Aug 30, 2013
ATHENS, Ga. - The University of Georgia volleyball team took a 3-0 (25-20, 25-22, 25-15) win over the Lipscomb Bisons in its season opener on Friday, August 30 in the Bulldog Invitational at the Ramsey Student Center in Athens, Ga. With the win, the Bulldogs improve to 3-0 in season-openers under Head Coach Lizzy Stemke.
Jasmine Eatmon led the team offensively, going 8-for-14 with one error for an attack percentage of .385. Tirah Le'au also posted eight kills, followed by Stacey Smith and Lauren Teknipp with seven kills each. Kaylee Kehoe and Maggie Baumert paced the offense, finishing with 18 and 13 assists, respectively. The Georgia defense proved tough, holding Lipscomb to a .170 attack percentage and out blocking the Bisons 12-5. Leading the defensive attack was Elena Perri, who finished with six blocks, including one solo stop. Smith totaled four blocks, while Le'au added a pair of solo blocks in the win. Allison Summers and Brittany Northcutt recorded nine digs each.
"There was a lot of excitement in the gym tonight," Stemke said. "This was a good win for us. We started off a little slow in the first set, but we were able to get some of the adrenaline out and get back to what we have been practicing during the preseason. This is a veteran team and I thought our maturity showed as the match went on. This is a very balanced team and it is nice to know that we have so many players that can step up when we need them to. We are going to celebrate this win tonight, and get back to work tomorrow. We have a long season, but it is nice to be able to celebrate a win."
Lipscomb took an early 7-4 lead in the first set before a Northcutt kill tied the match at seven. The teams traded points on the next two possessions before consecutive blocks by Smith and Perri put the Bulldogs on top 11-9. The teams tied seven more times before a solo block by Le'au ignited a 4-0 Georgia run that put the Bulldogs up 22-18. Lipscomb made it a two-point set at 22-20 with back-to-back kills by Sophie Kellerman. A pair of kills by Smith and Eatmon gave Georgia set point before a Lipscomb attack error sealed Georgia's 25-20 set one win.
Lipscomb jumped out to an early 7-2 lead in the second set before the Bulldogs were able to fight their way back to within three at 12-9. Behind the serve of Northcutt, the Bulldogs scored three-straight points to tie the match at 12. The teams kept it close over the next several possessions, tying four times before a Lipscomb attack error gave Georgia its first lead of the night at 17-16 and forced the Bisons to burn a timeout. The Bulldogs edged out to a 20-17 lead, causing Lipscomb to use its final timeout of the set. Lipscomb fought back to within one at 23-22, but a pair of kills by Le'au and Eatmon sealed the set 25-22 for Georgia.
Georgia and Lipscomb kept the third and final set close over the opening points, with neither team taking more than a two-point lead before a kill by Teknipp sparked a 4-0 Georgia run that gave the Bulldogs a 10-6 lead. The teams traded points over the next five possessions until Smith and Le'au posted consecutive kills that extended Georgia's lead to 15-9 and forced Lipscomb to call its first timeout of the set. The Bisons took the first point out of the timeout, but a Perri kill and back-to-back aces by Summers stretched Georgia's lead to 18-10. Lipscomb scored just five more points in the set, allowing the Bulldogs to win the set 25-15 and seal the 3-0 sweep.
Georgia takes on TCU and Furman tomorrow, August 31, at 12:30 p.m., and 8 p.m., respectively on the second and final day of the Bulldog Invitational.