Georgia Volleyball 2010 Season-In-Review
The University of Georgia volleyball team finished the 2010 season with a 15-17 overall record and finished eighth in the Southeastern Conference with a league mark of 6-14.
Georgia opened its 2010 campaign by winning the Deacon Invitational with wins over East Tennessee State, Coastal Carolina and tournament host Wake Forest, and the win over ETSU marked UGA’s first win in a season opening contest since 2007. The Bulldogs went on to extending their season-opening winning streak to 6-0 and moved to 8-3 before entering the SEC slate.
The highlight of Georgia's conference schedule was a 3-2 upset over 20th-ranked Tennessee in Athens in late September. It marked UGA's first win over a ranked opponent since defeating eighth-ranked Florida, 3-2, in Athens on Oct. 25, 2008, and the victory was Georgia's second over a ranked opponent over the past 15 seasons. Following that weekend of play, which also included a five-set loss to 24th-ranked Kentucky, junior setter Kathleen Gates was named the SEC Offensive Player of the Week.
In total, Georgia finished the 2010 season having played nine five-set matches. The Bulldogs played three consecutive five-set matches from Sept. 11 to Sept. 17 marking the first time in the rally-scoring era that the Bulldogs have played three-straight five set contests, and the last time the UGA program was involved in three five-set matches in a row was 1994. The most five-set contests in a season for a Georgia squad is 10, which happened in both 1988 and 2002.
Through the end of October, Georgia stood at 11-14 and head coach Joel McCartney was relieved of his duties as assistant coach Chad Hanson assumed interim head coach duties. McCartney's tenure at Georgia started in 2007 and he finished his Georgia career at 62-55 overall and 29-45 in SEC matches. With Hanson at the helm, Georgia went 4-3 in November to close out the season.
The end of the 2010 season also marked the end of the collegiate playing careers for two Bulldogs, seniors Valentina Gonzalez and Simone May.
Gonzalez, who was named to the All-SEC Second Team for a second-consecutive season, concluded her four-year Georgia career entrenched in the Georgia record books most notably as the school record holder for career blocks assists with 424. Gonzalez earned SEC Defensive Player of the Week honors following Georgia's match at Alabama where she broke the school block assist record previously held by Lital Sisso at 413. Additionally, she finishes the 2010 season with a .395 hitting percentage, second-best for a single year, and her career hitting percentage of .335 ranks second in school history as well. Gonzalez's career block total of 453 ranks fourth all-time at UGA.
May, who joined the Bulldogs in 2006 from Guntersville, Ala., finishes her career with 283 kills and 88 blocks having played in 70 matches and 196 sets.
Joining Gonzalez in the record books in 2010 were juniors Kathleen Gates, Ann Dylla and Carla Tietz. Gates became just the sixth player in school history to surpass 3,000 career assists as her three-year total now stands at 3,518. Tietz notched her second 400-plus dig season with 412 in 2010 to raise her career total to 1,249, which ranks sixth all-time at UGA. Dylla provided 126 blocks, 117 of which were assisted, 2010 to move to fifth all-time at UGA in career block assists at 335 and 10th in career total blocks at 362.
The Bulldogs' typical starting lineup in 2010 was rounded out by a trio of freshmen in Kathleen Luft, Brittany Northcutt and Allison Summers. Northcutt and Luft led the team in attacks with 849 and 801, respectively, as Northcutt finished third on the team with 302 kills and Luft was fourth with 271. Meanwhile, Summers finished with a team-best 39 aces and Northcutt was second on the team with 37 aces.
2010 Honors & Awards: