Sept. 1, 2012
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – After winning the first set, the University of Georgia volleyball team dropped a hard-fought match 3-1 (28-26, 11-25, 21-25, 15-25) to the eighth-ranked Florida State Seminoles on Saturday afternoon in Tallahassee, Fla. The loss was the first of the season for the Bulldogs, who fell to 5-1 on the year. Florida State is now 5-0 on the season.
“We faced a tough Florida State team that is ranked eighth in the country,” head coach Lizzy Stemke said. “Our players showed tremendous fight and teamwork today, as we needed to make some adjustments. We had some players step up and really worked hard as a team. Coming out of this weekend, our teamwork was exciting to see but we need to get more consistent for long matches. Our fight was incredibly promising and we are already looking forward to getting back out there.”
Georgia had three players with double digit kills, including a double-double performance by Chloe Buckendahl, who finished with 10 kills and 13 digs. Tirah Le’au led the team with 12 kills, followed by Briana Bahr with 11. Georgia was productive from the service line, totaling four aces, including three by Le’au. Kaylee Kehoe finished with a match-high 26 assists.
Georgia executed an aggressive game plan in the first set to take a 28-26 win. A pair of Bahr kills put the Bulldogs up 4-2. Georgia extended its lead to 9-6 on a Le’au kill that forced the Seminoles to call a timeout. The teams tied four times before an Eatmon kill put the Bulldogs up two at 15-13. Following a FSU timeout, the Seminoles scored four-straight points to take their first lead of the set at 20-19. Le’au answered with a block that tied the score at 20. The teams traded points over the next five possessions that resulted in a 23-22 Florida State lead. The Seminoles were at set point at 24-22, but a Buckendahl kill and a block by Eatmon and Le’au tied the match at 24. The teams tied the match at 25 and 26 before Georgia put the Seminoles away with kills by Le’au and Bahr.
Florida State answered Georgia’s win with a 25-11 win in set two. FSU jumped out to a 12-1 lead and scored the final four points of the set with take the win and even the match 1-1.
The teams kept it close over the early points of the third set, tying 12 times before a solo block by Le’au gave the Bulldogs a two-point lead at 15-13. FSU made it a 17-16 set, before a block by Perri and Bahr tied the set at 17. With FSU leading 22-19 after a four-point run, Bahr cut the lead to two at 22-20 with a kill. The Seminoles answered with consecutive points, before a Buckendahl kill brought the score to 23-21. FSU scored the final two points to take the third set, 25-21.
FSU took an early 4-1 lead in the fourth set, before an ace by Kehoe made cut the lead to one at 4-3. The Seminoles answered with three-straight points to take a 7-3 lead. A kill by Bahr brought the score to 9-7. The Bulldogs made it a two-point set at 16-14 on a kill and an ace by Le’au, before the Seminoles went on a 5-0 run that made it a 21-14 set. The Seminoles ended the set on a 3-0 run to seal the 25-16, set four win and the match 3-1.
Georgia takes the week off before traveling to East Lansing, Mich., for the Auto-Owners Insurance Spartan Invitational. The Bulldogs will face IPFW on Friday, September 7, before taking on Albany and Michigan State on Saturday, September 8.