Oct. 3, 2012
BATON ROUGE, La. - In its first televised match of the season, the University of Georgia volleyball team used a dominating performance in the fifth set to seal a 3-2 (27-29, 26-24, 23-25, 25-23, 15-6) win over the LSU Tigers in Baton Rouge, La. With the win, Georgia improves to 9-6 overall, including a 3-3 mark in the Southeastern Conference. LSU falls to 6-10 on the season and 2-5 in league play.
"I am so proud of a such a hard fought road win for this team," head coach Lizzy Stemke said. "This was a total team effort and we played with such fantastic personality and determination all night. We have great respect for LSU and their efforts tonight, as this was a great SEC battle to have on national TV."
Brittany Northcutt finished with her fourth double-double of the season, totaling 20 kills and 16 digs. Briana Bahr added a career-best 19 kills and hit at a .333 clip to lead the team. Tirah Le'au was the third Bulldog in double digits, finishing with 10 kills, while Jasmine Eatmon recorded nine kills. Kaylee Kehoe paced the Georgia offense with 35 assists, while Maggie Baumert also saw time at the setter position, finishing with 27 assists. Four Bulldogs recorded double digit digs, with Allison Summers leading the way with 24. As a team, Georgia registered 18 blocks, compared to seven team blocks by LSU. Elena Perri and Eatmon led the way, finishing with eight blocks each. Of Eatmon's eight blocks, two were solo stops. Bahr also shined on the defensive front, finishing with seven blocks. As a whole, Georgia had seven players record at least one block.
Georgia opened up to a 5-3 lead in the first set before the Tigers tied the set at five on two straight kills. LSU took a two-point lead at 11-9, but a pair of LSU errors and a kill by Northcutt put Georgia on top 12-11. The teams tied five times before a Northcutt and Eatmon block and a kill by Le'au put Georgia up two at 18-16. LSU tied the match for the 14th time before taking a 20-19 lead and force Georgia to call a timeout. The teams went back and forth, tying eight more times before the Tigers scored the final two points to take the first set 29-27.
Georgia and LSU kept it close through the opening points of the second set, but a Georgia attack error sparked a LSU run that allowed Tigers to open up to a 17-12 lead. A ball handling error by the Tigers gave Georgia possession and allowed it to score three-straight points to make it a two-point set at 17-15. Following a LSU timeout, an attack error and a Bahr kill sparked a 4-0 run that gave the Bulldogs a 20-17 lead. A Bahr kill made it a 24-21 set, but LSU came back to tie the set at 24. Le'au registered a kill that broke the tie before a Tiger error sealed the set for the Bulldogs 26-24.
As with the first two sets, the teams kept it close through the opening points of the third set. With the Tigers holding a 9-8 lead, a kill by Perri sparked a 4-0 run gave the Bulldogs a 12-0 lead and forced a Tiger timeout. Following the break, Georgia then scored six of the next nine points, to extend its lead to 18-12. LSU fought back to within two at 19-17 by scoring five of the next six points. Trailing 23-20, the Bulldogs tied it at 23 on a kill by Bahr, but the Tigers scored the final two points to take the 25-23 win and take a 2-1 advantage in the match.
Georgia took an early 4-2 lead in the fourth set, before LSU tied the set at four. The teams tied 11 times before kills by Northcutt and Eatmon put the Bulldogs up two at 18-16 and forced LSU to use a timeout. The Tigers used a pair of kills to tie the set at 18, but Georgia answered with consecutive points to retake a two-point lead at 20-18. Over the final 10 points, the teams tied four times, but a kill by Le'au and a block by Eatmon and Kehoe sealed the set 25-23 for Georgia and tied the match at two.
Georgia raced out to a 7-2 lead, using three blocks, including solo stops by Perri and Northcutt. A Northcutt kill put the Bulldogs up 11-5 and forced LSU to call its second timeout of the set. Kills by Chloe Buckendahl and Northcutt brought the Bulldogs to match point. A LSU attack error sealed the 15-6 set five win and the 3-2 match for the Bulldogs.
Georgia returns to action when it travels to Knoxville, Tenn., to take on the Tennessee Lady Vols on Sunday afternoon at 1 p.m.