VOLLEYBALL: UGA Sweeps Benson Hospitality Invitational

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VOLLEYBALL: UGA Sweeps Benson Hospitality Invitational

UGA Volletball - UGA vs. High Point
During the Bulldogs’ match against High Point in the Benson Hospitality Invitational at the Ramsey Center in Athens, Ga., on Saturday, Aug. 29, 2015. (Photo by John Kelley)


Closing out the final day of the Benson Hospitality Invitational, the Georgia volleyball team went 2-0 on Saturday with sweeps of High Point (1-2) and Memphis (2-1) to go undefeated on the weekend at 3-0.


For the tournament, redshirt sophomore Amanda Dachs and redshirt junior Megan Spencer were named to the All-Tournament Team after posting 28 and 21 kills, respectively. Sophomore Maddie Lobenstein was named the Most Valuable Player with 20 kills and a .375 hitting mark, including 11 kills and no errors in the win over the Tigers.


The Georgia defense stood out to head coach Lizzy Stemke, as sophomore Cassidy Anderson totaled 27 digs and redshirt junior Desiree McCray had 10 blocks, guiding Georgia to outblock its opponents 18-6.


“I think our defense is very exciting,” Stemke said. “I think the way we are covering the court and moving this early in the season with so many on the court is great. We are scrapping really, really nicely. Our biggest responsibility is to keep getting after it, and I believe our defense is keeping us in matches and giving us that energy that we need.”


The Bulldogs opened the day with a gritty win (26-24, 25-21, 25-21) over High Point, as late runs in sets one and three pushed the team to the sweep. Dachs, Spencer and McCray put down nine kills each thanks in part to 34 assists from sophomore Kendall Kazor. Kazor along with McCray and redshirt senior Jasmine Eatmon put up three blocks each.


The blocking game continued to play a big role in the nightcap sweep (25-23, 25-22, 25-19) of Memphis, as the Bulldogs had 10 to the Tigers’ one. McCray finished the contest with six followed by Eatmon’s four. On the offensive end, Lobenstein made a career night of it, notching 11 kills and no errors to hit .407.


Georgia again had to work from behind in the first two sets. Down 21-18 in the first frame, a 7-0 run under the serve of Anderson put the home team up 24-22 before a Memphis service error ended it. Memphis used a run of its own in the second to knot it at 17 each. After a Georgia break, the Bulldogs outscored Memphis 7-1 using three blocks to boost the team to the win.


Georgia returns to Ramsey Center on Thursday, September 3 against Georgia Southern in the Bulldog-hosted Georgia Challenge. The match begins at 7 p.m. ET followed by games against Mercer and Georgia Tech on Friday, September 4.


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Greg is closing in on 15 years writing about and photographing UGA sports. While often wrong and/or out of focus, it has been a long, strange trip full of fun and new friends.