Georgia volleyball overtook South Carolina 3-2 in a five-set battle at the Carolina Volleyball Center on Friday.
The Bulldogs’ (12-6, 2-3) second-straight five-set match featured a balanced attack from both sides of the ball. The Georgia defense held South Carolina to .082 hitting percentage, the lowest performance of a conference opponent against Georgia this year. Sophomore Meghan Donovan, senior Cassidy Anderson, Kendall Glover each posted double-digit digs, complimented by eight blocks as the team, including four total block assists from redshirt freshman Kianna Young.
The T’ara Ceasar-Rachel Ritchie freshmen tandem of outside hitters led the offense with 18 and 16 respective kills, while Donovan set up 45 assists. Senior Amanda Dachs and junior Majesti Bass also contributed 10 and eight kills apiece.
“We’re learning lots of lessons each match, and it was a treat to see the resolve the ladies showed in set five after a tough set-four loss,” head coach Tom Black said. ” I don’t know if that would have happened two weeks ago, but they continue to put in the work each week to grow. We’re really proud of how the team competed for each point tonight.”
Georgia and South Carolina (9-7, 2-2) traded points back-and-forth throughout the first set, eventually evening the score at 22. The Gamecocks tacked on the next three points with a service ace, a kill and a block to take the opening frame 25-22.
Georgia returned in the second, jumping to a quick 6-2 lead, featuring kills from Dachs, Young, and Ritchie. The Gamecocks cut the score to 11-9, but the Bulldogs collected eight of the next nine points, distancing themselves at 19-10. Georgia sealed the set with kills from Bass and Ritchie.
Trailing 13-7 in the third set, Georgia rallied again, powering ten of the next eleven points over the Gamecock defense, highlighted by a pair of kills from Ritchie and Dachs and capped by two service aces from Glover. Back-to-back kills from Ceasar closed the 25-19 set, giving Georgia the 2-1 margin.
Georgia found itself behind early again in the fourth set, but five consecutive kills from Ceasar catapulted the Bulldogs to a 13-10 lead. A late South Carolina surge enabled the Gamecocks to force a fifth set, but Georgia commanded the final frame from the first three points. Georgia did not allow South Carolina within more than three points of the lead for the remainder of the match, securing the win at 15-10.
Friday’s contest marked Georgia’s third five-set match of the season and its second straight. It took Wofford and Ole Miss five sets to take down the Bulldogs.
Up next, Georgia travels to Gainesville, Florida to take on the top-ranked Gators, before heading home to open Stegeman Coliseum on Wednesday, Oct. 11 against Tennessee.