Volleyball: Bulldogs Host Tide in Final Home Matches of the Fall

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Volleyball: Bulldogs Host Tide in Final Home Matches of the Fall

Georgia middle blocker Phoebe Awoleye (19) during a volleyball match between the University of Georgia and the University of South Carolina at Stegeman Coliseum in Athens, Ga., on Saturday, October 17, 2020. (Photo by Chamberlain Smith)
Georgia middle blocker Phoebe Awoleye (19) during a volleyball match between the University of Georgia and the University of South Carolina at Stegeman Coliseum in Athens, Ga., on Saturday, October 17, 2020. (Photo by Chamberlain Smith)

Georgia (2-2, 2-2 SEC) 
vs. Alabama (0-4, 0-4 SEC)
Dates: Saturday, Nov. 7-Sunday, Nov. 8
Times: Saturday – 2 p.m.; Sunday – 2 p.m.
Location: Athens, Ga.
Arena: Stegeman Coliseum 
     Admission: FREE (no tickets required) 

Media Information
Streaming Video: SEC Network+ (Saturday)
     Play-by-play: Kaleb Frady
     Analysis: Nikki Chester
TV: SEC Network (Sunday)
     Play-by-play: Paul Sunderland
     Analysis: Jenny Hazelwood
Live Stats: GeorgiaDogs.com 
Twitter:@UGAvolleyball

First Serve
The Georgia volleyball team returns to Stegeman Coliseum to host the Alabama Crimson Tide in the final home matches of the fall this weekend. Saturday and Sunday’s matches will each begin at 2 p.m. 

Follow the Bulldogs
» Saturday’s match will stream live on SEC Network+. Kaleb Frady (play-by-play) and Nikki Chester (analysis) will be on the call.
» Sunday’s match is set to air nationally on SEC Network. Paul Sunderland (play-by-play) and Jenny Hazelwood (analysis) will be on the call.
» Live stat links can be found on the volleyball schedule on GeorgiaDogs.com. 

Upcoming Promotions at Stegeman
» Admission is FREE to all regular-season home matches; the SEC Clear Bag Policy will be in effect
» Senior Day – Georgia will honor four senior student-athletes on Sunday

COVID-19 Fan Policies and Procedures at Stegeman Coliseum
Volleyball matches at Stegeman Coliseum will be open to the public in 2020. Admission is free and tickets are not required for entry. Following the University of Georgia COVID-19 on-campus policy, fans will be required to wear face coverings at all times while in Stegeman Coliseum and social distancing measures will be practiced. Only cashless payments will be accepted at Stegeman this season for concessions. 

BULLDOGS BULLETIN
Series History
– Georgia leads the all-time series 28-26
– In Athens, the Bulldogs hold a narrow 12-11 advantage
– The teams have split the last 10 meetings 
– Georgia has won five-straight against the Tide; however, Alabama had won the previous six meetings 
– The Bulldogs have swept Alabama in four of its last five victories 

Up Next
Georgia will conclude the fall portion of its season with two matches at Florida Nov. 20 and 21 in Gainesville. SEC volleyball teams will participate in spring competition as well, with details of formats contingent on final decisions by the NCAA to conduct a spring championship. 

Thank you, Seniors! 
Prior to Sunday’s match, the University of Georgia will honor four seniors student-athletes: Brynn Chandler, Kaylah House, Rachel Ritchie, and Kianna Young. Chandler and Ritchie were members of Tom Black’s first class at UGA and Ritchie became the 18th’ member of Georgia’s 1,000-Kill Club a season ago. Graduate manager Trent Dunahoo will also be honored. 

Let’s Recap
After splitting opening weekend against South Carolina, Georgia traveled to Knoxville for a pair of midweek matches last week. The Bulldogs tried to mount a comeback in Tuesday’s match, winning set three after going down 2-0 in the match. Tennessee was able to hold on to defeat Georgia in four sets. The Lady Vols won the opening stanza of Wednesday’s match, but Georgia won the next two to take a 2-1 lead. Tennessee won the fourth to force a final set. Down 10-7, Georgia surged down the stretch to win the set and the match, 3-2. 

Stivrins Shines on Opening Weekend
Sophomore outside hitter Amber Stivrins put together a strong performance in her first weekend as a Bulldogs against South Carolina. Stivrins concluded the weekend with 34 kills, including a career-high 26 coming in Sunday’s match (second all-time in a four-set match). She hit .564 in that match. She also put up a team-best 20 digs over the weekend while also recording three aces. 

Black Notches 300th Career Victory
Head coach Tom Black, in his 16th season as a head coach, recorded his 300th career victory on Sunday, Oct. 18 with a four-set victory over South Carolina. In 11 seasons at the Division I level, he has accumulated 186 wins and 60 in four seasons at Georgia. Black is fifth among the active head coaches in the SEC behind Mary Wise (Florida), Fran Flory (LSU), Craig Skinner (Kentucky), and Lindsey Devine (Alabama). 

Bulldogs Receiving Votes in AVCA Poll
The Georgia volleyball team has received votes in all six AVCA Coaches Polls this season. The poll ranks the Top 15 among teams competing this fall. The SEC has five teams represented in the top 15 with four more receiving votes. 

Georgia Volleyball is #VoteReady
The Georgia volleyball team is 100 percent registered to vote in the upcoming November election. Additionally on Saturday, Oct. 24, members of the volleyball, women’s basketball, and women’s cross country teams volunteered at early polling locations around Athens assisting with line management. 

2020 SEC Schedule Setup
The 2020 SEC volleyball season will consist of an eight-match, Conference-only schedule over six weeks of competition beginning October 16 with each school competing against four opponents twice in the same weekend on back-to-back days. SEC volleyball teams will participate in spring competition as well, with details of formats contingent on final decisions by the NCAA to conduct a spring championship.

Georgia Picked Sixth in SEC Preseason Poll
The Bulldogs were picked sixth in the SEC Preseason Poll, as voted on by the league’s head coaches. Georgia finished fifth in 2019 with a 12-6 record. Kentucky was picked to win the league in 2020. 

The Bulldogs at Home
Georgia concluded the 2019 home schedule with a 7-4 record. In the first three seasons under Tom Black, Georgia has notched a record at home of 25-15. Season one saw Georgia go 12-5 in Athens. The 2018 season was the first full-time season for Georgia volleyball in Stegeman Coliseum as Georgia went .500 at 6-6. In home-opening tournaments the last two seasons, the Bulldogs are 7-0. 

O Canada! 
In February 2019, Tom Black was named the head coach of the Canadian Women’s Indoor National Team. Volleyball Canada won the FIVB Women’s Challenger in Lima, Peru in June 2019, qualifying for the Nations League Tournament in 2020; unfortunately, the VNL was canceled due to COVID-19. 

A Look at the 2020 Squad
Georgia’s roster features 18 total student-athletes, the largest roster in the history of the program. The squad is a near-perfect mix of classes (4 seniors, 5 juniors, 5 sophomores, 4 freshmen). Five starters return from the 2019 NCAA Tournament squad including SEC Freshman of the Year Kacie Evans and Rachel Ritchie on the outside as well as Sage Naves and Kianna Young in the middle with Kayla Rivera on the opposite pin. Claire Rothenberger is expected to fill the libero jersey following the graduation of Kendall Glover. Setting duties will be taken over by Dalaney Hans and Brynn Chandler as All-SEC setter Meghan Donovan graduated in May. Louisville transfer Amber Stivrins will bolster Georgia’s outside attack while freshman middle blocker Phoebe Awoleye looks to makes some noise in the middle during her rookie season. 

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