GAINESVILLE, Fla. - The University of Georgia women's volleyball team earned a three-set sweep of the 11th-ranked Florida Gators at Exactech Arena Wednesday evening (25-22, 25-23, 25-20), the Bulldogs' first SEC sweep of the season.
This is the fourth win over a ranked opponent under head coach Tom Black, the last against then-No. 5 Florida on Nov. 20, 2020. This is the first time Georgia has swept a ranked opponent since Nov. 27, 1993 (No. 12 Kentucky in the SEC Tournament in Birmingham).
"The team played hard and stuck together," Black said after the match. "I thought our serving and the offense run by our setters made the difference tonight. Florida is a great team and we're happy to come out of with a good result."
Senior Kacie Evans paced the offense with 16 kills in the match, adding six blocks with five digs. Fellow senior Amber Stivrins put up nine kills while junior Sophie Fischer tallied eight.
Fischer put up nine blocks in the match while freshman Tori Harper had four. Sophomore libero Bailey Cox put up 10 digs in the three-set match.
As a team, the Bulldogs laid down five service aces, two from redshirt-sophomore Mackenzie Norris. Georgia out blocked the Gators 11-9. Georgia held Florida to a .090 hitting clip. After falling behind 3-0 to begin the match, the Bulldogs (13-5, 4-3) went on an 8-0 run to capture a quick five-point lead in the opening stanza. The run featured two service aces from Norris and a pair of Evans kills. Four-straight from the Dogs, capped by back-to-back Evans kills, prompted Florida's second timeout of the set, 18-12. Florida responded with three-straight points to cut Georgia's lead in half and force a Bulldog timeout, 19-16. The Gators battled to take a 22-21 lead, forcing Georgia's final timeout. The Bulldogs regrouped and won the next four rallies to take the set 25-22. Evans concluded the opening set with seven kills while Stivrins had four, hitting .667.
Florida (15-4, 7-2) took a quick 5-0 lead in the second set and continued to build on the lead, exhausting both Georgia timeouts at 12-6. The Bulldogs battled, using a 4-0 run to slice the lead to 15-13. Down 17-14, four-straight points put Georgia ahead for the first time in the set, 18-17, as Florida called its final timeout. Georgia tied it up and took the lead on back-to-back blocks. Georgia widened the run to six to hit 20 points first, 20-17. After Stivrins drew set point, 24-19, Florida made a late push with a 4-0 run, but Georgia held on to take the set 25-23 on Stivrins' eighth kill of the match.
Georgia used a six-point run to go ahead 7-3 in the third, prompting an early timeout from the Florida bench. The Gators responded to knot it at 7-all. A back-and-forth battle ensued as the set was tied at 13. A 6-1 run opened an 19-14 lead for the Bulldogs. Georgia kept its foot on the gas to take the set 25-20, winning the match on a solo block by Norris, completing the sweep.
Georgia hosts Alabama this weekend in a two-match series at Stegeman Coliseum. First serve on Saturday is set for 2 p.m. between the Bulldogs and Crimson Tide. Sunday's SEC Network match will begin at 12 p.m. from Stegeman.