Aug 31, 2013
ATHENS, Ga. - The University of Georgia volleyball team earned a pair of wins on Saturday, Aug. 31 to take home the Bulldog Invitational title. Georgia earned a 3-0 (25-17, 25-20, 25-17) win over TCU to start the day before taking a 3-0 (25-17, 25-22, 25-15) win over Furman in the nightcap to complete the weekend sweep. The wins marked the first time since the 2007 season that a Bulldog squad has won its first three matches of the season by a score of 3-0. Jasmine Eatmon was named the Bulldog Invitational Most Valuable Player, while Lauren Teknipp and Allison Summers earned all-tournament honors for their performances over the three matches.
"I think that we were a great version of ourselves this weekend," Head Coach Lizzy Stemke said. "Our balance was wonderful and I could give nods to every single one of our players. It was a major team effort. When you look at individual numbers, I think Jasmine [Eatmon] and both of our right side hitters put up huge stats. We had a high level of blocking this weekend and I give a lot of credit to our setters. Overall, I think we showed a lot of maturity and I think we will continue to benefit from that throughout the season."
Georgia 3, TCU 0 (25-17, 25-20, 25-17)
Teknipp led all players with 10 kills, going 10-for-21 for an attack percentage of .386. Stacey Smith added nine kills, while Tirah Le'au and Brittany Northcutt registered eight kills each. Kaylee Kehoe and Maggie Baumert split time as the setter, finishing with 20 and 17 kills, respectively. The Bulldogs were effective from the service line, tallying four aces, including two by Eatmon. For the second time in as many games, the Bulldogs out blocked their opponents, recording nine team blocks to TCU's four. Leading the team at the net was Eatmon, who had three assisted blocks and one solo stop. Elena Perri and Smith each finished with three blocks, while Le'au and Northcutt finished with one solo block each. Summers paced Georgia with a match-best 14 digs.
TCU took a slight lead early in the first set before a Teknipp kill gave the Bulldogs a two-point lead at 6-4. The Horned Frogs came back and tied the set at six before the teams knotted the score six more times. With the scored tied at 14, a pair of Northcutt kills sparked a seven-point run that included back-to-back service aces by Eatmon and put the Bulldogs on top 19-14. A TCU kill broke the Georgia run, but the Bulldogs went on to score four of the final five points to seal the first set 25-17.
In the second set, TCU edged out in front early, taking a 7-4 lead. Following a timeout and on the service of Baumert, Georgia scored four-straight points, including two on Teknipp kills, to take an 8-7 lead. The score knotted four times before TCU took a 15-12 lead. The Bulldogs used two kills by Smith to pull within one at 15-14 before Eatmon and Smith combined for a block that tied the score at 16. The Bulldogs retook the lead at 18-17 with an Eatmon kill and maintained it for the rest of the set. Georgia scored seven of the final 11 points, including a set-winning kill by Teknipp to take set two 25-20.
Georgia used a dominating performance to take the third set 25-17. The Bulldogs raced out to a 9-1 lead, with the team combining for four kills and two blocks. TCU fought back to come within four at 15-11. Georgia answered by scoring the next two points to extend its lead to 17-11. TCU came back to within five at 22-17 before a Northcutt kill sparked a 3-0 run that sealed the set three win and the sweep of TCU.
Georgia 3, Furman 0 (25-17, 25-22, 25-15)
In Georgia's 3-0 win over Furman, the Bulldogs hit .300 as a team, led by Northcutt and Teknipp, who finished with nine kills each. Smith registered eight kills, while Eatmon added seven, hitting at a .600 clip for the match. Kehoe and Baumert paced the offense, finishing with 22 and 16 assists, respectively. Eatmon and Teknipp led the Georgia defensive front, finishing with two blocks each. Chloe Buckendahl led all players with 15 digs, while Summers and Northcutt finished with 11 digs each.
Georgia and Furman kept it close through the opening points of set one, with neither team able to gain more than a two point lead until Furman strung together a run that put it on top 9-6, forcing Georgia to call its first timeout of the set. Following the break, Georgia went on a 4-0 run that put it on top by one at 10-9. After four ties, a kill by Kehoe sparked a six-point run that gave the Bulldogs a comfortable 19-13 lead. During the run, the team combined for five kills and a service ace by Summers. Furman scored just four more points in the first set, allowing the Bulldogs to win 25-17.
The second set proved to be just as hard fought, as Georgia and Furman tied six times before a block and a Georgia error gave Furman a slight lead at 9-7. The Bulldogs fought their way back, tying the set at 12 on a solo block by Le'au. After five more ties, Furman scored back-to-back points to move ahead 19-17, causing the Bulldogs to use a timeout. Coming out the break, the Bulldogs strung together three-consecutive points to take a 20-19 and force the Paladins to call a timeout. Furman tied the set at 22, but kills by Northcutt, Baumert and Teknipp sealed the second set 25-22 for Georgia.
Georgia used a dominating performance in the third set to take the match 3-0. Using the serve of Northcutt, Summers and Baumert, the Bulldogs jumped out to a 9-3 lead that forced Furman to call an early timeout. Georgia extended its lead to 12-4 on a Teknipp kill and Furman error. The Paladins fought their way back, pulling within six at 13-7, but a kill by Northcutt ended the run. The teams traded points over the next several possessions, until a Teknipp kill sparked a 4-0 run that extended the Bulldog lead to 21-10. Desiree McCray recorded back-to-back kills, the first kills of her career, to give the Bulldogs match point at 24-14. Smith sealed the set three win and the match with a kill.
Georgia returns to action next weekend, Sept. 6-7, when it travels to Lincoln, Neb., to take on Southern Miss and Nebraska. The Bulldogs will face Southern Miss on Friday, Sept. 6, at 5:30 p.m., before taking on No. 10 Nebraska at 2 p.m., on Saturday, Sept. 7.