Despite falling in three sets, the University of Georgia volleyball team battled sixth-ranked Kentucky well on the road Friday evening, 22-25, 22-25, 9-25.
The loss snapped Georgia’s three-match winning streak. The Bulldogs are now 18-10 on the season and 8-7 in Southeastern Conference play.
“Kentucky played at a very high-level tonight,” head coach Tom Black remarked. “They serve received well and their lefts went off. We made some good plays and some plays we’d like to take back. We’ll learn from this and get back right back to work tomorrow before playing a good Tennessee team on Sunday.”
T’ara Ceasar once again led the way offensively for Georgia despite a slow start for the freshman. She finished with 11 kills, hitting. 296. She kept her double-digit kill streak alive at nine matches. It was also her 22nd double-digit kill match of the season.
Majesti Bass and Rachel Ritchie each had good nights offensively with eight and six kills, respectively. Setter Meghan Donovan picked up the ninth double-double of her sophomore season with 29 assists and 10 digs.
The opening set proved to be an exciting one. Georgia only led early but stayed within striking distance of the Wildcats in the set. With Kentucky up 23-17 late in the frame, the Bulldogs took six of the next seven points to pull within two and force UK to take a late timeout. The Wildcats secured set point following the timeout, 25-22. Despite dropping the first set, UGA out-hit UK .316 to .306. Bass led the way with six kills while Ritchie contributed four.
Similar to set one, Kentucky led the vast majority of the set but Georgia stayed close behind. Kentucky led by as much as eight in the frame. Down 19-11, Georgia began firing the offense and forcing Kentucky to make errors. A 5-1 run sliced the lead to 20-16. A late push pulled the Bulldogs within two at 23-21, prompting Kentucky to use its final timeout. The Wildcats wrapped up the set, taking two of the final three points, 25-22. Five kills from T’ara Ceasar led the quade and moved her into the team lead in the match with eight after two sets.
Kentucky silenced the Georgia offense en route to a 25-9 set three victory, securing the sweep of Georgia and snapping UGA’s three-match winning streak.
Up next, the Bulldogs head to Tennessee for a Sunday matinee. First serve from Knoxville is set for 1:30 p.m. The match will be streamed live on the SEC Network+.