Oct. 27, 2013
ATHENS, Ga. - Georgia picked up a thrilling 3-2 (25-16, 25-18, 18-25, 18-25, 18-16) win over the Mississippi State Bulldogs on Sunday, Oct. 27 at the Ramsey Center in Athens, Ga. With the win, the Bulldogs improve to 16-7 on the season that includes a 6-5 mark in Southeastern Conference action. Mississippi State drops to 11-11 overall and 2-6 in the SEC.
"These are all great experiences for us," said Georgia head coach Lizzy Stemke. "We have our sights set on big goals and big things, and the mental challenges are just as important as the physical challenges. I give a ton of credit to Mississippi State. They absolutely amped their game up after half time and went on a hot streak with some really aggressive and scrappy play. This is good for us to continue to have to battle."
For the first time this season, three Bulldogs recorded a double-double in a single match. Brittany Northcutt led the Bulldogs with 20 kills and added 18 digs for her fifth double-double of the season. Kaylee Kehoe notched a match-high 29 assists and added 13 digs for her third double-double of the year, while Maggie Baumert added 24 assists and 14 digs for her fourth double-double of 2013. Tirah Le'au added 16 kills, while Stacey Smith and Lauren Teknipp each finished with 10 kills. Allison Summers led the Bulldogs with 25 digs. Elena Perri led the Bulldogs at the net defensively, finishing with seven blocks, while Le'au and Smith each notched four blocks.
The Bulldogs opened up to a 10-6 lead in the first set before Mississippi State fought back to within one at 11-10. Georgia answered with back-to-back points that gave the Bulldogs a 13-10 lead. The Bulldogs had an answer for each Mississippi State point, allowing them to extend their lead to 17-13. Leading 19-14, Georgia rode the serve of Chloe Buckendahl for four-straight points that made it a 23-14 game. Kills by Buckendahl and Northcutt sealed the 25-16 set one win and gave Georgia the 1-0 lead.
The second set was tight until a block by Teknipp and Perri sparked a 4-0 Georgia run that allowed the Bulldogs to pull ahead 13-8 and force Mississippi State to use a timeout. MSU went on a 5-0 run of its own that brought it within one of Georgia at 16-15, but Jasmine Eatmon found the court that ended the run and put Georgia back up by two at 17-15. Once again, Buckendahl was dialed in at the service line, serving six of the final seven Georgia points that allowed the Bulldogs to take the second set 25-18.
Mississippi State came back to tie the match at 2-2 after a pair of 25-18 wins in the third and fourth sets that forced a deciding fifth set. Georgia opened up to a 6-4 lead early, forcing Mississippi State to use a timeout. MSU came back and tied the set at 7, 8 and 9 before a pair of Smith and Perri blocks gave the Bulldogs a two-point lead at 11-9. Mississippi State fought back and tied the set at 11. The teams went point-for-point over the next 10 possessions until kills by Teknipp and Northcutt sealed the 18-16 set five, allowing the Bulldogs take the match 3-2.
Georgia returns to action on Sunday, Nov. 3 when it travels to Knoxville, Tenn., to take on the Tennessee Lady Vols. Georgia won the first meeting between the teams this season 3-0. The match is set to begin at 2 p.m., and will be televised on CSS. The Bulldogs are 0-2 on CSS this season and 1-2 when they play in a televised match.