For more information on Arkansas volleyball, follow @RazorbackVB on Twitter.
GAINESVILLE, Fla. - The No. 9 Florida volleyball team stayed perfect on the season, sweeping Duke in three sets (25-16, 25-17, 25-18) Saturday afternoon to take home their 13th Campus USA Credit Union Invitational Title. Senior middle blocker Chloe Mann was named the MVP of the event for the second consecutive season after hitting .630 on the weekend, including an errorless .652 (15-0-23) against Duke.
Alex Holston, a freshman right-side hitter from Olney, Md., hit .436 (20-3-39) on the weekend to set a new record for a Gator freshman in their debut weekend. Against the Blue Devils, Holston hit an errorless .545 (6-0-11) on the afternoon. The Gator rookie joined Mann and sophomore outside hitter Živa Recek on the Campus USA All-Tournament Team.
* Florida tallied only four errors on the afternoon, tying for the lowest in a match in program history. All three instances were at the Stephen C. O'Connell Center. Gators also turned in just four errors against South Carolina State in the first round of the 2010 NCAA Tournament (12/3/10) and against Auburn (11/8/09).
* Živa Recek slammed 29 kills on the weekend to earn her second straight Campus USA Invite All-Tournament Team honor.
* The Gators remained unbeaten in Campus USA Credit Union Invitational play. UF improved their record to 26-0 all-time in the Campus USA Invite.
* Florida outscored opponents 192-106.5 on the weekend.
UP NEXT: The Gators head to the Lone Star State on a three-match road swing. Florida travels to San Antonio to face UT-San Antonio at 5:30 p.m. ET Thursday before participating in the final installment of the Nike Big Four Classic. The Gators venture to Austin to take on the Stanford Cardinal at 4 p.m. ET Saturday. Florida faces 2012 Final Four participant Duke on Sunday, September 8 at 11 a.m. ET. Both of the Nike Big Four matches will air tape-delayed on the Longhorn Network with Chris Marlowe and Nell Fortner on the call.
Auburn volleyball team stuns No. 10 Nebraska 3-1
ST. LOUIS - Auburn's volleyball team posted one of the biggest wins in program history Saturday with a 3-1 upset of No. 10 Nebraska (25-23, 22-25, 25-23, 25-23) at Chaifetz Arena in their second match of the Marcia E. Hamilton Classic.
The Tigers wrapped up the tournament title later in the day with a 3-0 win over Louisiana-Monroe (25-20, 25-15, 25-17).
"Obviously, coming out 3-0 and winning this tournament is a huge plus," Auburn head coach Rick Nold said. "We had three good matches here. We were challenged in a lot of different ways, lot of different styles from the three teams we played. I'm really happy the way we fought through a lot of tight games and we ended up coming out on the good side of most of them. I think that says a lot about the mentality of the team and it looks good for the future."
It was only the second win over a ranked opponent in program history for Auburn (3-0), whose only previous such victory came over No. 24 Kentucky at home during the 2010 season. Nebraska (1-1) had a higher hitting percentage than the Tigers (.218-.208), but a stingy Auburn defense and troubles in the service game for the Huskers proved to be the difference.
"It's a huge win," Nold said. "Nebraska's got a great program. I thought we did a great job of staying really aggressive when we really weren't playing that well. I thought before the game that we have two very different styles facing each other, and that if we stuck to our style of being a scrappy, aggressive team, that would probably play in our favor. The girls never looked down and kept coming at them, and we got the win."
Nebraska was aggressive on serve, scoring six aces and converting numerous Auburn overpasses into easy kills, but the Huskers also committed 14 service errors, including errors on set point in all three games Auburn won.
Senior Katherine Culwell led Auburn with 17 kills and 16 digs, recording a double-double for the second-straight match. She was also in on five blocks, had five assists and recorded one service ace. Fellow seniors Camila Jersonsky and Kathia Rud had nine kills apiece with Jersonsky recording five blocks as well.
Culwell was named tournament MVP, and Jersonsky and fellow senior Sarah Wroblicky were named to the all-tournament team.
Sophomore Alyssa Ivey posted her first Auburn double-double with 26 assists and 14 digs on the day, and senior Chelsea Wintzinger also recorded a double-double with 18 assists and 11 digs. Courtney McDonald and Kia Bright had eight kills apiece, and Stephanie Campbell added five kills and three blocks. Wroblicky shared the team lead in digs with 16.
Nebraska was led by Tennessee transfer Kelsey Robinson with 18 kills and 18 digs, and Kelsey Fien added 13 kills for the Huskers.
The two teams traded blows for much of the first set, going on a pair of mini-runs with Culwell serving. The Tigers would finally take an 18-15 lead after a 4-0 run, but Nebraska fought back to tie things up at 22-all. From there, though, a kill from Rud and a Nebraska error gave Auburn a set point opportunity, and a service error by Robinson gave Auburn the set. Culwell had six of Auburn's 18 kills in the opening frame, and the Auburn defense was stout with 28 digs in the set.
Set two looked to be a Nebraska blowout. The Huskers capitalized on poor hitting and serve-receive by the Tigers to storm to a 20-7 lead. But the Tigers refused to capitulate and went on an 11-1 run, thanks in large part to several Nebraska errors, to cut the deficit to 21-18. Nebraska would then have five set point opportunities at 24-19, but Auburn fought off three of them to get within two points at 24-22. Nebraska finally put the Tigers away with a 25-22 win, despite the Tigers finishing the game on a 15-5 run.
That momentum seemed to carry over to the third set, which saw the Tigers fall behind by as many as four points at 14-10, but Auburn would go on an 8-2 run paced by two kills and a block from Jersonsky to take an 18-16 lead. Nebraska would tie the score twice more, but kills from Bright and Jersonsky gave the Tigers a set point opportunity. After a Nebraska block fought off the first game point, Robinson once again erred on her serve to give the Tigers another 25-23 win.
The fourth set saw Auburn gain a small early advantage and hang onto it throughout most of the set. Auburn padded its lead at 12-9 and forced a Nebraska timeout, but the Huskers would rally to tie the score at 15-all. From there, the teams traded blows for the next 12 rallies to see another tie score at 21-all. But a bad Nebraska set followed by a Jersonsky kill gave Auburn a 23-21 advantage, and two more Nebraska service errors gave Auburn the win, 25-23.
Auburn will play one more match this weekend before returning home. The Tigers will make a short drive across the Mississippi River to take on SIU Edwardsville at 12:30 p.m. Sunday. Live audio will be available through AuburnTigers.com, and live stats will be available at siuecougars.com. In addition, fans can follow @AUVolleyball for updates throughout the match and all season long.
Auburn Sweeps ULM, Claims St. Louis Tournament Title
ST. LOUIS - Auburn's volleyball team swept through the Marcia E. Hamilton Classic this weekend, defeating ULM 3-0 on Saturday afternoon (25-20, 25-15, 25-17) to claim the tournament title after earning a historic win over No. 10 Nebraska earlier in the day.
The Tigers (3-0) out-hit ULM .261-.106, despite a less-than-stellar third set, and held the Warhawks (0-3) to just 28 kills while putting down 43 of their own.
Senior Katherine Culwell was named the tournament MVP after racking up a team-high 42 kills in the three matches (4.2/set) and hitting for a .310 percentage. She also had two double-doubles on the weekend and finished with seven kills and 10 digs against ULM.
Camila Jersonsky and Sarah Wroblicky, both seniors, were also named to the all-tournament team. Jersonsky had a team-high nine kills against ULM and hit .364 with just one error. For the weekend, she hit .380 with 23 kills and shared the team lead with seven blocks. Wroblicky led the team with 49 digs (4.90/set) and had 16 in the win over ULM.
Five Tigers had seven or more kills against the Warhawks. Freshman Stephanie Campbell, a St. Louis area native, made the most of her return to her hometown with eight kills and a team-best .438 hitting percentage. For the weekend, she hit a team-high .432 with 18 kills. Another freshman, Kia Bright, had seven kills, as did senior Kathia Rud. Courtney McDonald added five kills to the Auburn effort, and setters Chelsea Wintzinger and Alyssa Ivey had 16 assists each.
Auburn will play one more match in the area before returning home Sunday. The Tigers will make the short drive across the Mississippi River to face SIU Edwardsville at 12:30 p.m. Sunday. AuburnTigers.com will have a live broadcast, and live stats will be available at siuecougars.com.
UK Falls in Five-Set Thriller Despite Career-Night from Billings
LONG BEACH, Calif. – A career-high 26-kill effort from senior Whitney Billings was not enough to propel the 17th-ranked Kentucky volleyball team past Illinois in a thrilling five-set match in Long Beach, Calif., on Saturday night. Billings posted the career-high tally to couple with 13 digs in her second-straight double-double effort. Additionally, the Helena, Ala., native reached the 1,000-kill plateau to become the 14th player in program history to achieve the feat.
“We were closer to our potential tonight, but we still have some things to iron out” UK coach Craig Skinner said. “Whitney Billings was very good tonight, and we need other people to step up and terminate balls when we need points. There were a lot of great plays at times tonight. We have to give credit to Illinois for stepping up in sets four and five after trailing 2-1.”
Kentucky falls to 0-2 to begin the year, while Illinois, who is receiving votes in the preseason poll, improves to 2-1 on the young season. The Wildcats wrap up the opening weekend of action with a date against the Long Beach State 49ers on Sunday at 8 p.m. ET.
In the decisive fifth set, Kentucky opened the scoring with a kill from Billings. UK would extend the early advantage to a 3-1 edge when Billings got another kill. Illinois would then go on a 4-0 run to earn a 4-3 edge and would never yield the lead again. Kentucky got back to within two at 10-8 on a kill from sophomore Shelby Workman, but Illinois would go on a 5-1 run for the victory.
No other player reached double-figures in the kills’ column, as sophomore Sara Schwarzwalder and junior Lauren O’Conner were the players with next highest totals at seven kills each. Schwarzwalder led the defensive charge with seven blocks on the night.
Four players tallied 10 or more digs with Billings reaching 13. Freshman Anni Thomasson posted a career-high 15 scoops to lead the column. Sophomore Shelby Workman notched 11 and junior Jackie Napper had 10.
Sophomore setter Morgan Bergren dished out a career-high 50 assists to go with six blocks and five kills.
Kentucky got off to a great start by claiming 25-20 opening set victory. UK notched 13 kills on .256 hitting in the frame with Billings leading the charge with four including her 1,000th career hammer. Thomasson paced the defensive effort with seven digs in the stanza.
Senior Alexandra Morgan opened the scoring in the first set as UK raced out to an early 2-0 lead. Kentucky would stretch its lead to 11-4 on a solo rejection from Billings. The Wildcats reached its largest spread of the opening stanza at 17-10 following an ace from Morgan. Illinois would fight back to within 23-19 before a kill from Schwarzwalder claimed the opening set in favor of Kentucky.
Out of the break with the match tied at one set apiece, Kentucky quickly jumped out in front in the third frame to grab a 4-1 lead. The Illini fought back and knotted the score at 10 apiece and would eventually take a lead at 14-13. Kentucky fired back and tied the score at 15 before utilizing a 5-0 run highlighted by a monstrous kill from Billings to make the score 22-17 in favor of the Cats. It would be all Kentucky from there as the Blue and White went on to win the set by a 25-22 score capped by another kill from Billings.
Billings launched six kills in the frame to pace UK to 13 kills on .241 hitting. Thomasson had four scoops to lead the defensive charge en route to the 25-22 win and a 2-1 edge in the match.
Illinois fired back with a 25-19 second set win. The Illini captured the opening point in the frame and never looked back holding the lead from start to finish. Kentucky notched just 12 kills on a .138 percentage. Billings again led the charge with five and also led things defensively with three digs.
The Illini fought back to force a decisive fifth frame behind a 25-19 fourth set victory. Illinois capitalized on a .400 hitting percentage and no blocks from the Wildcats to claim the frame. Billings again led the way with seven kills in the set, with Napper picking up three digs.
Kentucky's Memorial Coliseum will play host to the NCAA Regionals Dec. 13-14. UK is one of four sites selected for the Sweet 16 and Elite Eight matchups with one team advancing to the Final Four in Seattle, Wash., from the Lexington Region. This marks the second time in three seasons Memorial Coliseum will host this premier volleyball event.
Mizzou Volleyball Claims Tiger Invitational Title
COLUMBIA, Mo. – For the sixth time in seven seasons, the Mizzou volleyball team claimed the Tiger Invitational Championship after defeating both Idaho State and Arkansas State in straight sets on Saturday afternoon (Aug. 31) at the Hearnes Center. The Tigers dropped just one set in the whole tournament as they went 4-0 in the annual affair, pushing their all-time mark in Tiger Invite play to 35-3.
Senior setter Molly Kreklow (Delano, Minn.) was named Tournament Most Valuable Player for the third time in her career (2010, 2011, 2013) while classmate Lisa Henning (Blue Springs, Mo.) was named to the All-Tournament team for the second consecutive season. Freshman Carly Kan (Honolulu, Haw.) and junior All-SEC middle Whitney Little (Keller, Texas) were also named to the All-Tournament team.
Kreklow guided the team to .406 hitting and a 15.69 kills per set average and a whopping 204 kills in just 13 sets. Kreklow averaged 13.31 assists per set while adding 10 kills on just 20 attacks with 30 digs and she had 11 aces over the four matches. Henning was the team’s top offensive weapon with 61 kills (4.69 per set) on .397 hitting with 33 digs in the tournament. Kan led all outside hitters in the tournament with a .508 attack percentage while averaging 2.92 kills per set, 1.54 digs per set and nine aces. Little had just one error in four matches as she hit .633, a team-best, with 32 kills (2.46 per set) while adding seven blocks. Pitt’s Delaney Clesen, South Dakota’s Kendall Kritenbrink, Arkansas State’s Kelsey Sullivan and Idaho State’s Kylee Sessions were also named to the All-Tournament team.
“I am pretty happy with how we came out and competed this weekend and I am really pleased with the things that we did well,” head coach Wayne Kreklow said. “It was nice to finally get out and play opponents to see what he had and it is pretty clear after the first weekend that we have a lot of kids that can really play. We weren’t quite as good in serve receive today and as a coach, I will always find things to nit-pick, but overall I was happy with our effort. Now it’s time to get ready for more very good teams at Yale next weekend.”
On the weekend, freshman Emily Thater (Springfield, Mo.) was also deserving of All-Tournament honors as well. Thater was sensational all weekend with 30 kills on .531 hitting while pitching in 22 blocks (1.69 per set) and four aces. Junior libero Sarah Meister (San Diego, Calif.) led Mizzou with 43 digs over the four matches.
In Mizzou’s first match against Idaho State on Saturday, the Tigers hit .410 while posting a season-best 11.0 blocks as it rolled to a 3-0 (25-19, 25-15, 25-20) sweep. Henning was the Tigers’ most notable performer in the win as she tallied 15 kills on 26 attacks with no errors, good for a .577 attack percentage. Little was also tremendous with six kills on just six attacks and Thater was great again with eight kills on .538 hitting as Mizzou used its middles very effectively. Thater also led Mizzou with eight total blocks (two solo, six assists) and Kreklow pitched in a season-best five blocks. Kreklow also spread 34 assists with three digs. Meister and Henning led Mizzou with seven digs apiece in the win over Idaho State. The Tigers subbed their starters out of both the second and third sets after opening substantial leads in both.
In the second match of the day, Mizzou dominated Arkansas State to a 3-0 (25-18, 25-19, 25-16) sweep. Henning led Mizzou with 13 kills on .290 hitting while Kan pitched in 11 kills on .588 hitting. Emily Wilson (Omaha, Neb.) had a good match as well, tallying 12 kills on .276 hitting. Meister led all Tigers with 11 digs while Thater led all players with four blocks (two solo, two assists).
Mizzou will return to action with four matches in the New England area, beginning with a match at Fairfield, the Tigers’ first road contest of the season, on Thursday.
Mississippi State Drops Pair Of Matches To UALR And SEMO
STARKVILLE, Miss. – After opening the season with a pair of sweeps against Southeast Missouri State and UALR Friday night, the Mississippi State volleyball team struggled with consistency as it dropped a pair of 3-1 decisions to SEMO and UALR Saturday in the Maroon Classic.
In the first match of the afternoon, UALR (1-2) wasted no time taking the first set 25-22 behind a 12-6 run to end the frame. MSU (2-2) would rebound to claim a 25-23 victory in the second set.
With the Bulldogs trailing 18-12 in the second set, MSU managed to mount a comeback behind three kills from freshman Broke Sassin, who made her career debut, and two kills from Alex Warren, who posted a career-high 14 kills in the match.
UALR would go on to claim the third and fourth sets 25-20 and 25-17, respectively.
Kimmy Gardiner posted a team-best 15 kills for the third-consecutive match, while Sassin also contributed 11 kills and three digs in her first collegiate action. Suzanne Horner tacked on 47 assists to go along with Roxanne McVey’s 22 digs.
“We’ve talked about it a lot,” fifth-year MSU coach Jenny Hazelwood said. “Just freshmen having to figure out how to play a couple of matches and do well but then having to turn around the next day and still play at a high level. We gave up a lot of points. We had more kills in both matches. We had more digs in both matches. We were just giving up too many points.
The Bulldogs struggled to the same tune in the second match against SEMO (2-1). After hitting only .019 in the first set, they fell behind early and couldn’t recover. State dropped the first two sets 25-22 and 26-24, respectively. The two sets combined to feature 26 ties and 11 lead changes.
After the promotional break, the Bulldogs stormed out to a 16-8 lead and cruised to a 25-22 victory in the third set.
The fourth set was much like the first two as MSU and SEMO remained deadlocked much of the frame. With the set tied at 20, a kill by the Redhawks’ Colleen Yarber ignited a 5-1 run that ended the match.
Sophomore Taylor Scott posted her second double-double of the season with a team-best 19 kills and 15 digs. Gardiner also recorded her first-career double-double with 15 kills and 21 digs.
Sassin picked up where she left off from the first match with 12 kills, while Horner added 48 assists. McVey remained strong and posted 29 digs.
Gardiner and McVey garnered Maroon Classic All-Tournament team honors. Gardiner posted 64 kills, 42 digs and 5 blocks on the weekend, while McVey turned in 98 digs and 5 service aces.
Up next for the Bulldogs is a trip to Waco, Texas, for the Baylor Classic where they will meet UT-Arlington at 4:30 p.m. Friday, Sept. 6, followed by a Saturday doubleheader against Tulsa and Baylor beginning at 12:30 p.m.
Ole Miss Tops George Washington 3-1
WASHINGTON – The Ole Miss volleyball team faced set point in the fourth set Saturday night at George Washington after once holding a late lead. The young Rebels (2-1) never wavered however, and rallied to score three straight points to cap off a 3-1 (25-19, 26-28, 25-20, 26-24) victory over the Colonials (1-2) at the Charles E. Smith Center in Washington, D.C.
Freshman libero Kristen Brashear continued her match-by-match improvement with 28 digs, and sophomore middle blocker Ty Laporte had seven kills and five block assists. After the match, Laporte and Brashear were each named to the GW Invitational All-Tournament team.
Junior outside hitter Marie-Pierre Bakima recorded her second consecutive double-double with 16 kills and a dozen digs, and freshman setter Aubrey Edie recorded her first double-double with 37 assists and 10 digs to go along with her six kills.
“It’s always tough to win on the road, especially against a scrappy George Washington team,” Ole Miss head coach Joe Getzin said. “I’m really proud of the way the team played with the energy that they did throughout the match.”
With the score tied at 12 and neither team establishing a lead great than two, Ole Miss went on a 6-1 run to take an 18-13 lead. George Washington would close the gap and pull to within one at 19-18, but the Rebels closed the set on a 6-1 run to take the first set 25-19. Edie facilitated the Rebels’ offense beautifully, dishing out 14 assists as Ole Miss hit at a .400 clip.
The Rebels jumped out to a 9-5 lead in the second set, including the set’s first four points, but the Colonials raced back and tied the set at 10. From there, both teams exchanged the lead nine times to go along with 15 ties. Ole Miss staved off set point once and George Washington fought off set point twice before eventually taking the set 28-26 on a service ace.
Tied 18-18, Ole Miss closed out the third set on a 7-2 run to win 25-20 and take a 2-1 lead in the match. Before the Rebels’ 7-2 run to finish the set, neither team had led by more than three in what was once again a close, competitive set. Brashear paced the Rebels defensively in the third set with eight digs.
Ole Miss gained a four-point lead at 19-15 in a close fourth set, but George Washington fought back to take a 24-23 lead. Facing set point, the Rebels called timeout and answered after the break by scoring the next three points to win 26-24 and claim the match 3-1. Bakima finished the match strong with six kills in the fourth set.
Ole Miss opens its home slate Sept. 6 against Kennesaw State (11:00 a.m. CT) and Georgia Southern (7:30 p.m. CT) as part of the Magnolia Invitational. The Rebels have won the tournament for each of the last six years. Ole Miss will close out the Magnolia Invitational on Saturday at 1:30 p.m. CT against Arkansas State.
Georgia Sweeps Bulldog Invitational
ATHENS, Ga. – The University of Georgia volleyball team earned a pair of wins on Saturday, Aug. 31 to take home the Bulldog Invitational title. Georgia (3-0) earned a 3-0 (25-17, 25-20, 25-17) win over TCU (2-1) to start the day before taking a 3-0 (25-17, 25-22, 25-15) win over Furman (0-3) in the nightcap to complete the weekend sweep. The wins marked the first time since the 2007 season that a Bulldog squad has won its first three matches of the season by a score of 3-0. Jasmine Eatmon was named the Bulldog Invitational Most Valuable Player, while Lauren Teknipp earned all-tournament honors for her performance over the three matches.
“I think that we were a great version of ourselves this weekend,” Head Coach Lizzy Stemke said. “Our balance was wonderful and I could give nods to every single one of our players. It was a major team effort. When you look at individual numbers, I think Jasmine [Eatmon] and both of our right side hitters put up huge stats. We had a high level of blocking this weekend and I give a lot of credit to our setters. Overall, I think we showed a lot of maturity and I think we will continue to benefit from that throughout the season.”
Georgia 3, TCU 0 (25-17, 25-20, 25-17)
Teknipp led all players with 10 kills, going 10-for-21 for an attack percentage of .386. Stacey Smith added nine kills, while Tirah Le’au and Brittany Northcutt registered eight kills each. Kaylee Kehoe and Maggie Baumert split time as the setter, finishing with 20 and 17 kills, respectively. The Bulldogs were effective from the service line, tallying four aces, including two by Eatmon. For the second time in as many games, the Bulldogs out blocked their opponents, recording nine team blocks to TCU’s four. Leading the team at the net was Eatmon, who had three assisted blocks and one solo stop. Elena Perri and Smith each finished with three blocks, while Le’au and Northcutt finished with one solo block each. Allison Summers paced Georgia with a match-best 14 digs.
TCU took a slight lead early in the first set before a Teknipp kill gave the Bulldogs a two-point lead at 6-4. The Horned Frogs came back and tied the set at six before the teams knotted the score six more times. With the scored tied at 14, a pair of Northcutt kills sparked a seven-point run that included back-to-back service aces by Eatmon and put the Bulldogs on top 19-14. A TCU kill broke the Georgia run, but the Bulldogs went on to score four of the final five points to seal the first set 25-17.
In the second set, TCU edged out in front early, taking a 7-4 lead. Following a timeout and on the service of Baumert, Georgia scored four-straight points, including two on Teknipp kills, to take an 8-7 lead. The score knotted four times before TCU took a 15-12 lead. The Bulldogs used two kills by Smith to pull within one at 15-14 before Eatmon and Smith combined for a block that tied the score at 16. The Bulldogs retook the lead at 18-17 with an Eatmon kill and maintained it for the rest of the set. Georgia scored seven of the final 11 points, including a set-winning kill by Teknipp to take set two 25-20.
Georgia used a dominating performance to take the third set 25-17. The Bulldogs raced out to a 9-1 lead, with the team combining for four kills and two blocks. TCU fought back to come within four at 15-11. Georgia answered by scoring the next two points to extend its lead to 17-11. TCU came back to within five at 22-17 before a Northcutt kill sparked a 3-0 run that sealed the set three win and the sweep of TCU.
Georgia 3, Furman 0 (25-17, 25-22, 25-15)
In Georgia’s 3-0 win over Furman, the Bulldogs hit .300 as a team, led by Northcutt and Teknipp, who finished with nine kills each. Smith registered eight kills, while Eatmon added seven, hitting at a .600 clip for the match. Kehoe and Baumert paced the offense, finishing with 22 and 16 assists, respectively. Eatmon and Teknipp led the Georgia defensive front, finishing with two blocks each. Chloe Buckendahl led all players with 15 digs, while Summers and Northcutt finished with 11 digs each.
Georgia and Furman kept it close through the opening points of set one, with neither team able to gain more than a two point lead until Furman strung together a run that put it on top 9-6, forcing Georgia to call its first timeout of the set. Following the break, Georgia went on a 4-0 run that put it on top by one at 10-9. After four ties, a kill by Kehoe sparked a six-point run that gave the Bulldogs a comfortable 19-13 lead. During the run, the team combined for five kills and a service ace by Summers. Furman scored just four more points in the first set, allowing the Bulldogs to win 25-17.
The second set proved to be just as hard fought, as Georgia and Furman tied six times before a block and a Georgia error gave Furman a slight lead at 9-7. The Bulldogs fought their way back, tying the set at 12 on a solo block by Le’au. After five more ties, Furman scored back-to-back points to move ahead 19-17, causing the Bulldogs to use a timeout. Coming out the break, the Bulldogs strung together three-consecutive points to take a 20-19 and force the Paladins to call a timeout. Furman tied the set at 22, but kills by Northcutt, Baumert and Teknipp sealed the second set 25-22 for Georgia.
Georgia used a dominating performance in the third set to take the match 3-0. Using the serve of Northcutt, Summers and Baumert, the Bulldogs jumped out to a 9-3 lead that forced Furman to call an early timeout. Georgia extended its lead to 12-4 on a Teknipp kill and Furman error. The Paladins fought their way back, pulling within six at 13-7, but a kill by Northcutt ended the run. The teams traded points over the next several possessions, until a Teknipp kill sparked a 4-0 run that extended the Bulldog lead to 21-10. Desiree McCray recorded back-to-back kills, the first kills of her career, to give the Bulldogs match point at 24-14. Smith sealed the set three win and the match with a kill.
Georgia returns to action next weekend, Sept. 6-7, when it travels to Lincoln, Neb., to take on Southern Miss and Nebraska. The Bulldogs will face Southern Miss on Friday, Sept. 6, at 5:30 p.m., before taking on No. 10 Nebraska at 2 p.m., on Saturday, Sept. 7.
Texas A&M Defeats UND, 3-1
GRAND FORKS, N.D. – Texas A&M fought off a feisty North Dakota team in front of a raucous crowd of 1,375 to win 25-17, 23-25, 25-16, 25-23 in the final match of the UND Classic at the Sioux Center.
With the win, the Aggies improve to 2-1 and take second place in the tournament. Iowa State won the tournament title with a 3-0 record, and UND (2-1) and South Dakota State (0-3) finished third and fourth, respectively. Aggie senior setter Allie Sawatzky and sophomore opposite hitter Sierra Patrick were both named to the all-tournament team.
A&M used a seven-point run to jump out to an 8-2 lead in the opening set, with sophomore middle blocker Shelby Sullivan posting three kills during the rally. The Aggies went on to build a 13-5 advantage before UND began chipping away at the lead. UND got within four points three times, the last coming at 17-13 before the Aggies reeled off six consecutive points to take a 23-13 lead. UND made a late rally, scoring three straight points to get within 23-16 but was unable to defend an attack by sophomore outside hitter Angela Lowak, which put the Aggies at set point. UND got a kill off the block to stay alive before redshirt freshman middle blocker Jazzmin Babers tipped the ball in for a kill, giving A&M a 25-17 first-set win.
UND held an 11-9 lead in the second set when Sullivan and freshman outside hitter Emily Hardesty posted a block and Lowak followed with a kill to tie the score at 11-11. UND hit long on the next play to give the Aggies their first lead since 3-2. The teams began to trade point for point until A&M scored two to go up 18-16. UND then went on a 4-1 run to retake the lead at 20-19. A&M tied the score at 20-20 and 22-all but was unable to regain the lead. UND served into the net at match point to put A&M within 24-23, but the Aggies hit long on the next play to end the set.
A&M built a 7-3 lead in the third set, but UND rallied to take its first lead at 9-8. A&M retook the lead at 11-10 on an ace by senior setter Mariah Agre. UND followed with a block to tie the score once again, but Sullivan posted a kill on the slide attack to give the Aggies a lead they would not lose. Holding an 18-15 advantage, A&M went on a 7-1 run to close out the set, with Patrick clinching the win with her sixth kill of the frame and her 12th of the match.
Aggie head coach Laurie Corbelli tweaked the lineup to start the fourth set, moving Patrick from the right side to the left side and inserting freshman setter/opposite hitter Kaysie Shebeneck on the right. UND jumped out to a 4-0 lead before the Aggies began to get on into sync. A&M first tied the score at 8-8 and took its first lead at 11-10 as Patrick tooled the block for a kill. Shebeneck and Patrick then traded kills to put A&M ahead, 13-10, which would equal the Aggies’ largest lead in the set.
UND eventually tied the score at 21 on back-to-back kills, but Sullivan ended the rally with a kill on the slide attack, and Patrick followed with consecutive kills to put A&M at match point. After several great saves on both sides, UND got two kills to get within 24-23, forcing Corbelli to call a timeout. Patrick came out of the timeout and put down her 20th kill of the match to clinch the win for the Aggies.
It was Patrick’s second consecutive 20-kill performance, having initially reached the career mark against Iowa State earlier in the day. Lowak and Sullivan also posted career highs in kills with 16 and 13, respectively.
Senior libero Kelsey Kinley led the Aggies in digs with 15, and Agre and Sawatzky also reached double figures with 11 and 10, respectively, to lead A&M to a 71-64 advantage in digs. A&M also outhit UND, .238 to .219, but UND outblocked the Aggies, 14-6.
Lexi Robinson led UND in kills with 14.
The Aggies return to action Thursday and Friday, Sept. 5-6, at the USTA Classic at the Convocation Center in San Antonio. A&M plays two matches on Thursday, opening the tournament against Loyola Marymount at 1:30 p.m. and then returning to the court to face Lamar at 7 p.m. The Aggies conclude the tournament Friday at 7 p.m. against the host Roadrunners.