Athens, GA - Freshman outside hitter Brittany Northcutt posted a match-best 15 kills on a career-high .560 hitting percentage to guide Georgia to a 3-0 victory over Kennesaw State on Tuesday evening at the Ramsey Student Center.
Georgia earned the shutout with set scores of 25-23, 33-31 and 25-19 to improve to 13-15 on the year while Kennesaw State falls to 16-10. The Bulldogs victory snapped a six-match winning streak by the Owls.
"The smiles in the locker room after this match reveal the confidence of good play," Interim head coach Chad Hanson said. "Certainly, it was tight through the first two sets, and I felt like that second set was really tight. We talked to the team and told them they had the control to dictate how this goes. We started to get quiet in that second set, but for them to learn and be reminded that they have the ability to maintain some great energy and great communication the result is a three-set win."
Northcutt recorded her career-best .560 hitting percentage by leading the match with 15 kills on 25 attacks as she committed just one attacking error. Behind the freshman, the Bulldogs combined to notch 55 kills on a .344 clip as senior middle hitter Valentina Gonzalez added 12 kills on a .550 mark and junior Ann Dylla and redshirt freshman Kathleen Luft each added another nine kills. Junior setter Kathleen Gates directed the offensive charge with 45 assists, which marked her highest assist total in a three-set match this season.
Defensively, Georgia also recorded its highest dig total in a three-set match this season with 58 led by junior libero Carla Tietz, Luft and sophomore Nicole Choi. Tietz finished with a match-best 18 digs raising her career dig total to 1,185, which moves her up to ninth in career digs at Georgia and just three digs shy of eighth on the list. Supporting Tietz's lead, Luft added 11 digs while Choi had 10.
Kennesaw State's top performances on Tuesday came from Alyssa Lang and Sabrita Gulley with 13 and 12 kills, respectively, as the Owls hit at a .227 percentage.
Up next, Georgia concludes a four-match home stand on Friday against Southeastern Conference Western Division foe Ole Miss (17-8, 11-5 SEC). First serve between the Bulldogs (4-12 SEC) and Rebels is scheduled for 7 p.m. ET and admission is free.
"We have some tough competition coming in this Friday night," Hanson noted. "Hopefully, tonight's win builds a little bit of confidence and a sigh of relief as we look to Ole Miss next."