ATHENS, Ga. – Alabama dropped a three-set volleyball match to Georgia on Sunday in Stegeman Coliseum.
Alabama (10-5, 2-2 SEC) fought back late in the first set against Georgia (11-4, 3-1 SEC) but ultimately fell, 25-22, before seeing an eight-point lead in the second erased to eventually drop a 25-23 decision. The Bulldogs built a double-digit lead in the third before the Crimson Tide fought back within a point late, but eventually fell by two, 25-23.
Senior Ginger Perinar led the team with 10 kills, adding an ace and a block assist for 11.5 points. Freshman Emily Janek finished with 27 of the team’s 34 assists and junior Kaylee Thomas again led the back-row defense with 17 digs.
Georgia scored the first point of the opening set and remained in front, holding a 15-12 lead at the media timeout. After the break, a 4-1 run for the Tide knotted the score up at 16-16 and the Bulldogs took a timeout. Alabama took its first lead three points later when a kill from sophomore Erin Curl made it 18-17. After four tie scores, the Bulldogs retook the lead at 22-21 and the Tide called a late timeout. Alabama spent its final timeout after the next rally when Georgia pulled ahead 23-21 and the Bulldogs held on to win by three.
Alabama jumped ahead to an early 6-3 lead, scoring three in a row before Georgia called a timeout. The scoring run continued after the break, with four more unanswered points stretching the lead to 10-3 before the Bulldogs called their second timeout. A kill from senior Ginger Perinar on the next rally made it 11-3 before a service error finally snapped the scoring streak. Two more points for Georgia made it a five-point game and Alabama took its first timeout ahead 11-6. Later with the score 13-7, a 5-0 run from the Bulldogs brought the home team within one. A service error ended the run and started a 5-1 swing for the Tide to push ahead 18-13. Georgia quickly answered back with three-straight to draw back within two points, forcing an Alabama timeout. Three more from the Bulldogs after the break gave the home team its first lead of the set, 19-18. The score would be tied five times down the stretch but Georgia held on to win by two and take a 2-0 match lead.
Georgia started the third set with eight unanswered points and the Bulldogs eventually pulled ahead by double digits just past the halfway mark at 15-5. Alabama took its second timeout trailing 17-7. Trailing by the same margin later, 20-10, the Tide scored five in a row to cut the deficit in half before the Bulldogs took a timeout with the score now 20-15. Trailing 23-16, Alabama made a late push with four unanswered points before Georgia took a timeout with its lead trimmed to three, 23-20. Two more from the Tide made it a one-point game but the Bulldogs just edged it out in the end, winning by two to complete the sweep.
After not posting fewer than 10 team blocks in any SEC match so far this season, Alabama was held to six against Georgia, its third-lowest total of the season
Alabama jumped ahead to an eight-point lead over Georgia in the second but allowed the Bulldogs to fight back and eventually win the set. Georgia moved ahead by double digits in the third before a late push from the Tide made it a one-point game at 23-22, but some close calls in the end gave Georgia the narrow two-point win to complete the sweep.
Alabama returns to Tuscaloosa on Wednesday, hosting Mississippi State (11-5, 0-4 SEC) at 6 p.m. CT live on ESPNU.