The Georgia volleyball team will play the final week of the regular season beginning at LSU in Baton Rouge on Wednesday. First serve is set for 8 p.m. ET, and the game will be streamed to the SEC Network+.
SERIES HISTORY – LSU
LSU leads the all-time series against Georgia, 36-21. The Bulldogs have dropped the last five meetings to the Tigers with the last victory coming Sept. 27, 2013 in Baton Rouge, 3-2.
Ceasar Continues to Earn Weekly Honors
T’ara Ceasar was named SEC Freshman of the Week for the seventh time on Monday, Nov. 20. She is the only UGA volleyball player to earn any weekly SEC award seven 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 led the Georgia offense in both matches last weekend. She started with 11 kills at Kentucky then followed up with a double-double performance at Tennessee, featuring 14 kills and 15 digs. She hit .312 in the sweep of the Lady Vols. The double-double was her eighth this season while she extended her double-digit kill streak to 10 matches.
Thank You, Seniors!
Georgia volleyball will honor the careers of three seniors prior to first serve on Friday. Cassidy Anderson, Amanda Dachs, and Kendall Kazor will be recognized. The three have played in a combined 1,051 sets in 316 matches over four years. They have also combined for 980 kills and 1,783 digs.
Bulldogs Earning SEC Weekly Awards
Georgia has earned 12 weekly awards this season, topping the previous program record of four set in 2003, 2004, 2005, 2008. Four different Bulldogs have been honored by the conference this season with three earning Freshman accolades. Meghan Donovan has three Setter of the Week awards while T’ara Ceasar leads the pack with a whopping seven Freshman of the Week awards. Fellow freshmen Kendall Glover and Rachel Ritchie have also been recognized this season.
Trending in the Right Direction
The Bulldogs enter this weekend having won seven of their last nine matches, six of which coming in straight sets. UGA’s three-game conference win streaks are the longest since 2013. The Bulldogs sit at nine SEC wins in 2017, the most since 2013 when the Dawgs won 11 conference games. Georgia’s 19 wins has already topped the overall win total from 13 of the last 14 seasons.
In RPI, Georgia has made one of the greatest turnarounds from a season ago. At the end of 2016, the Bulldogs ranked 189. Currently, Georgia ranks 62, good enough for a jump of 127 places. That figure ranks seventh-best. North Texas (211-67) has had the greatest turnaround, jumping 144 places. Georgia’s opponent on Wednesday, LSU, also appears on the list with a 115-place jump (153-38).
Black in His First Season
In his first season at Georgia, head coach Tom Black has already placed 19 W’s in the win column. Of the six head coaches before him, he has already topped five of them in their first season. Jim Iams guided the Bulldogs to a 30-4 season in his first year at the helm (1989).
Of 10 first-year “Power Five” head volleyball coaches this season, Black has posted the third-best conference winning percentage (.563) behind Stanford’s Kevin Hambly (.944) and Louisville’s Dani Bushboom Kelly (.889).
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 26th in kills per set while Ritchie ranks 70th. Ceasar is the highest ranking freshman in the category. Ceasar has also made her presence known on the service line, ranking third in the league in aces, 37th nationally. Her ranking of 20 is the best for a freshman with 4.91 points per set. Ceasar leads the team with 24 double-digit kill matches this season with Ritchie close behind with 21.
Georgia leads the Southeastern Conference in aces per set, registering a 1.57 clip (159 total) in the category. The Bulldogs’ average is good enough for 25th nationally. Individually, T’ara Ceasar’s 0.42 average (41 total) ranks third in the conference and37th in the country. The squad’s 11 aces on Arkansas (Oct. 25) were the team-best in SEC play this season, topping the previous season-high of eight at Missouri Oct. 20.
Georgia Ranked in Top Four of SEC in Every Offensive Category
The Georgia offense has placed itself in the top five 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 1.57 average, highlighted by T’ara Ceasar and Kendall Glover, who have led the team in service aces in 19 matches this season. Ceasar ranks third in the SEC in service aces individually.
The Bulldogs are third at .247 in hitting percentage. In kills, Georgia boasts a third-place position (13.74), 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 11.02 per match, bringing Georgia to its fourth position as a team 12.95 assists per set. The setter’s mark also ranks 28th in the nation.
UP NEXT – Kentucky
The Bulldogs return home Friday to host No. 6 Kentucky. Friday’s match against the Wildcats will begin at 5 p.m. at Stegeman Coliseum and will air live on ESPNU. A trio of seniors will be honored 15 minutes before the match. Fans can also enter into the Black Friday raffle for a chance to win great prizes. Admission is free.
SERIES HISTORY – Kentucky
The Wildcats lead the all-time series with Georgia, 43-25. The Bulldogs will look to snap a six-match losing streak to Kentucky, dating back to the 2014 season. Georgia’s last victory over Kentucky came Oct. 23, 2013 in five sets in Athens. UK was ranked No. 15 at the time. That match is UGA’s last victory over a ranked opponent. The 2013 win over the Wildcats is the lone win against Kentucky since 2005 or the last 24 meetings. Georgia played Kentucky close last week in Lexington but well in three sets (22-25, 22-25, 9-25).