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Lulu Ambrose
Lulu Ambrose was one of two Mountaineers with 12 kills.
photo courtesy of Appalachian State Athletics

Appalachian State Volleyball Pulls Out Another Five Set Win Over Georgia State

The App State volleyball team came out on top after a second five-set thriller against Georgia State in Atlanta, Ga. on Friday, defeating the Panthers, 3-2 (25-23, 28-30, 17-25, 25-19, 15-8). App State also defeated Georgia State on Thursday night with a final score of 3-2 (25-16, 26-28, 25-17, 22-25, 15-10).

“What a gutsy weekend from this team,” said head coach Sarah Rumely Noble. “Two five-set wins on the weekend is unbelievable. I couldn’t be prouder. We made some big-time plays in the fifth set and it was a great weekend for us.”

Sophomore Lulu Ambrose led the Mountaineers in kills, totaling a season-high 20 kills, which matches her career high of 20 kills in a single match, set in 2021 against Little Rock. Senior McCall Denny and freshman Maya Winterhoff followed close behind with 15 kills apiece. Denny also posted 12 digs for a double-double. Denny and Ambrose led App State in aces, both serving up two over the course of the match. As she had on Thursday, senior Sarah Missroon led the Black and Gold in blocks, tallying eight on the afternoon. Fellow senior Sam Bickley tallied a team-high 25 assists. Junior Sophie Cain notched a double-double, following Bickley in assists with 23 and posting a team-high and season-high 19 digs.

The Mountaineers outpaced the Panthers in points (83-75), kills (61-54), blocks (16-12), and assists (57-48).

App State came out hot in the first set, leading Georgia State early at 4-2 after back-to-back kills from Winterhoff and Denny. The Mountaineers went on a 5-0 scoring run after three consecutive kills from Denny, Ambrose, and Cain, a block from Ambrose/Winterhoff, and a second kill from Ambrose, pushing the lead to 9-3. The Black and Gold posted two more 3-0 runs to extend the lead to 16-9 before GSU found its footing. With the Mountaineers up by two, a kill from Winterhoff and a Panther error extended App State’s lead to 22-18. A pair of kills from Ambrose pushed the score to 24-21, and, after a late comeback attempt from GSU, Missroon slammed down a kill to close out the set 25-23 in favor of the Mountaineers.

Set two started out tight, with the Mountaineers and Panthers going point-for-point. Georgia State managed to break away from a 12-12 tie and take a 16-13 lead, but the Mountaineers steadily chipped away at the lead, catching up at 17 all after a pair of kills from Winterhoff and a GSU error. App State broke from an 18-18 tie with a solo block from Ambrose and a block from the duo of Missroon and junior Madison Baldridge to lead 20-18. Tied at 21-21, the Mountaineers and Panthers went point-for-point until GSU mustered enough momentum to take the set 30-28.

Georgia State’s momentum carried into the third set as the Panthers went on a six-point run to lead 10-6. Despite App State’s efforts, GSU went on another five-point run to extend the lead to 19-11. The Mountaineers went on a 3-0 run, but it wasn’t enough to overtake the Panthers, who took the third set, 25-17.

Bouncing back in the fourth set, App State came back from a 6-1 deficit to tie things up at nine all. Breaking from a 13-13 tie, the Mountaineers took the lead, 15-13, after a kill from Denny and a block from Ambrose and Bickley. Maintaining their lead, the Mountaineers scored three consecutive points, which included kills from Ambrose and Winterhoff, to extend their lead to 20-15. After kills from Ambrose and Winterhoff as well as blocks from Denny/Winterhoff and Denny/Missroon, a final kill from Missroon sealed the set, 25-19 in favor of the Mountaineers.

In the fifth and final set, junior Meghan Dombrowski tied things up at 4-4 with a kill. With Denny tying things up at 5-5, the Mountaineers scored six consecutive points to lead 10-5. The 6-0 run included three kills from Ambrose (two of which were consecutive), an ace from Denny, and a kill from Baldridge. The Mountaineers capped the fifth set with a kill from Ambrose, ace from Roper, and kill from Winterhoff, winning the set 15-8, and the match 3-2.

The Mountaineers continue their road stretch on Oct. 14 and 15 as they take on ULM in Monroe, La.