The UGA volleyball team fell to the sixth-ranked Kentucky Wildcats 3-0 on Friday evening in Stegeman Coliseum 25-21, 25-21, 25-14, capping regular-season play.
On Friday evening, freshman outside hitter Rachel Ritchie and sophomore setter Meghan Donovan carried the offense with 11 kills and 13 digs, respectively. Ritchie’s double-digit kill outing is her 22nd in her early career. Donovan paired her defensive prowess with 27 assists, recording her fourth-straight double-double, and 12th on the season, which tops her season-total of 10 from the year before.
“I thought we fought hard,” Georgia head coach Tom Black said. “Kentucky’s a great team. I don’t think we really got our serving going, though I saw a little bit in set three. Blocking got a little better, but they put a lot of pressure on you to make you earn your points.”
Trailing 11-7 early in the first set, Georgia returned with eight unanswered points with junior Sydney Gilliam behind the service line. To take the 15-11 lead, the 8-0 run highlighted a Gilliam service ace and a kill apiece from redshirt freshman Kianna Young and Donovan.
The two teams traded points back-and-forth for the remainder of the set, with Young and Ritchie posting four kills respectively. Kentucky (26-3, 17-1) held out for the 25-21 first-set edge, despite Georgia holding the conference-leader in hitting percentage (.319) to a .206 ratio.
The battle continued in the second set with nine tied scores. Donovan continued to guide the offense with 10 assists, dishing out four kills apiece to both junior Majesti Bass, and Ritchie. Georgia brought the score within two at 20-18 with a kill and a service ace from freshman T’ara Ceasar, but Kentucky commanded the remaining points in sets two and three for the 25-21, 25-14 wins.
CLICK HERE for the complete box score from the UGA volleyball team’s match versus Kentucky
Prior to Friday evening’s match, a trio of Bulldog seniors were honored: Cassidy Anderson, Amanda Dachs, and Kendall Kazor.
“They’ve gone through so much,” Black said on the seniors, “It begins and ends with them, and they tone they’ve set, and how hard they’ve worked. They haven’t let the past dictate what they think they can do in the future, and I think that’s something I most respect about them. We’ll miss them a lot, but I’m so grateful for the tone they’ve set.”
In Black’s first season as head coach, Georgia’s regular-season record concludes at 20-11, and 10-8 in the conference, which marks the Bulldogs’ first 20-win season since 2013.