2013 Georgia Volleyball Preview
Lizzy Stemke


Lizzy Stemke
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Aug 27, 2013

Georgia head coach Lizzy Stemke sat down to discuss what's in store for Georgia during the 2013 season...

On the senior class...
"This senior group has made huge strides in the last three years on the court and they are leading the boat this year. Brittany Northcutt is no stranger to taking on a huge load for this squad, playing all six rotations and being responsible for all skills. Allison Summers has matured into an elite libero and with the defense that we run, she has ownership of the back row. Elena Perri has an incredible volleyball IQ and her team leans on her consistency and steady play. Stacey Smith has embraced her role on the right side and had a breakout spring that saw her take her skills to another level. We will see major contributions from every one of these seniors, which is a great position to be in."

On the talent returning for the 2013 season...
"This team has really grown together on and off the court. This group has now worked for almost three years in the new systems and the culture of our gym is becoming second nature now. We have a challenging non-conference and SEC schedule once again and we hope to see our experience pay off."

On her favorite moments from last year...
"We had a lot of firsts last season: first time Georgia has hosted a foreign team, first time the Bulldogs have played in Stegeman Coliseum. We also had some fantastic wins including beating LSU in Baton Rouge for the first time in 15 years. All of these things are evidence that we are building a team that stronger than ever. We were able to take this team on a European tour this past May, which was also a first so this group is having an opportunity to be a part of something really special here at Georgia."

On the newcomers...
"We have two newcomers this season in Amanda Dachs and Elle McCord. However both are from the Atlanta area, so we don't feel like they are newcomers at all. They have been up to Athens to watch us play a number of times and they were great friends of many of our players before stepping foot on campus. For these reasons this might be the easiest transition we could have asked for in a freshmen group. Amanda is a great athlete that, while sidelined much of last year due to an injury, has battled back to become stronger than ever with a determination to help the Bulldogs right away. Elle is a fiery player that will run through walls if you ask her. Both players will fit into our system seamlessly."  

On the goals for the season...
"This year we have decided to create many smaller goals that are focused on the process rather than with the end in mind. We will have a lot of fun with this season because we will truly be immersed in the process."

On the nonconference schedule...
"For where our program is and where we want to go, each matchup is key for us. We will have some exciting stops along the way, including a trip to Nebraska to take on the Huskers in their new arena that will be sold out with over 10,000 people in attendance. We will also have another chance at the Kansas Jay Hawks, whom we played in our home tournament two years ago. We have some great regional teams for both of our home tournaments and many of our players will be playing against people that they have either played with or against during their own high school years. Each weekend will be a piece of our 2013 journey and we plan to seize the day in every occasion!"

On the SEC schedule...
"This year in the SEC will be as exciting as it ever has been. So many teams will look differently from years past with new faces. We will no doubt continue to see great athleticism on the floor and it could be anyone's year."

On the strengths of the team...
"More than any other year we are extremely deep and experienced in every position. We had the benefit of the European tour in May, which allowed many of our players the chance to play at a high level. We hope to use this to our advantage."

On the setters...
"Both of our setters are more and more comfortable in our system and leading the court when on the floor or off. They both provide very different personalities but lead in their own way. They are a terrific duo and we could not ask for more in terms of effort and dedication to this team."

On the attackers...
"Our attack is balanced and diverse. We have many players that will be called upon at different times to take over and that is exciting as a coach to have that flexibility."

On the middle blockers...
"In the middle, we have the experience of Jasmine Eatmon, an SEC All-Freshman a year ago, and Elena Perri who for much of the season was in the top three in the conference for blocking statistics. Added to this group will be redshirt freshmen Desiree McCray who bring a wealth of athleticism and competitive drive to the court."  

On the defensive specialists...
"The defensive culture of this group stems from our libero Allison Summers. She has embraced this leadership role and will ignite some really exciting rallies this season. Both Gaby Smiley and Elle McCord will be great personalities to follow suit."

On the European trip over the summer...
"This particular trip bonded this group in a way that is impossible to orchestrate. They were on foreign soil, eating different foods and faced many adversities that they are not used to. They had to learn to lean on each other during these experiences. We had some great goal meetings about what we wanted our season to be but the overall time spent together was crucial for everything they want to build this season."

On playing more matches in Stegeman Coliseum this year...
"There is a full production with any competition in Stegeman. The space and all of the bells and whistles over there make it a great event. We are excited to have the opportunity to play even more matches this year and we hope to continue to offer a few matches every year to expose more of our community to our sport."

On why fans should come out to watch the team...
"Volleyball is such a fun sport to watch live and this team is working so hard to not only represent our program but also our University. We have some fantastic role models on the floor and are a great group of young female student-athletes to support."

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