SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. – The Georgia volleyball team fell 3-1 to both SMU and San Francisco in the final day of the San Francisco Invitational. The Bulldogs fell 3-1 (25-22, 18-25, 16-25, 16-25) to SMU in the first match of the day before falling 3-1 (23-25, 25-22, 27-29, 23-25) to USF in the final match of the tournament. Georgia is now 1-2 on the season.
Highlighting the tournament was Jasmine Eatmon, who was named to the all-tournament team. She finished the weekend with 27 kills, a .447 attack percentage and a team-best 21 blocks.
“We have a lot of new players in new roles this year and the improvement as a whole was unmistakable today,” Head Coach Lizzy Stemke said. “We may have come out 1-2 on the weekend but our improvement from point one until the end of the tournament was incredible. There was more positive that came out of the weekend than our record shows. We will have many more tight matches this fall and I expect that our end game composure will continue to improve. Our fight is fierce and systems and trust is coming together with every point that we play.”
SMU 3, Georgia 1
Eatmon continued the successful start to her 2014 campaign, leading the team with nine kills and hitting at a .571 efficiency. Lauren Teknipp also had nine kills on the game, while Tirah Le’au finished with seven. Kaylee Kehoe led the team with 33 assists. Gaby Smiley paced the Georgia defense with 14 digs. Eatmon also led the Bulldogs at the net, posting six blocks. Amanda Dachs finished with four blocks, while Desiree McCray and Teknipp finished with three blocks each.
The Bulldogs trailed early in the first set, but a SMU error sparked a 5-0 run that included three service aces by Teknipp and put Georgia up 7-4. Georgia maintained its lead until a service ace by SMU tied the set at 18 and forced the Bulldogs to use their first timeout of the set. Out of the break, the Bulldogs scored four of the next five points to gain a 22-19 lead. The teams battled over the next several possessions until a service ace by the Mustangs made it a two point set at 24-22, forcing the Bulldogs to use their final timeout of the set. Eatmon found the court for the set-winner that sealed the 25-22 win and gave Georgia a 1-0 match lead.
SMU responded with a 25-18 win in the second set that tied the match up at one set each. The teams kept the set close in the early goings, tying seven times before either team reached double-digit points. After two SMU points, Georgia called its first timeout trailing 14-11. The Mustangs recorded three-straight service aces to extend their lead to 17-11 and force another Bulldog timeout. Georgia fought back to within two at 18-16 with the help of the serve of Smiley. SMU allowed just two more points before taking the set 25-18.
Georgia looked to answer the Mustangs in the third set but ultimately fell 25-16. SMU opened to an early 17-7 lead that caused Georgia to use its final timeout of the set. The Bulldogs fought back but the early deficit was too much to overcome, as SMU went on to win the set and take a 2-1 match lead.
Georgia and SMU traded points over the opening possessions in the fourth set. Following a Georgia timeout at the 11-9 mark, McCray registered a kill that brought Georgia to within one. SMU answered with a 4-0 run that made it a 16-11 game. SMU was able to keep the Bulldogs out of an offensive rhythm for the remainder of the set, coming away with the 25-16 set four and the 3-1 match win.
San Francisco 3, Georgia 1
Le’au led the Bulldogs with 15 kills, followed by Teknipp who finished with 13. Eatmon totaled nine kills on the day. Kehoe finished with 44 assists to lead the Bulldogs. The team was effective from the service line, combining for seven aces, including four by Le’au. Three Bulldogs finished with double-digit digs, led by Smiley with 12. Kehoe added 11 digs, while Cassidy Anderson finished with 10. Eatmon was once again a force defensively, leading the team with eight blocks, including one solo stop. McCray finished with six blocks, two of which were solo, while Le’au notched four blocks.
The Bulldogs opened out to a 7-3 lead in the first set with the help of the service of Le’au. The Dons fought back to tie the set five times before a kill by McCray put the Bulldogs up 14-12. After three more ties, a bad set by the Dons forced San Francisco to use a timeout. The Bulldogs scored the next two points for, including one by way of a Anderson service ace. After the Dons tied the set at 22 and 23, Georgia used a timeout. USF posted the final two points of the set to take it 25-23.
Georgia responded with a 25-22 win in set two. San Francisco opened out to a 6-2 lead, but a service error by the Dons sparked a 7-0 Georgia run that included two kills from Eatmon and an Anderson service ace that put the Bulldogs up 11-8. A service ace by the Dons allowed them to retake the lead at 13-12 and force Georgia to use a timeout. The Bulldogs tied the set at 14 and used the serve of Kehoe to score five-straight points and retake the lead at 18-14. USF cut the lead to one at 19-18, but an attack error and an Eatmon kill made it a 21-18 set. Eatmon gave Georgia set point with a block and helped seal the 25-22 win when she and Le’au blocked the final USF attack.
The Dons took the third set 29-27 to take a 2-1 lead in the match. It was a back-and-forth affair for much of the set as the teams tied 13 times before the Dons were able to record back-to-back points to take a 17-15 lead. Kills by McCray and Teknipp allowed the Bulldogs to take a 22-21 lead and force San Francisco to call a timeout. The score knotted six teams before an error and a kill sealed the 29-27 set three win.
With USF holding a 2-1match lead, the Dons jumped out to an early 8-2 lead before a kill by Eatmon ended the run. The Bulldogs used a their first timeout of the set trailing 12-6. Following the break, Georgia showed its grit and was able to pull to within one at 16-15 on a kill by Dachs before a block by Le’au and McCray tied the set at 17-17. Georgia took its first lead of the day at 18-17 by way of a Le’au kill. With the score knotted at 19, USF went on a 6-0 run that gave it a 24-19 lead. Three straight points by Georgia forced the Dons to use a timeout at the 24-22 mark. A service ace by Le’au cut the lead to one at 24-23, but a miscue sealed the 25-23 set four and the 3-1 match with for the Dons.
The Bulldogs return to the friendly confines of the Ramsey Center next weekend, Sept. 5-6, when the open their home slate in the Bulldog Invitational. Georgia will welcome Chattanooga, Belmont and the College of Charleston to the Classic City. Georgia opens the tournament against Chattanooga on Friday, Sept. 5 at 7 p.m., before facing Belmont and the College of Charleston the following day.