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University of Georgia’s Mallory Hernandez, freshman, serves the ball during the volleyball match against Florida in Stegeman Coliseum in Athens, Georgia on Sunday, Nov. 18, 2018. Georgia fell to Florida 3-0. (Photo/Caitlin Jett)

Georgia volleyball defeated Arkansas in three straight sets Wednesday evening. The sets were close, as the largest deficit seen by Arkansas at the end of any set was a three-point loss. The scores were 25-22, 27-25 and 25-22.

Freshman Mallory Hernandez recorded 19 kills, a season high.

“Mallory Hernandez, offensively, was big time,” head coach Tom Black said. “I thought our passing steadied out and our serving pressure got tougher as it went on.”

Rachel Ritchie also secured 13 kills, making her 23rd double-digit kill match this season.

There were multiple other notable statistics that came from the three-set match. Georgia put up 10 blocks. Senior Majesti Bass led the Bulldogs’ defense with 6 blocks on the net. Senior Libero Caroline Ostman also earned a career-high of 18 digs.

After exchanging the first few points, Georgia rallied in the first set with a three-point run, giving the team a 6-3 lead. The Razorbacks met this with their own four-point run, leaving them in the leas 13-12. Georgia claimed the next three points and again Arkansas claimed the next four after that. With the score in Arkansas’ favor at 17-15, Georgia went on its own 4-0 run, positioning themselves to take the set, 22-20. With her ninth kill of the night, Hernandez sealed the opening set for Georgia, 25-22.

Arkansas gained an early lead in the second set, 11-9. Georgia responded with a 9-point run, giving them an 18-11 lead. Arkansas then had its own 5-point run, leaving Georgia’s lead only 18-16 and forcing a time out. Georgia won the next two points, giving themselves a 20-16 lead. The Bulldogs drew set point 24-22 before sending the set into extra points. A team block by Black and Donovan closed the set 27-25.

Back-and-forth play to open the third set left the score tied 6-6. The Bulldogs held the lead for the remainder of the set before winning 25-22, winning the match 3-0.

“I think this was a by-product of all the work we have done, and we have one more day to try and play our best volleyball,” said head coach Black.

Georgia will conclude its 2018 season by hosting Mississippi State in Stegeman Coliseum on Friday.

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