KacieEvans

Georgia outside hitter Kacie Evans (23) prepares to hit the ball during the Red & Black Scrimmage in Stegeman Coliseum in Athens, Ga., on Saturday, Aug. 17, 2019. (Photo by Tony Walsh)

Though it was a close match on paper, Georgia volleyball was unable to keep up with Florida’s talented offense, falling in four sets in its final matchup of 2020.

Georgia played fairly well in the match, hitting at a .226 clip and recording nine blocks compared to Florida’s eight. Sophomore Kacie Evans posted her second consecutive double-double with 12 kills and 17 digs while fellow sophomore Amber Stivrins recorded her fourth 20-kill performance of the season.

“It came down to a handful of plays we just weren’t able to execute and Florida did,” said head coach Tom Black.

A lack of widespread efficiency compared to Friday night’s match is where the Bulldogs strayed from success. While Stivrins recorded seven more kills than in Friday’s competition, she was one of only three Bulldogs to hit over .300 in Saturday’s match compared to five different players hitting over that mark in the previous day’s victory.

It didn’t help that Florida made some offensive improvements between Friday and Saturday’s competitions. The Gators hit at a rate of .256, more than .100 better than they did the previous day, as well as cutting their blocking errors in half.

Florida acquired an early 4-1 lead in the first set before Georgia fought back to tie it up at 8. Florida went on another run before the Bulldogs were able to eventually catch up and tie it once again at 24. Despite the rally, two consecutive points for Florida earned them the first set and a 1-0 lead in the match.

The second set opened with a 6-1 Georgia run before Florida called a timeout. The Bulldogs would go on to establish a 14-10 lead in the game until Florida’s offense found a rhythm and went on a 10-1 run. The Gators carried that momentum through the rest of the set and eventually won 25-19, making it 2-0 in their favor.

Georgia’s offense seemed to come to life in the third set with 6-2 and 8-1 runs powering them to a lopsided victory. The Bulldogs never trailed after the first point and would go on to win the set 25-13 thanks to several attack errors from Florida and offensive contribution from across the board.

A 4-0 Florida run early in the fourth set allowed them to establish a four point lead. Georgia fought back with two 4-0 runs of their own to keep things close. Despite the late rally, a kill for Florida marked the end of the match and signaled defeat for the Bulldogs in their final competition of 2020. Georgia finished the fall season with a 4-4 record.

“I thought it was a hard fought match and we’ll grow tremendously from this weekend,” Black said.