Oct. 28, 2012
ATHENS, Ga. - The University of Georgia volleyball took the Kentucky Wildcats to five sets before ultimately falling 3-2 (13-25, 26-24, 19-25, 25-23, 12-15) in a hard fought Southeastern Conference match on Sunday afternoon in the Ramsey Center. The Bulldogs dropped to 13-9 overall and 7-5 in SEC play, while Kentucky improved to 15-8 on the season and 9-4 in the SEC.
"Today was a great SEC battle between two teams that went at it," head coach Lizzy Stemke said. "We were obviously just a few points shy of it going the other way. I am really proud of this team and how they fought for every single point. We stuck to a game plan that we felt very strong with and the team stayed confident in what we were trying to do throughout the match."
Tirah Le'au led the team with 13 kills, while Brittany Northcutt and Briana Bahr each added 11 kills. Jasmine Eatmon and Lauren Teknipp each ended with nine kills. Kaylee Kehoe and Maggie Baumert split time setting, finishing with 33 and 24 assists, respectively. Elena Perri and Bahr led the team defensively, tallying six kills each. Northcutt added two solo blocks. Allison Summers led the match with 22 digs.
Kentucky used a powerful offensive attack to stave off the Bulldogs in the first set. The Wildcats jumped out to an early 10-4 lead, but the Bulldogs fought back to bring the match within four at 14-10. Kentucky went on an 8-0 run that helped it increase its lead to 22-12. The Wildcats then scored the final three points to take the first set 25-13.
The Bulldogs bounced back for a 26-24 win in the second set. Georgia took an early 7-4 lead before the Wildcats cut the lead to 8-6. The teams traded points over the next several possessions until a bad set by the Wildcats sparked a 4-0 that put the Bulldogs up by 16-11. The Wildcats scored the next five points to tie the set at 16 before an Eatmon kill allowed Georgia to retake the lead at 17-16. Georgia and Kentucky tied six more times before a kill by Bahr and a solo block by Le'au sealed the 26-24 win.
The teams kept it close in the opening points of the third set, tying four times before the Wildcats went on a 4-0 run that gave them a 10-7 lead and forced Georgia to call its first timeout of the set. Georgia pulled within three at 13-10, but the Wildcats scored four of the next five points to make it a 17-11 set. The Bulldogs fought back, but were unable to secure the win as the Wildcats scored four of the last six points to seal the set 25-19 and take a 2-1 lead in the match.
Georgia jumped out a 6-3 lead in the fourth set before Kentucky came back to tie the set at six. The score knotted at 7, 8 and 9 before a Teknipp kill sparked a 4-0 run that put the Bulldogs on top 13-9. The teams traded points over the next several possessions, before a kill by Whitney Billings helped the Wildcats come within one at 22-21. The teams tied at 23, but a kill by Le'au and a block by Teknipp and Eatmon clinched the fourth set 25-23 and forced a fifth and deciding set.
The Bulldogs fell behind 4-1 in the fifth set, but scored three straight to tie the set at four. Kentucky answered with four points of its own to take a 9-5 lead. Georgia scored six of the next eight points to tie the set at 11. A Bahr kill made it a 13-12 set, but Kentucky scored the final two points to take the set 15-12 and the match 3-2.
Georgia returns to action Nov. 2 when it travels to Gainesville, Fla., to take on the Florida Gators tat 7 p.m. The Bulldogs will then take on the Auburn Tigers at 2:30 p.m., in Sunday, Nov. 4.