The Georgia volleyball team grabbed its first two wins of the season against Kennesaw State and Wofford on Saturday afternoon during the Big Orange Bash in Clemson, South Carolina.
Rachel Ritchie and Meghan Donovan earned All-Tournament team honors for their performances in the Big Orange Bash. Ritchie recorded the fifth 20-kill match of her career, and Donovan reached 41 assists while also leading Georgia with 10 digs.
Georgia 3, Kennesaw State 2
The first match of the day didn’t lack drama, as Georgia found itself down 0-2 before winning three straight sets to grab the 3-2 victory (20-25, 21-25, 25-19, 25-21, 15-10).
The first set of the match was a back-and-forth affair until a late 5-1 run by Kennesaw State was enough to maintain for the 25-20 victory.
Kennesaw State quickly grabbed a 23-13 lead in the second set, which was countered by a 7-0 run by the Bulldogs to bring the score within three. The run fell just short though, as Kennesaw State eventually secured the 25-21 win to go up 2-0.
The third set was quite the opposite to the second, as Georgia grabbed the early lead. Two aces from Kianna Young put Georgia on top 15-8 until Kennesaw State went on a 7-1 run to put the game within a point. Georgia responded with four straight points and held the lead to win 25-19.
Georgia and Kennesaw State battled back-and-forth throughout the fourth set until a 6-1 run gave Georgia the momentum to gather the close 25-21 win, tying the match at 2-2. Five of the seven blocks in the set from Georgia came in its final six points. Young and freshman Kacie Evans each had four in the set.
In the fifth and final set, Georgia put themselves in a good position with a 5-0 run, followed by winning three of the final four points to grab the third straight set 15-10 and the first win of the season.
Some standout performances for the match include Evans grabbing 13 kills, nine digs, and four blocks. Sophomore Sage Naves finished the match with five blocks and her career-best 10 kills.
Georgia 3, Wofford 0
Georgia carried the momentum of winning the three previous sets against Kennesaw State to take all three sets against Wofford (25-23, 25-15, 25-7).
Two straight aces from Mallory Hernandez in the first set opened up a lead that eventually brought Georgia up 24-18. After a Wofford timeout, the Terriers won the next five points to make it a 24-23 game. A service error gave Georgia the 25-23 victory.
The second and third sets were big wins for the Bulldogs, as they led by as much as 10 in the second and ended the third set on a 12-1 run to wrap of the first sweep of the season.
Next for Georgia is a trip to California for three matches in the Long Beach State Tournament, with the first match against UCLA on Thursday.