A dominant second half of action guided the Georgia volleyball team (1-0) to its first win of the season, taking a 3-1 decision over Wofford on Friday in the Benson Hospitality Invitational.
An energetic Ramsey Center crowd of 1,650 saw the Bulldogs win by scores of 25-17, 20-25, 25-8 and 25-18. The Bulldogs return to the court on Saturday with High Point at 1 p.m. ET and Memphis at 7 p.m. ET. Admission is free with the first 500 fans receiving free magnet schedules.
“First off, I was really impressed with Wofford’s fight. They gave us a run for our money, and their energy was fantastic tonight,” said fifth-year head coach Lizzy Stemke. “We’ve got some growing pains—new team, new year, new growing pains. I was proud that we were able to battle through it. Some of our players who were going through ruts came back and stepped up.
“This game is all about serves and passing. When we were making a lot of mistakes on our serving, it was sucking the energy out from under us, so we need to do a better job managing what we can control. “
As a team, Georgia totaled 13 service aces over the Terriers in big parts to sophomore Kendall Kazor’s four and junior Elle McCord’s three, both career-high numbers. The aces is the most for a Bulldog team in a match under Stemke and the most since the team had 13 on October 15, 2010, at South Carolina.
A trio of Bulldogs hit double-digit digs with sophomore Cassidy Anderson posting 18 followed by McCord and sophomore Devan Porter with 15 and 11 digs, respectively. Georgia held Wofford to a .033 hitting percentage thanks in part to its 62 total digs. Redshirt junior Desiree McCray picked up right where she left off defensively in 2014, tabbing a game-high four blocks.
The Bulldogs were led by redshirt sophomore Amanda Dachs on the offensive side of the ball, topping the night with 12 kills. Kazor dished out 37 assists while helping Georgia hit .302 for the match.
A 6-0 run in the first set that included a kill and block assist from McCray opened the frame up for Georgia 9-6. Wofford closed the gap to three points after a timeout, but two Kazor aces pushed Georgia forward 16-9 before taking the momentum to a 25-17 win.
Despite outhitting the Terriers in terms of percentage, six Wofford aces helped the visitors to a 25-20 victory and knot it at a set each at the break.
Georgia came out swinging in the final two frames, notching 23 kills and just five errors. A match-best .412 clip in the third was a big part of the 25-8 win, as Georgia last held an opponent to single-digit scoring in the 2014 season opener against Fordham. Tied at 15 in the fourth, a kill from redshirt senior Jasmine Eatmon sparked a 3-0 spree to give Georgia breathing room and seal the win at 25-18.