ATHENS, Ga. --- After falling in set one, the Georgia volleyball team (13-5, 1-4) came back to earn its first SEC win of the season over South Carolina (13-3, 1-3) by a score of 3-1.
"Getting our first SEC win of the season is getting the monkey off our back and allowing us to stay aggressive and to really grind," said head coach Lizzy Stemke. "LSU is a very different team, so we'll look to prepare for the team at hand, but on our side of the court I was really excited to see us grind and stay really aggressive."
Georgia was led in the victory by Maddie Lobenstein's 18 kills and Meghan Donovan's double-double of 44 assists and 11 digs. A pair of Bulldogs in Cassidy Anderson and Amanda Dachs also had double-digit digs with 12 and 10, respectively.
One of the key differences of the game was Georgia's serving, as the Bulldogs put up a season-best 12 aces, led by Anderson with four while four other Bulldogs tabbed one ace or more.
"We've talked all week about being really aggressive, so I'm really proud of this group for coming out and doing that," Stemke said. "I thought we were very aggressive from the service line. We had 12 aces, that's a nice showing at the service line. We were taking big swings and being smart when the ball wasn't there, but when the ball was there we were taking very big, aggressive swings. I thought we did that very well tonight."
After the visitors took the first set 25-19, Georgia bounced back in the second, as five kills from Lobenstein and a pair of aces from Anderson guided the Bulldogs to a 25-19 victory heading into the locker room.
Out of the break, the teams had a tight third set, trading points for a majority of the frame. With South Carolina ahead 21-20, a kill by Lobenstein sparked a 4-0 run for Georgia to pull ahead 24-21 before winning the set 25-22. The momentum carried into the fourth, as two aces by Dachs began a big set for the Bulldogs, going up as much as 13 points. The Gamecocks closed in late, holding off match point four times, but Kendall Kazor's ninth kill of the match sealed the win at 25-18.
Georgia stays in Athens, but heads to Stegeman Coliseum for its next match on Sunday against LSU. The 1:30 p.m. ET contest is the team's annual Dig Pink match along with Superhero Day. Pink T-shirts will be given out with a donation while kids will receive a free cape. Admission is free.