Aug. 26, 2012
ATHENS, Ga. - The University of Georgia volleyball team finished with a 3-1 record in the Benson's Hospitality Group Bulldog Invitational on Sunday, with a 3-0 (25-22, 25-14, 25-14) win over the Georgia State Panthers and a 3-0 (16-25, 20-25, 14-25) loss to the Slovenian National Team. The Bulldogs remain undefeated at 3-0, as the match against Slovenia is considered an exhibition.
"We are extremely pleased with our performance this weekend," head coach Lizzy Stemke said. "This team has been anxious to get out and play an opponent. From the very beginning, we have had really tight scouting report and great execution. We have changed our lineup here and there, so we have been able to see a couple of different things, but our level of execution really got stronger as the weekend went on. That's really what we want to see throughout the season, but this was a great start for us."
Georgia's Brittany Northcutt was named to the all-tournament team after finishing with a team-best 29 kills. Allison Summers was named the all-tournament libero, racking up 47 digs for an average of 4.7 digs per set.
Chloe Buckendahl had a strong Bulldog debut over the weekend, finishing with a team-best .333 attack percentage, including 16 kills. Tirah Le'au finished second on the team with 26 kills on the weekend.
Defensively, Georgia racked up 30 total blocks, including a team-high 15, five of which were solo blocks, from Elena Perri. Jasmine Eatmon also was in the double-figure blocks category, finishing with 10.
Georgia 3, Georgia State 0
In Georgia's 3-0 (25-22, 25-14, 25-14) win over Georgia State, Perri led the team with a .667 attack percentage, registering six kills in nine attempts. Buckendahl finished with a match-high eight kills, while Northcutt and Le'au added seven kills each. Briana Bahr registered a .400 attack percentage, going 7-for-15 with one error. Kaylee Kehoe recorded a match-best 16 assists, with Maggie Baumert adding 13.
Once again, Georgia dominated defensively, picking up 10 team blocks, including one solo and five assisted blocks by Perri. Briana Bahr, Eatmon and Northcutt were each on three blocks. As a team, Georgia held Georgia State to a .009 attack percentage, marking the second-straight match that the Bulldogs have held their opponent to under a .100 attack percentage.
"It was a long weekend for us so we started off a little slow in the first set," Northcutt said. "We were able to work together and have great communication, which is why we were able to settle in and get the win."
The Panthers proved tough in set one, jumping out to 5-3 lead before a service error tied the set at six. Georgia cut the lead to two at 15-13 on a Georgia State error. A Northcutt kill sparked a seven-point run behind the service of Kehoe that allowed the Bulldogs to take their first lead of the set at 22-17. A block by Buckendahl and Eatmon sealed the 25-22 set one win.
Georgia eased out to an 11-5 lead in the second set, forcing Georgia State to call its first timeout of the set. Following a GSU service error, the Bulldogs scored three-straight points to take a 16-8 lead. With Northcutt at the service line, Georgia scored five straight points to take a 20-9 lead. A kill by Le'au and a GSU attack error allowed Georgia to take the second set 25-14.
In the third and final set, Georgia scored the opening four points before Georgia State made it a one-point set at 5-4. The Bulldogs answered by scoring eight of the next 12 points to take a 14-7 lead. The Panthers cut the lead to eight at 20-12, but would not come any closer as Georgia won the set 25-14 on a Buckendahl kill.
Slovenia National Team 3, Georgia 0
Georgia suffered a setback in its exhibition match against the Slovenia National Team, falling 3-0 (16-25, 20-25, 14-25) in the final match of the weekend.
Northcutt led the Bulldogs offensively, hitting at a .476 clip with a team-best 11 kills. Eatmon was strong at the net, picking up two blocks.
Georgia fell behind 10-3 before a Northcutt kill sparked a four-point run that put Georgia within three at 10-7. Slovenia answered with a four-point run of its own to extend its lead 14-7. The Bulldogs brought it back within five at 16-11, but Slovenia prevailed with a 25-16 win.
In set two, the two teams tied five times before Slovenia put together three-straight kills to take a 9-6 lead. A Buckendahl kill made it a one-point game at 10-9. Trailing 15-12, Georgia scored four of the next six points to make it a one-point at a 16-15, but was unable to come closer as Slovenia took set two 25-20.
Down 5-3, a service error and a Northcutt kill tied third set at five before Slovenia scored three of the next four points to take a 9-6 lead. The Bulldogs kept it close, coming within two at 11-9 on a Buckendahl kill, but could take the lead, falling 25-14.
Georgia returns to action next weekend when it travels to Tallahassee, Fla., to take part in the FSU Invitational, hosted by Florida State. The Bulldogs will open the two-day tournament on August 31 against Florida International at 11:30 a.m. before facing Florida A&M at 6:30 p.m. The Bulldogs will close out the tournament on September 1 against Florida State at 11 a.m.