Oct. 21, 2011
ATHENS, Ga. - Despite taking the opening set, the Georgia Bulldogs fell to the 24th-ranked Kentucky Wildcats, 3-1, Friday evening in front of a "Dig Pink" Ramsey Student Center crowd of 1,111.
Georgia took the opening set, 27-25, but Kentucky came back to take the next three sets 25-13, 25-16 and 25-16 to get the win and improve to 18-4 overall and 9-2 in Southeastern Conference action. The Bulldogs move to 9-12 overall and 5-6 in league play with the loss. Friday's match was UGA's "Dig Pink" match with the Bulldogs wearing pink warm-up jerseys that were auctioned off to raise money benefiting the Athens Regional Medical Center.
"Against a team like Kentucky, you can't let them go on a run of more than two or three points and that's what happened," Georgia head coach Lizzy Stemke said. "Offensively, we made too many errors in sets two and three that kept us out of the game. Against a team like Kentucky, everyone has to be on and on for a long period of time. We didn't play our best volleyball tonight, but I think there are some really good things that we can take from this match, and we will take the positives from this match and carry them over to Sunday."
Kentucky earned the win behind a strong defensive performance with 20.5 team blocks and 67 digs while also leading the match in kills at 53 to 36. The blocking effort was paced by seven stops from both Ann Armes and Becky Paven, and the Wildcats had five players finish with double digit digs led by libero Stephanie Klefort's match-best 17. Ashley Frazier controlled UK's offensive attack with a match-best 18 kills on a .302 hitting percentage.
Defensively, UGA had both senior Carla Tietz and sophomore Allison Summers come away with 11 digs. For Tietz, the 11 digs raised her career total to 1,401, making her the third player in school history to eclipse the 1,400 dig total.
In the opening set, Georgia trailed 17-14 but put together an 8-1 run to go ahead 22-18, and the Bulldogs had three shots at set point before the Wildcats tied the match at 24-24. After trading a couple of points, two UK miscues gave UGA the first set 27-25. The second, third and fourth sets each featured a close battle until Kentucky took control at the end of each set. In the second set, the Wildcats closed with nine-straight points to take it 25-13. In the third and fourth sets, Kentucky finished on respective 9-1 and 8-1 runs to win the sets by identical scores of 25-16.
Up next, Georgia will face 20th-ranked Tennessee (16-3, 9-1 SEC) on Sunday at the Ramsey Center. First serve between the Bulldogs and Lady Volunteers is scheduled for 1:30 p.m. ET, and the first 250 fans will receive a coffee cup koozie. Free live video and live stats will be available on www.georgiadogs.com.
"We have to get back to fundamentals and basics," Senior setter Kathleen Gates said. "We play really well when we communicate and that communication wasn't there tonight. We need to get back to the fundamentals and hit the gym hard tomorrow to get ready for Tennessee on Sunday."
Friday's attendance of 1,111 was the fifth Ramsey Center crowd of 1,000 or more this season. The last time UGA had five or more home matches attended by 1,000 or more was in 1994, when more than a grand turned out to see the Bulldogs play seven times.