UGA advances in NIVC with sweep vs. UCF
ATHENS, Ga. - The University of Georgia volleyball team swept the UCF Knights 25-17, 25-21, 25-17 on Wednesday at the Ramsey Center to advance to the third round of the National Invitational Volleyball Championship.
Georgia nearly doubled the UCF kill-total as a team, totaling 47 to the Knights' 25. Three Bulldogs posted double-digit kill performances, with freshman outside hitter T'ara Ceasar leading the charge with 16, recording a career-high .520 hitting percentage. Junior middle blocker Majesti Bass and freshman outside hitter Rachel Ritchie rounded out the offense with 10 kills apiece.
The balanced Georgia play also featured the Bulldog defense, as Georgia held UCF to a .082 hitting percentage. Freshman Kendall Glover contributed 19 digs, with Bass at five blocks.
"A lot of individuals impressed me," Georgia head coach Tom Black said. "I thought our blocking got a lot better, and we had some really tough serving runs, especially down the stretch."
In the first set, Georgia opened the match with a quick three points, provided from Ceasar and Ritchie kills. With junior Sydney Gilliam behind the service line midway through the opening frame, the Bulldogs collected six-straight points to take the 16-8 lead, highlighted by an ace and a pair of kills from Ceasar. Georgia closed out the set with three points for the 25-17 set.
A five-point run from the Bulldogs opened the second-set surge, produced by kills from Ritchie, Bass and Young with Glover behind the service line for the 7-3 lead. The kill-totals increased as Ritchie, Ceasar and senior outside hitter Kendall Kazor commanded a 6-1 run for the 19-13 Georgia edge. The Knights brought the score within two, but an ace from junior Sydney Gilliam and kills from Ceasar sealed a 2-0 Georgia advantage.
The Bulldogs cruised through the third set, with Katie Houser powering a kill for the 19-8 Georgia lead. The Bulldogs separated themselves by as many as nine points in the final set, securing the 25-17 victory.
"You've got to go one round at a time," Black said. "Every round is going to get more challenging, so keep your eyes on the next one. That's part of the beauty of playing in a tournament. There are just so many things that you don't know. You just have to be adaptable whenever your number is called."
Georgia will face the winner of Ole Miss and Arkansas State in round three of the NIVC.