BOONE, N.C. –– Appalachian State University volleyball could not make it back-to-back wins over Georgia Southern and fell in a hard-fought five-set thriller 3-2 (25-22, 22-25, 17-25, 25-22, 11-15) on Sunday afternoon inside the Holmes Center.
Appalachian seemingly picked up where the left off from Saturday night and midway through the opening set used an 11-3 run to open up a 21-13 lead. The run was keyed by a McMath kill and capped by an Eagle attack error that forced the Eagles (13-17, 5-9 Sun Belt) into their second timeout of the set.
Georgia Southern would battle back to within two points at 24-22, but a kill from McMath would seal a first set win for the Mountaineers.
The Eagles’ success in the second set mirrored the Mountaineers’ success in the first. With a 9-9 tie, the Eagles used an 8-3 run to build a 17-12 advantage - forcing Appalachian into a timeout. The Mountaineers would close to within just one point on two occasions - the last coming at 23-22. A kill from Katie Bange and an error from App State would give the Eagles a 25-22 set win.
Georgia Southern built off its momentum from the second set and raced out to an 18-7 lead over the Mountaineers. App State closed to within as many as six, but could not overcome the deficit and dropped set three 25-17.
Needing to force a fifth set, the Mountaineers needed a win in the fourth. Both App State and Southern battled back and forth in the early going and found themselves tied 8-8. A kill from Longley, coupled with an Eagle error opened a 10-8 lead for the Black and Gold.
Appalachian maintained its lead until the Eagles took a 17-16 lead. A 4-0 run put the Apps up 20-7 and the Mountaineers would not relinquish the advantage and a 25-22 set win would force a decisive fifth set.
Even with momentum entering the fifth set, the Eagles were the ones to jump on the Mountaineers early with a 6-2 lead. It would be a lead the Apps could not overcome even coming to within just there points at 12-9. Georgia Southern finished the fifth set with a 15-11 win to clinch the match.
Appalachian State returns to the court on Friday, November 11 when they face South Alabama at home. First serve is slated for 6:30 p.m. inside the Holmes Center.