Dec. 9, 2011
ATHENS, Ga. – The University of Georgia volleyball team completed its first season under the guidance of head coach Lizzy Stemke in 2011 going 11-19 overall and finishing tied sixth in the Southeastern Conference with a 7-13 league record.
The Bulldogs opened the 2011 campaign with a 3-0 win over Liberty and a runner-up finish in the Hotel Indigo Bulldog Invitational in Athens. It marked the second-straight year UGA has won its season opener and moved the Bulldogs' all-time opening match record 25-9.
Georgia then competed in the Pepperdine Asics Classic, the Georgia Tech Regency Suites Invitational and won a mid-week match over Kennesaw State to close out the non-conference portion of the schedule at 4-6.
In SEC play, the Bulldogs went through the first half of league play at an even 5-5 capped by a five-set road victory at Arkansas. The second trip through the SEC proved more difficult as UGA went 2-8 to close out conference action at 7-13 on the year.
However, the 2011 season did not pass without several highlights. UGA has 14 home dates in 2011 for a total attendance of 11,957. The average home attendance of 854 is the highest in the history of the Ramsey Student Center and the highest for Georgia since the Bulldogs averaged 978 over 13 home dates in 1994 when they played in the Women’s Physical Education Building. There were five Ramsey Student Center crowds above the 1,000 attendance mark, marking the first time UGA has done that since 1994 when more than 1,000 people turned out to see the Bulldogs play at home seven times.
The end of the 2011 season marked the end of the collegiate playing careers for four senior Bulldogs, middle blocker Ann Dylla, setter Kathleen Gates, middle blocker Elizabeth Reid and defensive specialist Carla Tietz. Dylla and Gates started every match (123) and played every set (465) of their four-year career. The 465 sets played ranks 10th in school history. Meanwhile, Tietz played in every match except one in her four-years as a Bulldog (122) missing only five sets. Gates also finishes her career ranked third in career assists with 4,684 while Dylla closes her time as a Bulldog ranked second in career block assists with 414 and fourth in total blocks with 457. Tietz's collegiate career ends with 1,475 digs, which ranks second-best all-time at UGA.
In addition to Dylla and Gates, sophomore libero Allison Summers also started every match in 2011 leading the team with 413 digs, the 11th-highest single-season total in UGA history. Aiding Summers' defensive lead, Dylla provided a team-best 95 blocks while Reid contributed 89 stops.
On the offensive side of the net, Georgia received a team-best 306 kills from sophomore outside hitter Brittany Northcutt, 285 kills from redshirt sophomore Kathleen Luft and 230 kills from junior right side hitter Briana Bahr. Gates paced the offense with 1,166 assists.
Gates was also named to the 2011 Southeastern Conference Volleyball Community Service Team for a third-straight year, and she became just one of five players in SEC history to be named to the league's community service team three times.