Northcutt, Bulldogs Defeat KSU, 3-0

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Sept. 6, 2011

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ATHENS, Ga. - Sophomore outside hitter Brittany Northcutt posted a match-high 13 kills on a .455 hitting percentage to help lead the Georgia Bulldogs past the Kennesaw State Owls, 3-0, on Tuesday evening at the Ramsey Student Center.

 

Georgia (3-4) took the win over KSU (3-5) by scores of 25-12, 25-18 and 25-17, and the Bulldogs have now posted a sweep in all their victories this season.

 

"We were able to iron out some details," Georgia head coach Lizzy Stemke said of Tuesday's match. "We've been focusing a lot on serve and pass game. That really showed tonight, and I think that was very big strong point for us. We were able to gain a lot of confidence in that area. This was a big and really important match for us coming off of a super tough weekend. We had a game plan that we executed to a 'T.'"

 

Northcutt's 13 kills were supported by senior middle blocker Elizabeth Reid's career-best eight kills as Reid recorded no error on 14 attempts to also post a career-best .571 hitting percentage.

 

"I think we performed really well today," Reid said. "This game was about staying disciplined and executing our plays. I think we did a good job doing that."

 

Senior setter Kathleen Gates paced the offensive attack with 32 assists as the Bulldogs hit .321 as a team. Defensively, Allison Summers tallied 11 digs while the Bulldogs blocking effort was led by senior middle blocker Ann Dylla's five stops while Gates and junior Briana Bahr each added four blocks. The Owls were limited to a .054 mark.

 

Including starting the match with an ace from Gates, the Bulldogs opened on an 8-1 run in the first set. Later in that frame after going up 19-9, three consecutive kills from Northcutt, an ace from senior Carla Tietz and another kill from Reid extended the lead to set-best 15 point advantage at 24-9. KSU scratched three points on the board before the set came to a close on an Owl service error.

 

The second set opened with the Owls and Bulldogs swapping points before freshman Tirah Le'au recorded a kill that ignited a 5-1 Georgia run to go ahead 12-7. A KSU timeout started to give the visitors' momentum, but a kill from Bahr's at 13-9 started a 6-2 scoring spree that added insurance to the Bulldog lead. After going back and forth in scoring late in the frame, Georgia concluded the set with a 25-18 on a kill from Northcutt.

 

Georgia opened the third set by climbing to an 8-4 lead that including two of Reid's eight kills. The Bulldogs held the lead throughout the set after hitting .267 compared to KSU's .053 and closed the contest on an 8-3 run capped by an ace from Gates. It was one of eight aces from the Bulldogs while the Owls only recorded one in the match.

 

"This match really helped us out and got our confidence up coming off of the weekend," Northcutt said. "I think we will work really hard on Wednesday and Thursday to prepare for this weekend."

 

"We're in a position where we have a pretty deep bench, so we can make some adjustments," Stemke noted about sophomore outside hitter Kathleen Luft suffering a set back with an ankle injury last weekend. "We're preparing for the weekend with the players that are here and now. Kathleen's situation is a day-by-day progress report."

 

Up next, Georgia returns to the road traveling to Atlanta for the Georgia Tech Regency Suites Invitational this Friday and Saturday. The Bulldogs opening match of that tournament will come against the host Yellow Jackets (4-2) on Friday at 7 p.m. ET and Georgia will carry live audio for that contest on www.georgiadogs.com. On Saturday, the Bulldogs face Samford (7-0) at 10:30 a.m. and Mercer (1-6) at 4:30 p.m. Live stats will be available for all three matches through www.ramblinwreck.com.

 

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