Georgia’s Brynn Chandler (12) serves the ball. 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 Ole Miss 3-1 at Stegeman Coliseum on Wednesday. The win moves Georgia’s overall record to 15-4 and its SEC record to 7-1 for a first-place tie with Florida. 

“For the program [the win] is really cool,” Georgia head coach Tom Black said. “I don’t know when the last time Georgia was playing to stay in first place against another first-place team [in the SEC]. It’s a nice benchmark … But there’s still a ton of season left.” 

Freshman Kacie Evans finished the match leading the team in kills with 20, and senior Meghan Donovan tallied 49 assists for the evening. 

Junior Brynn Chandler had a career performance, recording a career-best 12 digs and seven aces. 

“[Chandler] is a stud,” Black said. “She’ll have some longer serving runs before the season ends. When her serve is on, it’s almost unpassable.” 

Georgia started the opening stanza with a 9-6 lead. Later in the set, with the Bulldogs up 20-15, Ole Miss responded by grabbing five of the next seven points to pull within two of the lead, making the score 22-20. Georgia grabbed the next three points — with Chandler securing the final point with an ace — to grab the 25-20 first set win. Evans led the team with six kills in the set, followed by Rachel Ritchie with four. 

The second set began just as close as the first. This time, the Rebels grabbed the early lead at 10-7. Georgia went on an 8-0 run from that point to grab the lead at 15-10. Ole Miss went on a run of its own, retaining the lead and getting a match point opportunity up 24-22. Georgia tied it up at 24 but ultimately fell in the second set 27-25. 

Ole Miss carried the momentum from the previous set into the third, taking an early 12-8 lead and forcing a Georgia timeout. Ole Miss continued the early success and kept the lead later in the set 18-10. The Bulldogs found a way back in the set, winning the next seven points to pull within one, forcing an Ole Miss timeout. Georgia continued to roll out of the break, outscoring Ole Miss 8-4 for the remainder of the third set and ultimately winning 25-22. 

Georgia jumped out to grab the early lead in the fourth set 8-3, forcing an early Ole Miss timeout. The Bulldogs continued to dominate the fourth set, sealing the victory on a Ritchie kill to win the set 25-15. 

“Kudos to my team,” Evans said. “Everybody is getting better. Individually and as a team, we are connecting so well. That’s what is bringing us up in the conference.”

Next for the Bulldogs is a match on the road against Texas A&M on Sunday at 3 p.m.

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