Georgia volleyball fell to the first-ranked Florida Gators in three sets, 25-13, 25-23, 27-25, at the Exactech Arena at the Stephen C. O’Connell Center on Sunday.
“We played much better each set and earned our way into having chances in the third,” head coach Tom Black said. “We’re getting better, and we’ll keep learning through this match into the next one.”
Sophomore Meghan Donovan and freshman Kendall Glover headlined the defense, totaling 10 and 15 digs, respectively. Freshman T’ara Ceasar led the offense with nine kills, followed by seven and six from junior Majesti Bass and freshman Rachel Ritchie. Donovan also had 26 assists, tabbing her sixth double-double on the season, and second of the weekend.
Florida jumped to a 7-1 lead in the first set and held on to take the opener 25-13, as the Bulldogs spread the kills between Ceasar, Ritchie, Bass, and Karstens.
Georgia returned in the second set to open the frame with a kill from Ritchie. As Florida established an advantage, the Bulldogs chipped at the Gators’ lead the entirety of the set, evening the score at 14 with a four-point run featuring a kill from Ceasar and an ace from junior Sydney Gilliam. Georgia forced a Florida timeout by tying up the match 23, fueled by a kill from redshirt freshman Kianna Young, who had two on the day, but Florida came back to seal a 25-23 decision.
In the third set, back-to-back kills from Bass, followed by a block assist from Bass and Donovan, orchestrated another four-point run as Georgia evened the set at 6. Georgia surged ahead to a 19-14 lead, highlighted by kills from Ritchie and Bass, but Florida overcame a 24-19 deficit to take the final set 27-25.
Up next, Georgia opens the newly renovated Stegeman Coliseum on Wednesday against Tennessee at 7 p.m. The match will be available on ESPNU.