|Georgia 3, Missouri 0
|Florida State 3, Florida 0
Georgia Registers Sweep at Home Against Missouri
ATHENS, Ga. – The University of Georgia volleyball team earned its fourth-straight Southeastern Conference win with a 3-0 (25-18, 25-23, 25-13) sweep of the Missouri Tigers on Wednesday evening in an ESPNU televised audience. With the win, Georgia improves to 13-8 on the year and 7-4 in the SEC, while Missouri falls to 15-7 overall and 7-5 in league play.
“That was a really fun match,” head coach Lizzy Stemke said. “I told the girls after the match that we’ve been talking a lot about the fact that not everyone is going to have their best game every night, but when we do, it’s going to be scary with what we can do as a group. I think this was a real team effort. We spread the ball around really well and we’ll continue to build on this group that is growing together.”
Jasmine Eatmon led the Bulldogs offensively, going 11-for-16 without committing an error for an attack percentage of .688, the second highest by a Bulldog this season. Brittany Northcutt and Lauren Teknipp also finished with 11 kills, with Teknipp hitting .500. Kaylee Kehoe finished with a team-best 23 assists. Georgia also finished with six service aces, including three by Summers. As a team, the Bulldogs finished with an attack percentage of .311 after finishing set one with an attack percentage of .359 and registering a .368 clip in the third set.
“I think a big part of our game tonight was how we performed at the service line,” Stemke continued. “With a team like Missouri, which is very creative with its offense, we needed to be really strong at the service line and try to slow them down or take out a couple of their options. Our girls just did a fantastic job of that. They went back to the service line and went after the zones called. We had a great serving night and that was a huge piece in our ability to play defense.”
Eatmon also tied for the team lead in blocks with three, including one solo block. Briana Bahr also finished with three blocks. Allison Summers led the way with a match-high 23 digs. The Georgia defense held Missouri to a .160 hitting percentage and allowed just 32 kills in the match, including just seven in the third set.
Georgia used a 7-0 run early in the first set to jump out to a 10-4 lead behind the serve of Summers. The Tigers fought back to within two at 15-13, but a pair of Bulldog kills put Georgia up 17-13. A Missouri kill made it a 22-18 set, but Georgia scored the final three points of the set to take it 25-18.
Missouri jumped out to an early 5-1 lead in the second before Summers came through with a series of strong serves that allowed the Bulldogs to score seven-straight points that put them on top 9-5. The Tigers clawed back to tie the set at nine and again at 11 before a trio of points by the Bulldogs allowed them to take a 14-11 lead. The Tigers retook a two-point lead at 23-21 before a Teknipp kill sparked a set-ending 4-0 run that sealed the second set for the Bulldogs 25-23.
The Bulldogs carried the momentum into the third set, edging out to a 10-6 lead that force Mizzou to call a timeout. Following the break, the Bulldogs scored four of the next five points to extend its lead to 14-7. The Bulldogs continued to attack the net, finishing on a 6-0 run that began with an Eatmon kill and was finished off with a kill by Teknipp and sealed the set 25-13 and the match 3-0.
No. 11 Florida Falls on the Road to No. 12 Florida State
No. 12 Florida State snapped their 21-match losing streak to the Florida Gators, as the Seminoles swept the No. 11 Gators, 25-23, 25-22, 25-21, to defeat Florida for the first time since Oct. 31, 1994. The Florida loss ends the Gators’ 14-match winning streak in 2012 and the Noles remain undefeated at Tully Gymnasium since August 26, 2011, taking 21 consecutive home contests. The Gators are now 17-3 on the season with all three losses coming to ranked opponents.
“I have to give all the credit to Florida State,” Florida head coach Mary Wise said. “They were the better team tonight.”
Florida was led by freshman Živa Recek (Kočevje, Slovenia), who had her fourth double-double of her career with 16 kills and a career-high-tying 15 digs. Senior right-side hitter Tangerine Wiggs (Seattle, Wash.) and junior middle blocker Chloe Mann (Gainesville, Fla.) each turned in 10 kills on the night, with Wiggs hitting a match-high .421 and Mann stuffed a match-high four blocks. Freshman outside hitter Gabby Mallette (Orange Park, Fla.) added seven kills on the night.
The Gators surpassed the Seminoles in nearly every category, but Florida dug themselves into holes too big to climb out of, having to overcome large deficits throughout the match to catch up to Florida State.
The first set went Florida State’s way, 25-23. The teams battled to start, with no team taking more than a two-point lead in the opening points. Smith and Brauneis teamed up for a stuff block to tie the frame, 3-3. An out-of-system kill for Mallette gave the Gators a one-point edge, 6-5. The Noles went on a 4-0 run to take an 11-8 lead and force a Gator timeout. Wiggs slammed one on the back line to end the FSU run, UF down 11-9. Smith found the floor with a kill of her own to keep the FSU lead to two, UF down 13-11. A Mallette kill off the block put Florida within one of Florida State’s advantage, 14-13.
The Gators continued to surge, tying the set off a Florida State miscue, 16-16. A Mann overpass kill gave Florida its first lead since 8-7, forcing a Seminole timeout at 17-16. Wiggs found the seam of the FSU block to continue the UF lead, 20-19. A Recek kill down the line forced the second Seminole timeout of the stanza with the Gators leading, 22-21. Mallette slammed one through the seam of the block to get Florida within two of the set, 23-22. The Seminoles scored two straight to set up set point and force a Gator timeout with UF down 24-23. A Florida hitting error tilted the first set in the Noles’ direction, 25-23.
The second frame was a 25-22 victory for Florida State, despite Florida storming out of a seven-point hole to pull within two late in the stanza. FSU came out strong out of the gate, taking a 7-3 lead and forcing UF to take timeout. A Recek kill out of backrow stopped the Seminole run, UF down 7-4, and a Mann solo stuff kept things tight, 8-5. A Wiggs kill put Florida within striking distance, down 11-8. FSU went on a 4-1 to extend their lead 15-9. A tip over the block by Mallette stopped the FSU run, 15-10. The Gators cut the Noles’ lead to four with a kill by Mallette but FSU continued to surge, as UF burned a timeout with the Seminoles leading 20-13. Florida scored two straight, including a solo stuff for Recek, to cut the lead to five, down 20-15.
A Smith overpass tip nipped the Noles’ lead to four, forcing an FSU timeout with UF down 21-17. Smith and Brauneis teamed up for a block to get the Gators within three, down 21-18. Smith slammed an FSU overpass to keep Florida within three, down 23-20, and a clutch Sundai Weston (Naples, Fla.) dig followed by a Recek kill put the Orange and Blue within two, 23-21. Another Recek kill out of the backrow saved a set point at 24-22 but the Noles took the set, 25-22, off a Mara Green kill.
FSU jumped out to a 4-0 lead in the third set behind the serve of setter Duygu Duzceler. The Noles continued to surge, forcing a Florida timeout with FSU out in front, 9-4. The Gators pulled within four off a Recek solo block, down 10-6. The Seminoles continued to find holes in the Gators’ defense as Florida State pulled away, 15-7, at the media timeout. Freshman middle blocker Simone Antwi (Fairfax Station, Va.) put down a kill to briefly pause the Seminole streak, down 15-8. Florida State took timeout after a Mann-Wiggs stuff with Florida down 17-10.
The Gators put together a run out of the timeout, cutting the Seminoles’ lead to five with a Wiggs kill at 18-13. Florida put together another three straight points to cut the FSU lead to two, 18-16. Florida kept the FSU lead at two, 21-19, but the Seminoles served up an ace to get FSU to match point, 24-20. A Recek kill saved match point, 24-21, but an Ashley Neff kill gave the Gators the match, 25-21.
Florida has another quick turnaround as they host Mississippi State on Friday evening at the Stephen C. O’Connell Center. The match between the Gators and the Bulldogs begins at 7 p.m. ET with live video on GatorVision and radio on ESPN 850/900. Florida is off for the rest of the weekend after the MSU matchup. The Gators are still three matches ahead in the SEC race and are 11-0 in conference action with nine matches remaining on the slate.