VOLLEYBALL: Georgia Hosts Ole Miss for a 6 PM First Serve this Evening

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VOLLEYBALL: Georgia Hosts Ole Miss for a 6 PM First Serve this Evening

T'ara Ceasar (1)  - Georgia Volleyball Team -  (Photo from Georgia Sports Communication)
T’ara Ceasar (1)
– Georgia Volleyball Team –
(Photo from Georgia Sports Communication)


Georgia volleyball (17-9, 7-6) will return to the Ramsey Center Friday when it plays host to Ole Miss (15-11, 6-7). First serve is set for 6 p.m.


Admission is free to all fans. The first 200 UGA students will receive a free cupcake as part of National Vanilla Cupcake Day. The Bulldogs will be signing autographs after Friday evening’s match.


Friday’s match will be streamed live to the SEC Network+.


Series History
Despite dropping the last five meetings, Georgia holds a firm lead on Ole Miss in the all-time series, 40-19. The teams met in Oxford early in the conference slate with the Rebels edging the Bulldogs in five sets. UGA took the opening set before falling behind 2-1. The Dawgs forced a fifth set but fell in the end.


Ceasar, Donovan Earn SEC Weekly Awards
Georgia women’s volleyball garnered a pair of Southeastern Conference awards on Monday with T’ara Ceasar earning Freshman of the Week and Meghan Donovan being named Setter of the Week. Georgia has garnered 10 weekly conference awards this season with Ceasar and Donovan leading the charge. This is Ceasar’s fifth freshman award and Donovan’s third setter award. The two guided the Bulldogs to a pair of sweeps last week, the first against Mississippi State and the second on the road at Alabama.


Georgia has earned 10 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.


Trending in the Right Direction
The Bulldogs enter this weekend having won five of their last six matches, four of which coming in straight sets. UGA’s three-game conference win streak was the longest since 2013. The Bulldogs sit at seven SEC wins in 2017, the most since 2013 when the Dawgs won 11 conference games. Georgia’s 17 wins has already topped or matched the overall win total from 11 of the last 12 seasons.


Black in His First Season
In his first season at Georgia, head coach Tom Black has already placed 17 W’s in the win column. Of the six head coaches before him, he has already topped or matched five of them. Jim Iams guided the Bulldogs to a 30-4 season in his first season (1989).


Freshmen Phenoms
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 28th in kills per set while Ritchie ranks 63rd. Ceasar is the highest of three ranking freshmen in the category. Ceasar has also made her presence known on the service line, ranking third in the league in aces, 26th nationally. Her ranking of 20 is the best for a freshman with 4.67 points per set. Ceasar leads the team with 21 double-digit kill matches this season with Ritchie close behind with 19.


Ritchie Nabs First SEC Freshman of the Week Honor
The SEC named Georgia outside hitter Rachel Ritchie Freshman of the Week on Oct. 30. Ritchie was the team leader in kills the week prior, guiding the Bulldogs in both matches in the category. Her .328 hitting clip was the second highest on the squad. The San Jaun Capistrano, California native laid down 18 kills in the four-set win over Arkansas (Oct. 25) then followed with 14 off the bench against Mizzou (Oct. 29). The double-digit kill games were the 17th and 18th of her rookie campaign. It was Ritchie’s first weekly SEC honor.


Aces Wild
Georgia leads the Southeastern Conference in aces per set, registering a 1.63 clip (150 total) in the category. The Bulldogs’ average is good enough for 19th nationally. Individually, T’ara Ceasar’s 0.44 average (39 total) ranks third in the conference and 26th 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 Five 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 1.63 average, highlighted by T’ara Ceasar and Kendall Glover, who have led the team in service aces in eight matches this season. Ceasar ranks third in the SEC in service aces individually.


The Bulldogs are fourth at .246 in hitting percentage. In kills, Georgia boasts a fourth-place position (13.62), 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 10.88 per match, bringing Georgia to its fourth position as a team 12.84 assists per set. The setter’s mark also ranks 36th in the nation.


Freshman Duo Rewrites Rally Scoring Records
T’ara Ceasar has not only set the mark for kills in a three-set match by a Georgia player this season but also all-time. She first put up 18 kills in the sweep of Mississippi State on Oct. 15. She matched her mark in the rematch with State on Nov. 3, once again tallying 18 in the sweep at Stegeman. The previous all-time mark was 17 set by Maria Taylor in 2008. Rachel Ritchie recorded 27 kills at Davidson on Sept. 8 in just four sets. That mark is also top of the kills in a four-set match in Georgia rally scoring history. The previous mark was 21 by Valentina Gonzales in 2010.


Career Milestones Watch
Senior defensive specialist Cassidy Anderson tallied her 1,000th career dig as a Bulldog in the third set at Alabama on Nov. 5. She is the 19th member of UGA’s 1,000-dig club and the first since Allison Summers (2010-13; 1,179 digs).


Sophomore setter Meghan Donovan tallied her 2,000th assist in the match against Mizzou on Oct. 29 at Stegeman Coliseum. The sophomore already ranks ninth all-time at Georgia in career assists.


Ceasar Continues to Earn Weekly Honors
T’ara Ceasar was named SEC Freshman of the Week for the fifth time on Monday, Nov. 6. She is now the only UGA volleyball player to earn any weekly SEC award five 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.


800 Wins… And Counting
With the 3-0 win over Missouri on Friday, Oct. 20, the Georgia Bulldogs recorded the 800th victory in program history. Georgia is in its 40th season with an all-time record of 803-488. Since its initiation in 1978, the program has collected two SEC championships and nine NCAA tournament appearances, the last in 2013.


Donovan Guides the Offense
Sophomore Meghan Donovan continues to set up the Georiga offense, leading the team with 1,001 assists on the year, good for 10.88 per set. The setter also tops the team in double-doubles, combining for eight on the season. In Georgia’s five-set battle with Tennessee on Oct. 11, the native of St. Louis, Missouri matched her career-high with 56 assists, guiding the Bulldogs to a total of 62 kills with a .272 hitting percentage. She helped provide 19 kills apiece for freshmen Rachel Ritchie and T’ara Ceasar.


In non-conference play, Donovan recorded over 100 assists per week, which earned her SEC Setter of the Year after her performance at the Bobcat Invitational, finishing the tournament with 123 assists, 18 digs, and three blocks. The sophomore has also posted top-five SEC performances against Florida Gulf Coast and Texas Tech for three-set and four-set matches.


CLICK HERE for the full match notes.




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