The Georgia volleyball team lost in five sets to South Carolina on Friday night inside the Stegeman Coliseum. The loss puts Georgia’s overall record to 19-8 and its SEC record to 11-5.
Friday’s meeting marked the four of the last five matches between the Bulldogs and the Gamecocks that have gone five sets.
“[South Carolina] is a good team,” Georgia head coach Tom Black said. “We got a little soft with our swings, started making hitting errors, and started compounding. We didn’t respond very well.”
Georgia’s Kacie Evans — the reigning SEC Freshman of the Week — finished the match leading the team with 24 kills and 16 digs, both of which are new career-highs. Rachel Ritchie was second on the team in kills with 14, followed by Sage Naves with 13.
Senior setter Meghan Donovan earned her 13th double-double of the season, tallying 51 assists and 15 digs. Kendall Glover finished third on the team in digs with 14.
The Gamecocks were obtained an early 4-1 lead in the opening stanza and held it until Georgia later tied the set up at seven apiece. Georgia responded by going on a 13-6 run to take the seven-point lead. South Carolina eventually shortened the deficit to within four, but Georgia wouldn’t allow the Gamecocks to come any closer, winning the first set 25-19.
Georgia kept its momentum early in the second set, finding an early 8-3 lead. After being down 16-10 later in the match, the Gamecocks would respond by winning six of the next eight points to pull within two, forcing a Georgia timeout. A kill by Ritchie would later even the score at 23, but South Carolina would get the next two points to seal the 25-23 set victory.
After falling behind 4-2 early in the third set, South Carolina would answer by winning the next seven points to garner the 9-4 advantage. Georgia would pull within three late, but the deficit was too much to overcome, as the Bulldogs fell 25-19.
The fourth set was dominated by the Bulldogs, as they answered by securing five of the first six points to take an early 5-1 lead. Once grabbing the lead, the Bulldogs would preserve it by winning 25-17, forcing a fifth set.
Georgia seized the early 8-4 lead in the fifth set, but South Carolina responded by winning five of the next six following the end change. After being down 12-10, South Carolina outscored Georgia 5-1 to take the final set by a score of 15-13.
“We definitely had ups and downs,” sophomore Claire Rothenberger said. “Obviously the middle sets didn’t play out as we wanted … It was just one of those unfortunate, tough losses.”
Next for Georgia is a match against No. 15 Florida on Sunday at noon for the final match of the season inside Stegeman Coliseum.