Nov. 6, 2011
ATHENS, Ga. - The University of Georgia volleyball team was edged in five sets by the LSU Tigers on Sunday afternoon at the Ramsey Student Center.
After Georgia took the opening set, 25-20, LSU answered to go ahead in the match by taking sets two and three, 25-17 and 25-16. The Bulldogs battled back to take the fourth set 25-21 and force the fifth frame. In the decisive set, LSU staved off set point four times and forced extra points before winning it 18-16. LSU improved to 17-8 overall and 10-5 in Southeastern Conference action while Georgia dropped to 10-16 overall and 6-10 in league play.
"It was definitely disappointing, but I am so proud because we fought so hard and that just shows there is even more within us," Junior Briana Bahr said. "That's not every everything we have, and we can give more. It is point-to-point, but I'm glad that we were able to give it the best we had."
Sunday's five-set affair with LSU marked Georgia's second-straight five-set contest. The Bulldogs came away victorious this past Friday over Arkansas, 3-2. As with the battle with the Razorbacks, the down-to-the-wire match with the Tigers produced similar statistics on both sides of the net. LSU led in kills, 67-57, and hitting percentage, .316-.216, but was just narrowly ahead in digs, 60-59, and blocks, 13.0-11.0. Georgia led the match in aces, 9-6.
Madie Jones, Michele Williams and Malorie Pardo paced the LSU offensive attack. Jones had a match-best 21 kills, Williams had 19 kills and Pardo dished out 60 assists. Defensively, libero Meghan Mannari contributed a match-best 24 digs and Williams had a match-best seven blocks.
For Georgia, redshirt sophomore outside hitter Kathleen Luft notched a team-best 20 kills while Bahr matched her career high with 15 kills. Bahr set her career high in kills in Friday's win over Arkansas.
Guiding the Bulldogs' offense senior setter Kathleen Gates provided 49 assists, and that total raised her career assist total to 4,554, moving her to fourth all-time at UGA.
Gates nearly finished with a double-double by recording nine digs, which was third-best on the day. Sophomore Brittany Northcutt led the team with a career-best 19 digs and sophomore libero Allison Summers added 16.
"We have to be excited and proud about the way we fought," Georgia head coach Lizzy Stemke said. "We need to be proud of the fight, and we need to have a new goal this week of what we need to work on that got us down in a few of those games. LSU is a really solid serving team and that's what got us down in a couple of those games and we need to fight through that a little quicker, but we are really proud of our fight. We took a little dip and we fought our way back and that we have to be proud of doing."
Sunday's contest against LSU was also the second match in a three-match home stand for UGA. The Bulldogs will play their final home match of the season this coming Friday (Nov. 11) against Mississippi State at 7 p.m. That match will be senior day for four Bulldogs: Ann Dylla, Kathleen Gates, Elizabeth Reid and Carla Tietz. Georgia then concludes its 2011 season with three road contests at Florida (Nov. 18), at South Carolina (Nov. 20) and at Auburn (Nov. 23).