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Aug. 27, 2011
ATHENS, Ga. - After a competitive weekend at the Hotel Indigo Bulldog Invitational, the University of Georgia volleyball team took the runner-up spot at the tournament falling 3-0 to Kansas in the championship game on Saturday at the Ramsey Student Center.
Georgia (2-1) took their first loss of the season to the Jayhawks by scores of 16-25, 19-25 and 14-25 in front of a crowd of 1,003. With the win, Kansas earned the Invitational title and starts the year 3-0 after posting its first 17-win season since 2004 last year. Georgia finished runner followed by Liberty (1-2) and Florida A&M (0-3).
"Overall, this weekend was a great test for us," Georgia head coach Lizzy Stemke said. "We did some really nice things. We were very disciplined in our first two matches this weekend. Kansas is a great team, and they play tough competition day-in and day-out in the Big 12. That match showed us that we still have a lot of work to do."
Following the conclusion of the tournament, a seven-player All-Bulldog Invitational Team was announced headlined by Kansas' Allison Mayfield, who took home Most Valuable Player honors. The Jayhawks played three players on the team including Brianne Riley and Caroline Jarmoc. Riley earned top libero honors.
Georgia placed two players on the team in senior setter Kathleen Gates and sophomore outside hitter Kathleen Luft. Gates tallied a tournament-best 100 assists while Luft led the Bulldogs in kills with 30, which was second-best on the weekend behind Mayfield's 42.
Liberty's Lillie Happel and Florida A&M's Lorrin Rucker rounded out the all-tournament squad.
Georgia hits the road for its next match, as the team heads to Malibu, Calif., to participate in the Pepperdine Asics Classic. Georgia will face host Pepperdine on Friday, Sept. 2 at 10 p.m. ET. The second day of the Asics Classic features the Bulldogs against Miami at 1 p.m. and UC Santa Barbara at 8 p.m.
Georgia 3, Florida A&M 0
In Saturday's morning session of the tournament, Georgia defeated Florida A&M 3-0 by scores of 25-23, 25-21 and 25-11.
"I think we had a great scout and execution in our match against Florida A&M," Stemke said. "We stayed patient with a very scrappy team, and we were able to capitalize in key moments. That was a great test for us, and because they are such a scrappy team they made us play the game over-and-over again."
Georgia sealed the win behind Luft's 12 kills along with junior Briana Bahr and Northcutt's eight kills each. Gates tabbed 34 assists while Summers posted 13 digs. As a team, the Bulldogs out-blocked Florida A&M 10-2.
Also of note for UGA in the match, sophomore transfer Elena Perri and freshman Tirah Le'au made their Bulldog debuts. Perri notched four kills and two blocks while Le'au had two kills and four blocks.
The match opened with back-and-forth scoring between the teams, but Georgia never let the Rattlers take the lead in the first set. Led by Luft's six kills in the set, the Bulldogs held off the Rattlers' late rally to take it, 25-23.
Georgia took a strong lead in the second frame with a six-point streak that put them at 8-4. However, Florida A&M answered with seven straight to take its first lead at 11-8. A Rattler error helped the Bulldogs get the lead back at 17-16 before an 8-2 streak that included two kills from Northcutt and capped by an ace from senior Carla Tietz sealed the set.
The Bulldogs dominated the final set, as they outhit the Rattlers .435 compared to -.083. With Georgia leading 7-4, a 9-2 run that included kills from Luft, Northcutt and Perri extended the lead to 16-6. The home team continued controlling the floor and an ace from Luft sealed the match.
Kansas 3, Georgia 0
Against Kansas, sophomore Brittany Northcutt has a team-best nine kills to go along with eight digs on the while sophomore Kathleen Luft nabbed seven kills and sophomore Allison Summers notched 12 digs.
Despite the efforts from the Bulldogs, the Jayhawks won the match in straight-sets led by their 12.0 team blocks compared to Georgia's 5.0.
Mayfield paced KU with 10 kills followed by Tayler Tolefree and Caroline Jarmoc with eight apiece.
Kansas controlled most of the opening set, as they put Georgia into a nine-point deficit three different times. The Bulldogs had more kills than the Jayhawks at 11-9 in the frame as senior Elizabeth Reid led the way with four. However, eight attack and five service errors doomed Georgia helped Kansas take the first set.
The second set was very similar to the first with the Jayhawks quickly taking over the lead toward the win after Georgia tabbed the first point. Northcutt became a dominating force on the offensive side, as she collected five kills in the set. The Bulldogs also had huge defensive blocks with Northcutt grabbing a solo and Dylla connecting with Kathleen Gates and Tirah Le'au for two assists.
In the final set, Georgia grabbed an early 4-1 lead, but four-straight Kansas points put it in the visitor's favor at 5-4. After trading points, Kansas used a 14-5 run on its way to the sweep.
"I think we played pretty well, especially in the first two matches, but the last match against Kansas was a really tough game," Northcutt said. "They kind of stepped up to the challenge and gave us a huge challenge. I think they were the toughest team we faced all weekend. I'm proud of the way we played, but I think we could have fought a little harder in the third match. We go out to California next weekend and we need to step up and work hard this week so we can prove we can hang."
2011 Hotel Indigo Bulldog Invitational All-Tournament Team:
Allison Mayfield, Kansas, Tournament MVP
Brianne Riley, Kansas, All-Tournament Libero
Caroline Jarmoc, Kansas
Kathleen Gates, Georgia
Kathleen Luft, Georgia
Lillie Happel, Liberty
Lorrin Rucker, Florida A&M
2011 Hotel Indigo Bulldog Invitational Results:
Friday, Aug. 26:
Kansas def. Florida A&M, 3-0 (25-22, 25-23, 25-10)
Georgia def. Liberty, 3-0 (25-21, 25-21, 25-20)
Saturday, Aug. 27
Kansas def. Liberty, 3-0 (25-21, 25-13, 25-9)
Georgia def. Florida A&M, 3-0 (25-23, 25-21, 25-11)
Liberty def. Florida A&M, 3-0 (25-15, 26-24, 25-22)
Kansas def. Georgia, 3-0 (25-16, 25-19, 25-14)