Georgia volleyball made its 2017 debut in its new home, Stegeman Coliseum, on Wednesday, battling Tennessee to a tough five-set loss.
The Bulldogs held the 2-1 lead in the match, but fell 27-25 in Set 4 and ran out of steam in the fifth set, falling 15-5. Georgia moved to 12-8 on the season, including a 2-5 mark in SEC play.
Tennessee led 24-21 in Set 4, but the home side rallied with three straight points, two on UT miscues, to knot the score and then thwarted a fourth set-point try at 25-24 on a Rachel Ritchie kill, but couldn’t break through for the win.
Despite the loss, it was a strong debut for the Bulldogs, which had played in the Ramsey Student Center from Sept. 22, 1995, until the move.
“The first 75 percent of the match, there was a lot of good, and the last 25 not so much,” head coach Tom Black said. “So we’ll just have to learn from it and keep getting more consistent each match.”
Since 2012, Georgia volleyball has posted a 4-5 record in Stegeman.
In the Ramsey Center, the Bulldogs could only welcome 1,925 fans. In the newly renovated Stegeman Coliseum, seating capacity is 10,523.
The $8 million renovation included the implementation of an LED lighting system, a state-of-the-art sound system, graphics, new black cushioned seats and LED graphic panels. The renovation was phase 2 of the school’s plans, following the addition of an HD scoreboard in 2016 and enhanced graphics, concessions and concourse spaces in 2010.
“It’s going to have a huge impact, and it already has as we have walked recruits through and tell them what this place is going to be like,” Black said when the renovations were announced. “That resonates. It’s already had a big impact, and it’s only going to continue to grow. There are so many new additions that are exciting. There’s the new video board. The black seats look great. The whole atmosphere should be electric. We’re excited about all of it. It’s a great honor to play in such an amazing arena.”
Check out some of our favorite shots from last night as we opened #TheSteg pic.twitter.com/naunpZ68Sk
— Georgia Volleyball (@UGAVolleyball) October 12, 2017