VOLLEYBALL: Georgia Hosts Mississippi State

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VOLLEYBALL: Georgia Hosts Mississippi State

Georgia's T'ara Ceasar (1) during the Bulldogs' volleyball match against Arkansas at Stegeman Coliseum in Athens, Ga., on Wednesday, Oct. 25, 2017.  (Photo by Steffenie Burns / Georgia Sports Communication)
Georgia’s T’ara Ceasar (1) during the Bulldogs’ volleyball match against Arkansas at Stegeman Coliseum in Athens, Ga., on Wednesday, Oct. 25, 2017.
(Photo by Steffenie Burns / Georgia Sports Communication)


Georgia volleyball continues SEC play this weekend with a pair of games beginning tonight at 7:00 p.m. at the Stegeman Coliseum against Mississippi State.


The match will be streamed to the SEC Network+. The first 250 students will receive a replica Georgia Volleyball jersey t-shirt while the first 200 get a free sandwich as part of National Sandwich Day.


The Bulldogs hit the road Sunday for a matchup with the Alabama Crimson Tide. Sunday’s 1 p.m. match will air live on the SEC Network from Tuscaloosa.


Series History vs. Mississippi State
Georgia leads the series with the Bulldogs 44-13. Georgia’s win over Mississippi State on Oct. 15 snapped a three-match losing stretch to the Bulldogs. Georgia had a convincing win over MSU on the road, taking the match in straight sets, 25-14, 25-19, 25-16. A stout defensive front from Georgia held the Mississippi State offense to an .053 hitting percentage, the lowest of a conference opponent this year. On the offensive side, the Georgia attackers posted a .361 hitting percentage, which is its highest mark against an SEC opponent.


Series History vs. Alabama
The Bulldogs trail in the all-time series against Alabama, 24-26. The Dawgs swept the Crimson Tide in straight sets to open SEC play on Sept. 22 (25-23, 25-23, 25-20). Georgia held the Alabama offense to a .157 hitting percentage, led by four blocks from Anna Kate Karstens and double-digit digs from Kendall Glover. The freshmen tandem of T’ara Ceasar and Rachel Ritchie headlined the offense, totaling 16 and 13 kills apiece, complimented by six-kill performances from Amanda Dachs and Majesti Bass.


CLICK HERE for the complete match notes.


Trending in the Right Direction
The Bulldogs enter this weekend having won three of their last four matches. UGA’s three-game conference win streak was the longest since 2013. The Bulldogs sit at five SEC wins in 2017, matching the 2014 total of five. Georgia finished the 2013 season 11-7 in conference play. Georgia’s 15 wins has already topped the overall win total from the last three seasons and six of the last seven.


Ritchie Nabs First SEC Freshman of the Week Honor
The SEC named Georgia outside hitter Rachel Ritchie this week’s Freshman of the Week. Ritchie was the team leader in kills last week, guiding the Bulldogs in both matches in the category. Her .328 hitting clip was the second highest on the squad. The San Jaun Capistrano, California native laid down 18 kills in the four-set win over Arkansas Wednesday then followed with 14 off the bench against Mizzou. The double-digit kill games were the 17th and 18th of her rookie campaign.


This is Ritchie’s first weekly SEC honor and the eighth for Georgia volleyball this season, adding to the team record, which previously stood at four (2003, 2004, 2005, 2008). Four different Bulldogs have been honored by the conference this season with three earning Freshman accolades.


Aces Wild
Georgia leads the Southeastern Conference in aces per set, registering a 1.62 clip (139 total) in the category. The Bulldogs’ average is good enough for 20th nationally. Individually, T’ara Ceasar’s 0.41 average (34 total) ranks fifth in the conference and 43rd in the country. Six different Bulldogs recorded service aces in each of last week’s matches. The squad’s 11 aces on Arkansas were the team-best in SEC play this season, topping the previous season-high of eight at Missouri Oct. 20.


Georgia Ranked in the Top Half of SEC in Every Offensive Category
The Georgia offense has placed itself in the top six of every offensive category, including hitting percentage, assists, kills and service aces. The conference rankings feature Georgia at the top in service aces with a 1.62 average, highlighted by T’ara Ceasar and Sydney Gilliam, who have led the team in service aces in eight matches this season. Ceasar ranks fifth in the SEC in service aces individually.


Led by Majesti Bass with a .297 hitting percentage, the Bulldogs are fourth at .242. In kills, Georgia boasts a fifth-place position (13.40), fueled by outside hitters Ceasar and Rachel Ritchie at third and fourth in the individual rankings. Meghan Donovan headlines the Georgia assists, providing her own third-place spot with 10.74 per match, bringing Georgia to its fifth position as a team 12.65 assists per set. The setter’s mark also ranks 41st in the nation.


Career Milestones Watch
Senior defensive specialist Cassidy Anderson is 10 digs away from tallying the 1,000th of her career as a Bulldog. She enters this weekend with 990 in her four-year career. She will become the 19th member of UGA’s 1,000-dig club.


Sophomore setter Meghan Donovan tallied her 2,000th assist in the match against Mizzou on Oct. 29 at Stegeman Coliseum. The sophomore already ranks ninth all-time at Georgia in career assists.


Ceasar Continues to Earn Weekly Honors
T’ara Ceasar was named SEC Freshman of the Week for the fourth time on Monday, Oct. 23. She is now the only UGA volleyball player to earn any weekly SEC award four times in a single season. On Sept. 25, Ceasar also marked the first Bulldog to be named Freshman of the Week three times in a single season since the weekly honors for freshmen began in 2005. Two other Georgia players have earned the honor twice: Jasmine Eatmon in 2012 and Maria Taylor in 2005.


Ceasar registered a total of 15 kills with a .400 hitting percentage at Mizzou Oct. 20 . Her 15 kills guided the Georgia team to its second road sweep in a row. It’s the 14th time this season she has led the squad in kills and the 17th time she has eclipsed the double-digit kill mark. Her .400 hitting percentage matched a single-game high in SEC play this season. She added an ace and seven digs (co-led the team) in the victory over the Tigers.


Freshmen Phenoms
Freshmen T’ara Ceasar and Rachel Ritchie have been powerhouses for the Georgia offense in their rookie campaigns. The two rank in the top five in the SEC in kills and points. Nationally, Ceasar ranks 42nd in kills per set while Ritchie ranks 63rd. Ceasar is one of two freshmen in the top 50 of the category. Ceasar has also made her presence known on the service line, ranking fifth in the league in aces, 43rd nationally. Her ranking of 27 is the best for a freshman with 4.67 points per set.





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