The 2017 Georgia volleyball season is set to begin on Friday, as first-year head coach Tom Black and the Bulldogs open the year hosting the Benson Hospitality Invitational.
Georgia’s first game is at 11:30 a.m. ET against Presbyterian, as the first 100 fans will receive free coffee and donuts and the first 500 will receive a free schedule magnet. The Bulldogs will return that night at 7:00 p.m. ET to take on George Mason with the first 250 fans getting a free T-shirt.
Saturday will also be a twin-bill for Georgia, facing UNC Asheville at 1:00 p.m. ET before taking on LIU Brooklyn at 7:00 p.m. ET. The first 100 students to the nightcap will receive free pizza while the first 500 fans receive a free schedule magnet.
All games will feature live stats via georgiadogs.com while the games against George Mason, UNC Asheville and LIU Brooklyn will be featured on SEC Network+/WatchESPN. For a full tournament schedule, visit the volleyball page on georgiadogs.com.
BLACK TAKES OVER THE HELM
Tom Black, an accomplished collegiate and international coach, was named the seventh head coach of the Georgia volleyball program in December 2016. Black comes to Athens with 12 years of NCAA head coaching experience with time at UC San Diego and Loyola Marymount, accumulating a career record of 242-115 after posting six seasons with 20-plus wins.
Working with some of the top athletes in the country, Black has been extremely active with the U.S. Women’s National Team over the last few years, working alongside U.S. head coach Karch Kiraly. Black most recently served on the staff at the 2016 Rio Olympic games as an assistant coach with the United States garnering a bronze medal.
VERSUS THE BENSON HOSPITALITY INVITE FIELD
Presbyterian: Georgia leads the series 3-0 with the last meeting coming as a 3-1 victory in 2009.
George Mason: In the teams’ only contest, GMU took a 3-1 win in 1996.
UNC Asheville: The Bulldogs hold a 5-0 advantage over UNC Asheville, meeting last in 2014 with Georgia winning in straight sets.
LIU Brooklyn: The teams have met once in program history with Georgia earning a 3-2 win in 2009.
INCOMING CLASS RANKED NO. 30 NATIONALLY
With seven talented newcomers joining the 2017 roster, the incoming signing class came in at No. 30 in the nation in the recruiting rankings. At Black’s disposal will be two outside hitters, two setters, two defensive specialists and a middle blocker in his freshman group.
EXPERIENCED RETURNERS BACK ON THE COURT
The Bulldogs will have a good mix on the court with those seven newcomers, as 10 returners are back for 2017, including seniors Cassidy Anderson, Amanda Dachs and Kendall Kazor. Anderson led the team with 40 aces and 408 digs while Dachs and Kazor were some of the team’s top attackers, holding 144 and 191 kills, respectively.
After attending the USA Volleyball’s Women’s National Team open tryouts, Meghan Donovan and Majesti Bass are also on the court for 2017. Donovan had a solid freshman campaign, totaling over 1,000 assists while earning an SEC weekly honor. Bass enters her junior year as the top returning blocker, as she notched a career-best 10 in a win over Boston College.