Nov. 21, 2012
ATHENS, Ga. - The University of Georgia volleyball team completed a season-sweep of Mississippi State with a 3-0 (25-18, 28-26, 25-20) win on Wednesday evening at the Ramsey Center. With the win, the Bulldogs improve to 14-15 on the season, including an 8-11 mark in Southeastern Conference play. Mississippi State falls to 4-24 overall and remains winless in the SEC at 0-19.
"I'm proud of this group for coming out the way they did tonight," said head coach Lizzy Stemke. "We've had a couple of tough games in a row here recently, so it felt good to be back at home. Overall, I think we did a nice job with our defense. Mississippi State played really hard, and I felt like we continued to put the pressure on them, even though they were frustrating us a little bit with their defense. That second game was huge, and I think it was a great confident booster for us."
Brittany Northcutt, Tirah Le'au and Lauren Teknipp each finished with double-digit kills, with Le'au posting a team-best 12 kills and Northcutt and Teknipp each finishing with 11 kills. Teknipp was efficient at the net, finishing with a .435 attack percentage, while Le'au led the team for the third straight match and finished with a .370 attack percentage. Kaylee Kehoe and Maggie Baumert finished with 19 and 18 assists, respectively. Chloe Buckendahl picked up a match-high four service aces, while Jasmine Eatmon finished with two. Elena Perri led the team defensively, finishing with a match-high four blocks, including one solo block. Eatmon finished with three blocks, while Briana Bahr and Teknipp each finished with two blocks.
Georgia and Mississippi State kept it close in the early points of set one, tying seven times before MSU took a 10-8 lead. UGA fought back to tie the set at 11, 12, 13 and 14 before taking advantage of an attack error to retake the lead at 15-14. With Georgia holding a 19-17 lead, a kill by Teknipp ignited a 5-0 run that put Georgia at set point at 24-17. UGA used the serve of Eatmon during the run and saw a kill by Teknipp, as well as a kill and a block by Perri. Northcutt sealed the 25-18 win with a kill.
UGA eased out to an early 9-4 lead in the second set with the help of a 4-0 run that included a pair of kills by Teknipp and a Buckendahl service ace. Holding a 12-10, Georgia scored a trio of points that put it up 15-10. MSU fought back into the set, using three-consecutive points to pull within two at 18-16. Eatmon ended the run with a service ace, but Mississippi State used a kill and a service ace to tie the score at 22. The teams tied at 23, 24 and 25 before Georgia took the final three points on a pair of kills by Northcutt and a Teknipp kill to win the second set 28-26.
As with the two previous sets, Georgia and Mississippi State kept it close in the early stages of the third set, until a kill by Brittany Northcutt sparked a 4-0 run that ended with three-straight Buckendahl service aces and forced Mississippi State to use a timeout. Following the break, MSU scored three-straight points to make it a 10-8 game. With Georgia holding a 13-9 lead, Mississippi State scored three-straight to pull within one at 13-12 and caused Georgia to call its first timeout of the set. Mississippi State kept the match close until a kill by Northcutt and an Eatmon ace extended Georgia's lead to four at 20-16. The team's traded points over the final four possessions until Le'au clinched the 25-20 win with a kill that allowed Georgia to claim the match 3-0.
Georgia returns to action on Friday, Nov. 23 at 7 p.m., when it hosts the Florida Gators in the final regular-season match of the year. Fans are encouraged to get in their seats early, as Georgia will be honoring seniors Nicole Choi and Briana Bahr before the match.