Nov. 11, 2011
ATHENS, Ga. - The University of Georgia volleyball team defeated the Mississippi State Bulldogs, 3-1, on Senior Night at the Ramsey Student Center on Friday evening.
Georgia jumped out to a two-set lead by taking the opening frames, 25-14 and 25-18, but Mississippi State took the third set 25-23 to extend the match. In the fourth set, the Bulldogs from Athens came away victorious 25-22. With the win, Georgia improved to 11-16 overall and 7-10 in Southeastern Conference action. Mississippi State fell to 10-16 overall and 5-12 in SEC play.
"These seniors have given so much to this program and their effort tonight showed a great consistency in what this program means to them," Georgia head coach Lizzy Stemke said. "I haven't looked at the numbers yet, but they played with passion tonight. They played with a true heart to leave out on our court."
Friday night's win was the final home match of the 2011 season for Georgia, and the Bulldogs honored four seniors at the match for their contributions to the program which included key performances in the victory over MSU.
Senior setter Kathleen Gates paced the offense to a 59 kills and a .310 hitting percentage by providing 44 assists to go along with five kills, seven digs and three blocks. Gates' 44 assists raised her career total to 4,598, which moves her up to third all-time in the UGA record books.
Behind Gates' lead, senior middle blocker Elizabeth Reid provided 11 kills on a .471 clip and three blocks, and fellow senior middle blocker Ann Dylla notched nine kills and also had three blocks. Aiding the defensive effort, senior Carla Tietz had six digs while also chipping in three assists.
"To go out the way that we did there is no better way to go out," Dylla said.
In addition to the strong senior performances, redshirt sophomore Kathleen Luft had a team-best 13 kills on a .303 mark, junior Briana Bahr had 12 kills on a .375 clip and sophomore Brittany Northcutt added nine kills and a team-best 12 digs.
Mississippi State had two players finish with double-digit kills as Caitlin Rance had 13 and Chanelle Baker had 12.
As a team, Georgia tied a season-best mark with nine aces while only letting Mississippi State earn one ace. Out of Georgia's nine aces, Gates, Northcutt, Luft and sophomore Allison Summers each contributed two while Reid came away with an ace on the match's final point.
"I did not think I was going to get an ace," Reid said. "That was like ice cream on top of the cake."
Georgia's final three matches of the 2011 season will now come on the road at Florida (Nov. 18), at South Carolina (Nov. 20) and at Auburn (Nov. 23).