Univeristy of Georgia middle blocker Anna Kate Karstens (11) hits the ball over the net during a match against Louisiana State University in Stegeman Coliseum in Athens, Georgia on Friday, Sept. 21, 2018.

In a tear-jerking victory, Georgia volleyball shattered a six-game losing streak against Alabama last Friday. After the game, many players on the team became emotional. 

“It felt amazing; a lot of the girls were crying after the game. I cried after it, just because of how much we’ve been through with so many things changing,” outside hitter Rachel Ritchie said. “It’s a lot to know that we can push through that even with the game being played differently.”

Ritchie made long strides in last Friday’s match with her first double-double of her sophomore season with 19 kills and 16 digs.

“[Alabama] didn't really know what to scout for because we had a bunch of different changes, and I think that was kind of cool because it was like a fresh glance." 

- Anna Kate Karstens, Georgia volleyball player

Georgia looks to keep the momentum going into this weekend. The team faces SEC squads No. 10 Arkansas and No. 4 Missouri on the road Friday and Sunday. Anna Kate Karstens said one of the keys to the victory against the Crimson Tide was focusing on each set.

“It’s like a complete reset after the first set, and we weren’t going to let that carry on into the other ones. I think it was just a ‘Let’s keep moving forward’ mindset," she said. 

Karstens also recorded a new career best in kills with 13 against Alabama.

The team went through changes in positions for the match with the recent departure of T’ara Caesar and injury to defensive Kendall Glover. Many players were shifted around into positions they weren’t used to, but the Bulldogs were able to use it to their advantage.

“[Alabama] didn't really know what to scout for because we had a bunch of different changes, and I think that was kind of cool because it was like a fresh glance,” Karstens said.


University of Georgia’s Tom Black, head coach, gives instructions to Meghan Donovan, junior, during the volleyball match against Tennessee in Stegeman Coliseum in Athens, Georgia on Sunday, Oct. 28, 2018. (Photo/Caitlin Jett)

Going into their next matches, the team is optimistic about how the changes in positions can help them to more victories, Karstens said. Without much practice time to adjust before Alabama, there is an opportunity this week to work toward perfecting the changed roles. The defense remains a solid force to contend with amidst the change, and Karskens talked about the defense as one of the team's strengths.

Georgia volleyball will play its final away games of the regular season this weekend before returning to Stegeman Coliseum. Karstens and Ritchie agree that the team knows how to remain consistent in its performance on the road and on home turf.

After matching up with Arkansas and Missouri, the Bulldogs will stay in Athens for their last four games.

“We like playing at home, we just never get to,” head coach Tom Black said with at laugh. “We’re used to being on the road, and we’ll be excited to get back.”

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