Georgia ‘Volley Dawgs’ make history with NCAA Tournament victory
Although the Georgia Bulldogs’ volleyball team hopes they are not done yet, they made history in Austin, Texas, Thursday night.
No. 8 seed Towson was defeated by Coach Tom Black’s Volley Dawgs. 8-seed Towson was eliminated in the first round of the NCAA Tournament at Gregory Gymnasium, University of Texas. Georgia won the first set 25-10, and then took two more of the three remaining sets, 25-23, 25-20, and 25-20, to take the Tigers’ lead.
This was Georgia’s first win in an NCAA Tournament match, dating back to 1995. The Bulldogs (23-7), now face the top-seeded Longhorns in Round 2. It starts at 9 p.m. on Friday. Towson’s season is over at 29-1.
“Obviously, they started off pretty much on fire during the first set, but then they pushed back which is what good teams do, and I was proud to see how the team responded,” Black, who is in his sixth season as the Bulldogs’ head coach. We had some difficult serving runs but we were able to start to convert in transition a bit. This was also a first for our team. Although we had participated in the tournament before, it was the first time that we were able to reach the second round. Although I was expecting nerves, the team handled them like they have all year. This team is a great honor to be able to coach.
On a.380 clip, Kacie Evans, All-SEC senior, gave the Bulldogs 26 kills. This was her second-highest season kill total. In the match, she also had eight digs and an ace.
Junior Sophie Fischer had 12 kills and a.455 batting average. She also added eight blocks. Libero Bailey Cox was the defense’s leader with 15 digs. Georgia had six aces at the service line in the match. Three of them came from Alexa Fortin, the setter.
The Bulldogs now face a greater challenge. Next up is the Longhorns, a perennial force in women’s volleyball. With a win over Fairleigh Dickinson on Thursday night, the nation’s highest-ranked team rose to 23-1.
Texas has won three national titles in the sport. It is ranked in the top ten in each of the 16 seasons. Texas has also made the NCAA regional finals fifteen times and reached the championship match five times. The most recent in 2020 was in Texas.
What is the Bulldogs‘ game plan for success?
Black stated, “Just play Georgia volleyball.”