Maddux and Bradford, and a block-assist by Bradford and Kennedy Wallace, to take a 13-10 lead.
– GSU took a 15-14 lead with a 4-0 run, and took a 16-15 lead after a kill by Meisheia Griffin. The Jags then went on a 3-0 run that featured a kill by Maddux and service ace by Paige Lynn for an 18-16 advantage.
– South Alabama took a 21-17 lead with a 3-0 run that included a kill by Capizzi.
– The Jaguars earned set point at 24-18 on a service ace by Juanita Monteiro-Pai, and clinched the set 25-18 on a kill by Bradford.
– USA faced a two-point deficit before a kill by Capizzi and service ace from Lynn tied the score 10-10.
– The Jags took a 13-11 lead with a 3-0 run that featured a pair of kills and one solo block by Capizzi.
– Georgia State used a 3-0 run to take a 16-14 lead, but the Jaguars later tied the score 17-17 on kills from Maddux and Maddie Soboleski.
– The Panthers held an 18-17 lead before South Alabama went on a 5-0 run, highlighted by two kills from Maddux and solo block by Capizzi, to take a 22-18 lead.
– The Jags earned set point at 24-21 on a block-assist by Keeble and Capizzi, and clinched the set 25-21 on a Panther attack error.
– South Alabama jumped out to a 3-0 lead with a run that featured a block-assist by Wallace and Maddux, and service ace by Madisen Werdell.
– A kill by Bradford doubled the USA lead at 8-4, but the Panthers went on a 3-0 run to cut the Jaguar lead to 8-7.
– GSU held a 13-11 lead before a 4-0 Jag run that included two kills by Maddux pushed the USA advantage to 15-13.
– South Alabama tied the score 19-19 on a kill by Wallace, but the Panthers then went a 6-0 run to clinch the set 25-19.
– A 4-0 Jaguar run that featured a block-assist by Capizzi and Bradford and a kill by Capizzi gave South Alabama a 6-2 lead.
– USA went on a 6-1 run, highlighted by a service ace by Werdell, to take a 13-6 lead, and doubled its lead 14-7 on a kill by Wallace.
– Consecutive kills by Capizzi pushed the South Alabama advantage to 18-9.
– The Jags went on a 4-0 run to earn match point at 24-12 on a service ace by Keeble, and clinched the set 25-14 on a kill by Maddux for a 3-1 win.
– Capizzi finished with 14 kills, .480 hitting percentage, four digs, six total blocks and a game-high 18 points.
– The Jaguars extended their win streak to nine games with the victory, marking the most consecutive wins since the 2017 team won nine straight matches.
– Four Jags recorded double-digit totals in digs: Rachel Hickey (19), Werdell (15), Soboleski (13) and Lynn (12).
– South Alabama earned its 21st win of the season, which are the most wins by a Jaguar team since the 1989 squad won 23 matches.
– The Jaguars finished with 76 digs in four sets for an average of 19 digs per set.
Head Coach Jesse Ortiz
– On the win:
“I thought we stayed pretty steady throughout the match. They (Georgia State) were definitely physical and formidable. We served and received well, and I thought that was pretty much the difference. They tried to work to really make our lefts work, but having a team that is well-balanced we were able to establish more offense on the other pin and they weren’t able to stop it and you see that in (Niki) Capizzi’s and (Hannah) Maddux’s offensive production. Kudos to Georgia State; they fought and played extremely hard, but it was our night tonight.”
– On where the team stands entering Saturday’s regular-season finale:
“They’re pretty confident right now. What we really have our eyes on is doing the very best we can in the Sun Belt Conference Tournament. We’re looking to win all the games we play, that’s number one. Georgia Southern is a pretty feisty team, so we’ll see how that goes down. But we’re just keeping our eye on one match at a time, so tomorrow we’ll try to do the very best we can. We’re not necessarily trying to chase records. It would be great if we get it (SBC overall regular-season champion), but we just really want to push toward after this regular season.”
South Alabama will return to action Sat., Nov. 13, when it faces Georgia Southern at 5 p.m. (CT) in Statesboro, Ga., in the regular-season finale.
For more information about South Alabama athletics, check back with USAJaguars.com, and follow the Jaguars at Twitter.com/WeAreSouth_JAGS. Season tickets for all Jaguar athletic events can be purchased by calling (251) 461-1USA (1872).
Join the Rally Score Club, the volleyball specific support club of the Jaguar Athletic Fund. All donations to the Rally Score Club go directly to support the South Alabama volleyball program. For more information on how you can join visit: jaguarathleticfund.com/rallyscoreclub.