The Georgia Bulldogs volleyball team (15-8,5-5) plays host to the Missouri Tigers (13-9, 6-3) Sunday at Stegeman Coliseum.
First serve is slated for 1:30 p.m. Sunday afternoon. The match will be streamed on the SEC Network+.
UGA will look to continue its three-match winning streak. The Bulldogs defeated the Tigers at Mizzou last Friday in straight sets.
Georgia and Missouri have played a total of 11 times, with Missouri taking six of the contests. The teams met last week in Columbia. Georgia defeated the Tigers in straight sets (25-22, 25-18, 27-25). The win marked Georgia’s second-straight road-sweep in conference play, and the first three-set win over the Tigers since 2012. Freshman outside hitter T’ara Ceasar led the Bulldog attackers with 15 kills for a .400 hitting percentage, followed by freshman outside hitter Rachel Ritchie with 10.
Trending in the Right Direction
With the four-set win over Arkansas on Oct. 26 at Stegeman Coliseum, the Bulldogs won their third-straight SEC match. It’s the first time since 2013 UGA has won three consecutive conference matchups. The Bulldogs sit at five SEC wins in 2017, matching the 2014 total of five. Georgia finished the 2013 season 11-7 in conference play. Georgia’s 15 wins has already topped the overall win total from the last three seasons and six of the last seven.
Georgia leads the Southeastern Conference in aces per set, registering a 1.60 clip (131 total) in the category. The Bulldogs’ average is good enough for 25th nationally. Individually, T’ara Ceasar’s 0.41 average (32 total) ranks fifth in the conference and 44th in the country. Six different Bulldogs recorded service aces in Wednesday’s match against Arkansas. The squad’s 11 aces on the Razorbacks were the team-best in SEC play this season, topping the previous season-high of eight at Missouri last Friday.
Georgia Ranked in Top Half of SEC in Every Offensive Category
The Georgia offense has placed itself in the top six 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 1.60 average, highlighted by T’ara Ceasar and Sydney Gilliam, who have led the team in service aces in eight matches this season. Ceasar ranks fifth in the SEC in service aces individually.
Led by Majesti Bass with a .308 hitting percentage, the Bulldogs are fourth at .248. In kills, Georgia boasts a fifth-place position (13.50), 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 10.83 per match, bringing Georgia to its fourth position as a team 12.76 assists per set. The setter’s mark also ranks 35th in the nation.
Career Milestones Watch
Senior defensive specialist Cassidy Anderson is 15 digs away from tallying the 1,000th of her career as a Bulldog. She enters Sunday’s game with 985 in her four-year career. Sophomore setter Meghan Donovan is just eight assists away from topping 2,000 in only her second year as a Bulldog. The sophomore already ranks ninth all-time at Georgia in career assists.
Ceasar Continues to Nab Weekly Honors
T’ara Ceasar was named SEC Freshman of the Week for the fourth time on Monday, Oct. 23. She is now the only UGA volleyball player to earn any weekly SEC award four 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. The award was Georgia’s sixth weekly honor in five weeks, which is the most any Georgia volleyball team has acquired in one season. In 2003, 2004, 2005 and 2008, the program had four weekly acknowledgments.
Ceasar registered a total of 15 kills with a .400 hitting percentage at Mizzou Friday. Her 15 kills guided the Georgia team to its second road sweep in a row. It’s the 14th time this season she has led the squad in kills and the 17th time she has eclipsed the double-digit kill mark. Her .400 hitting percentage matched a single-game high in SEC play this season. She added an ace and seven digs (co-led the team) in the victory over the Tigers.
Freshmen T’ara Ceasar and Rachel Ritchie have been powerhouses on 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 41st in kills per set while Ritchie ranks 63rd. Ceasar is one of two freshmen in the top 50 of the category. Ceasar has also made her presence known on the service line, ranking fifth in the league in aces, 44th nationally. Her ranking of 28 is the best for a freshman with 4.74 points per set.
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 801-487. Since its initiation in 1978, the program has collected two SEC championships and nine NCAA tournament appearances, the last in 2013.
Ceasar Highlights Georgia Season for Kills in Three-Set Match
In Georgia’s sweep over Mississippi State on Sunday, Ceasar led the Bulldogs with 18 kills in three sets, which is the most by a Georgia player in a three-set match this season. Ritchie had posted 17 in three-set matches against Oklahoma and Florida Gulf Coast University earlier in the year. Last week, Ceasar and Ritchie paired up for 19 kills apiece in five sets against Tennessee on Wednesday, marking the third time the Georgia duo has totaled 18 or more kills in a match. The last time any Bulldog pair did so was in 2012.
Donovan Guides the Offense
Sophomore Meghan Donovan continues to set up the Georiga offense, leading the team with 888 assists on the year, good for 10.83 per set. The setter also tops the team in double-doubles, combining for seven 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.