GAINESVILLE, Fla. – The University of Georgia women’s volleyball team claimed a three-set victory over the 11th-place Florida Gators at Exactech Arena Wednesday night (25-22, 25-23, 25-20), the first SEC win. Bulldogs’ first of the season.
This is the fourth win against a ranked opponent under head coach Tom Black, the last against No. 5 Florida on November 20, 2020. This is the first time Georgia has overtaken a ranked competitor since November 27, 1993 (Kentucky placed 12th in the SEC Tournament in Birmingham).
“The whole team played hard and stuck together,” Black said after the game. “I think our serve and the attacks made by our setter made the difference tonight. Florida is a great team and we are happy to go out with a result. good results.”
Senior Kacie Evans paced the attack with 16 kills in the match, adding six blocks with five digs. Senior teammate Amber Stivrins took nine kills while junior Sophie Fischer was eight.
Fischer put up nine blocks in the match while freshman Tori Harper had four. Year two, libero Bailey Cox had 10 digs in a three-set match.
As a team, the Bulldogs laid out five aces, two of the redshirt team’s sophomore Mackenzie Norris. Georgia is out blocking the Gators 11-9. Georgia held Florida to a draw with a 0.090 clip. After going 3-0 down to start the game, the Bulldogs (13-5, 4-3) resumed their 8-0 run to claim a quick five-point lead in the opening half. The run featured two aces from Norris and a pair of kills from Evans. Four straight games from the Dogs, capped by Evans’ consecutive kills, caused Florida to run out of the set’s second timeout, 18-12. Florida responded with three points in a row to cut Georgia’s lead in half and force Bulldog to time out, 19-16. The Gators battled for a 22-21 lead, forcing Georgia to run out of time to the end. The Bulldogs regrouped and won the next four rallies to get the set 25-22. Evans finished the opening set with seven kills while Stivrins had four, reaching 0.667.
Florida (15-4, 7-2) briefly took a 5-0 lead in the second set and continued to take the lead, leaving Georgia exhausted with a score of 12-6. The Bulldogs fought, using a 4-0 streak to take a 15-13 lead. Down 17-14, four straight points put Georgia ahead for the first time in the set, 18-17, as Florida called the final timeout. Georgia ties it up and leads in consecutive blocks. Georgia extended the lap to six to hit the first 20, 20-17. After the Stivrins recovered the set point, 24-19, Florida pushed later with a 4-0 scoreline, but Georgia went on to win the set 25-23 with Stivrins’ eighth kill.
Georgia used six points to take a 7-3 lead in the third inning, prompting an early timeout from the Florida bench. The Gator House responded to knot it at 7-all. A back-and-forth battle ensued as the set was drawn at 13. A 6-1 run opened the scoring to 19-14 for the Bulldogs. Georgia continued to press the gas to make it 25-20, winning Norris’ solo save, completing the sweep.
Georgia takes on Alabama this weekend in a two-game series at the Stegeman Coliseum. Saturday’s first serve is set at 2 p.m. between the Bulldogs and the Crimson Tide. Sunday’s SEC Network match will begin at 12 p.m. from Stegeman.