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The Official Website of the Southeastern Conference

Georgia celebrates Senior Day with win over Ole Miss

7 days ago
Georgia Athletics
Photo: Georgia Athletics

ATHENS, Ga. - The University of Georgia women's volleyball team defeated Ole Miss Saturday afternoon in a five-set battle at Stegeman Coliseum (18-25, 25-22, 25-22, 20-25, 15-12).

With the victory, Georgia improves to 20-7 on the season, the third 20-win season under Tom Black. The Bulldogs also climb to 11-5 in SEC play and finish 8-1 in conference play at Stegeman Coliseum.

Prior to the match, Georgia honored its senior class including Sage Powell, Meghan Froemming, Alexa Fortin, and Amber Stivrins.

Kacie Evans finished the day with her sixth double-double, recording 21 kills and 11 digs. She also put up six blocks, four aces, and handed out three assists in the match.

Stivrins fell a kill short of tipping the double-digit mark with nine while Sophie Fischer had seven kills.

On the defensive side of the ball, libero Bailey Cox led the way with 13 digs. Fortin put up 11 digs for her sixth double-double coupled with 12 assists. The Bulldogs put up 14.5 team blocks, led by 10 from Fischer.

The Rebels (11-15, 7-9) forced an early Georgia timeout in the opening set, using a 6-0 run to go ahead 11-5. Later, an 8-1 Georgia run narrowed the Rebel lead to 21-16. Ole Miss regrouped to keep away the Bulldogs and take the set 25-18.

Georgia found an early lead in the second set. Down 8-5, Ole Miss won three-of-four points to tie the set at 9-all, forcing a Georgia timeout. Ole Miss went ahead on a 5-1 run, but Georgia responded with four-straight to recapture the lead and go in front 18-15 as the Rebels took a timeout. The Rebels worked to tie the set down the stretch at 22-all. After a Georgia timeout, back-to-back blocks secured the 25-22 set for the Bulldogs, tying the match.

Already ahead three in the third, a 5-0 run widened Georgia's lead to 16-8. The run included a pair of aces from Fortin. With Georgia leading by seven, a 6-1 Rebel run narrowed the lead to two and exhausted both Georgia timeouts, 19-17. After Ole Miss made it a one-point set, Georgia fended off the Rebels to hold on and win the set 25-22, taking a 2-1 lead in the match. Georgia hit .314 in the third set.

Georgia went ahead 5-1 to force an early Ole Miss timeout in the fourth. Ole Miss halted the Georgia offense and used an 8-2 run to find a 13-12 lead. After Georgia recaptured the lead at 16-15, the Rebels won three straight to go back in front 18-16 and force a Georgia timeout. The Rebels kept it going, finding a 22-17 lead. Three straight from Georgia sliced the lead to two and forced a Rebel timeout. Ole Miss finished the set on a 3-0 run, 25-20, forcing a fifth set.

Evans' fourth ace of the match put Georgia ahead 5-2 in the fifth, prompting an Ole Miss timeout. Georgia led by two at the end change and used a block and an Evans kill to widen the advantage to 10-6, forcing Ole Miss' final break. A 3-0 Rebel run once again cut Georgia's lead to one, 11-10. The Dogs kept the Rebels at bay, taking the final set 15-12, and the match in five sets.

The regular season will end next week with two matches at LSU. Friday's first serve is set for 4 p.m., ET, followed by the season finale Saturday at 1 p.m., ET.

Head coach Tom Black

On what the seniors mean to the team... "It's kind of hard to put into words what they mean. We have had to rebuild on a rebuild. When I came here six years ago, we were at rock bottom but made a huge jump and then COVID knocked everything out. The seniors have been through so much. Them sticking to the program and sticking together and everything they did to give us a chance to be successful this year means a lot and speaks to who they are as people."

On the highlights from this game... "The biggest highlight today was that we found a way. It was not always pretty, but we found a way. Our serving picked up a little bit. I thought our setters worked hard to keep our offense going. Kacie Evans was super aggressive. I think it was one of those matches that we found a way and did it as a team."

Graduate Sage Powell

On getting a win for the seniors' final home game... "I am really grateful. It was a great turnout for it to be five sets and an actual game, not a blowout and not us getting beat either. It was fun and really memorable. I am really grateful."

On celebrating Senior Day... "It was really amazing. I didn't know if I was going to play a fifth year or not. I had it in my head who I was going to be walking into senior night with, prior to me coming to play a fifth year here. It was cool that I get to do it with the class underneath me. They are a really special group of women, and all have amazing qualities to them. They are really lovely and awesome teammates. I am really grateful that I get to keep playing with them for the next couple of weeks."

Up Next

The regular season will end next week with two matches at LSU. Friday's first serve is set for 4 p.m., ET, followed by the season finale Saturday at 1 p.m., ET.