The Georgia sidelines erupt when a point is scored. The University of Georgia volleyball team faced off against Tennessee to win by a score of 3-1 on Oct. 4, 2019, in Athens, Georgia. (Photo/Kathryn Skeean, kskeean@randb.com)

Georgia volleyball defeated Auburn 3-1 on Sunday afternoon at Auburn Arena, extending its win streak to five matches in a row. The win improves the Bulldogs’ record to 14-4 overall and 6-1 in the SEC. 

Georgia now has the same number of SEC wins as last season — in 11 fewer matches. 

“We saw some good but still have a lot to work on,” Georgia head coach Tom Black said. “We would like to have played better, but [I’m] glad we got the win.”

Junior Rachel Ritchie led Georgia offensively with 17 kills. Kayla Rivera followed with 13 kills, and Kianna Young tallied 12. 

Four players reached double-digits in digs for the Bulldogs, led by junior Kendall Glover with 22. Claire Rothenberger reached a new season high with 15 digs. Kacie Evans tallied 13 digs as well, which is also a new season high.

The first set started with Georgia leading 9-8 until a 5-1 run allowed a five-point lead midway through the set. The Tigers ultimately kept it close, prompting a Georgia timeout after tying the set at 23. 

Georgia responded by outscoring the Tigers 4-2 from that point on, finished with a kill by Young and Rothenberger, giving the Bulldogs the 27-25 first set win. 

Like the first set, the second set started close until a Georgia run gave them the 5-point lead, 9-4. The run involved a pair of aces from senior Meghan Donovan, and Georgia used that momentum for the rest of the set, winning 25-15. Rivera had six kills in the set.

Georgia found itself down 4-1 early in the third set but used a 6-point run later in the set to grab the 12-9 lead. Auburn would later use a 5-0 run to tie the set up at 15 apiece. The match remained a back-and-forth affair until the very end when Auburn took the last two points of the set to win 26-24. 

Georgia responded by dominating the fourth set, winning 25-17. Ritchie controlled the final set, grabbing nine kills in the fourth frame alone. 

Next for Georgia is a matchup against Ole Miss (14-4) on Wednesday night at Stegeman Coliseum. The match is scheduled to begin at 9 p.m. and will air on ESPNU. 

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