Kennesaw State Sweeps Georgia for 6-1 Start

  0 Derek Johnson | September 13th, 2017 | College - Women's Indoor, Division I Mid-Major, SEC


  • Kennesaw State def. Georgia 3-0 (27-25, 25-20, 25-19)
  • Kennesaw State improves to 6-1; Georgia drops to 8-3
  • Kennesaw, Georgia
  • Box Score

Kennesaw, Georgia – In a match between mid-major and SEC, it was Kennesaw State upending Georgia in straight sets to continue their hot start to the season.

Set one kicked off the match in a doozy, as Kennesaw State jumped ahead 24-22. Georgia wasn’t fazed by set point as T’ara Ceasar, who led Georgia with four first set kills, logged back-to-back kills to even at 24. A Bulldogs’ block even gave Georgia a shot at set point, but Kennesaw State would allow no more. Setter Kristi Piedmonte would even the score at 25 on one of her two kills in the set, and would contribute a pair of her 11 first set assists on the next two points as she found Maddie Jones (five first set kills) for set point at 27-25.

The Owls used the momentum to push ahead in set two in a back and forth game that saw Kennesaw State pull away at the end with a 4-0 run. The defense came up big in the set as Kennesaw State posted four blocks and hit .237 while holding Georgia to a .125 clip.

Set three was the most lopsided with Kennesaw State winning 25-19 to cement the victory as Jones led the way with 12 kills. Anaiah Boyer logged a double-double with 10 kills and 10 digs while Piedmonte came up with 33 assists, four digs, a trio of kills and a pair of blocks as she helped the Owls hit .214.

For Georgia, Ceasar led the team with 13 kills in the match and almost had a double-double with nine digs, but didn’t get much help as no other Bulldog notched more than five kills. In total, the Georgia offense had 31 kills compared to 20 errors on 97 attacks for a .113 hitting percentage.

Part of that was Georgia’s own doing, while Kennesaw State added to the cause with a strong block that won that stat category 11-5. Liesl Engelbrecht spearheaded that cause for the Owls with a match-high five blocks to support her nine kills.

Kennesaw State now moves on for a two-match weekend in Kentucky. They’ll start with the University of Kentucky on Saturday with a chance for a top-15 upset and finish up with a solid Louisville team on Sunday. After that, they’ll begin Atlantic Sun play with Lipscomb, the defending conference champion as they look to make a statement.

Georgia heads home to Athens for a pair of matches as they face Texas Tech and Georgia Tech on Thursday and Friday respectively. Following their rivalry bout with the Yellow Jackets, Georgia starts up SEC play against Alabama.


Courtesy of Kennesaw State:

· Kennesaw State pushed their record to 6-1 after sweeping the Georgia Bulldogs in the KSU Convocation Center. With the victory, Kennesaw State has beaten every NCAA Division I program in the state of Georgia under head coach Keith Schunzel and the Owls are 8-2 against in-state opponents the last three seasons.

Kennesaw State found itself in a hole in the first set trailing 22-16. Out of a timeout, KSU was sparked by Boyer serving as the team went on an 8-0 run to take a 24-22 lead. The Bulldogs fought off a couple of set points and had one of their own before the Owls finished off the set 27-25 by winning three straight points with kills from Kristi PiedimonteRachel Taylor and Jones.

KSU held an early lead in the second, but Georgia battled back. With the score tied at 19, the Owls closed down the set finishing with a 6-1 run going up 2-0 in the match.

Looking to finish things off in three in front of the home crowd, Kennesaw State stretched things out in the middle of the set leading by as many as seven points before closing out the in-state Bulldogs 25-19 in straight sets.

“Obviously, that’s a big win for our program. We struggled early in set one and pulled off a big  comeback to take an early lead in the match, and then started competing at a higher level and really controlled the match in set two and three. I’m proud of our team because I challenged them as strongly as I have all season after the first set to start playing Kennesaw State volleyball and show how good we are. Both Maddie Jones and Anaiah Boyer passed, defended and attacked extremely well tonight, and Liesl Engelbrecht had another big night hitting .438 with nine kills. We’re going to enjoy this win, but we know there are bigger and better things ahead because everyone in our locker room wants to keep pushing the envelope to keep getting better.”

· This is the first win in program history against Georgia for Kennesaw State. The Owls had been 0-5 before tonight’s match.
· Since Schunzel has been at Kennesaw State, he has beaten every NCAA Division I school in Georgia. Over the past three seasons, the Owls are 8-2 against in-state opponents.
· This is the second victory for Kennesaw State over an SEC school. The first one was Mississippi State in 2012.
· Jones led the team in kills tonight with 14. It is her third time in four matches totaling double-digit kills.
· The team totaled 11 blocks tonight against the Bulldogs led by Engelbrecht’s five on the night. This is the second time this season that the Owls have totaled double-digit blocks.

Kennesaw State will go up against another SEC opponent on Saturday, September 16 as they travel to take on No. 12 Kentucky Wildcats. Schunzel was an assistant with Kentucky before becoming the head coach at Kennesaw State.

The following day, the Owls will take on the Lousiville Cardinals at 3 p.m.

To keep up with the latest Kennesaw State volleyball news follow the team on Twitter @KSUOwlNation and @KSUOwlsVB or by liking Kennesaw State University on Facebook.

It is free admission to all home volleyball matches for the Owls.

Courtesy of Georgia:

KENNESAW, Ga. – The Georgia volleyball team fell to Kennesaw State 0-3 at the Owls’ Convocation Center on Wednesday.

Georgia (8-3) led the two teams on defense with 41 digs, highlighted by Kendall Glover (14), T’ara Ceasar(9) and Meghan Donovan (6). Ceasar headlined the offense as well with her team-leading ninth double-digit kill effort (13).

In the first set, a late surge from Kennesaw State constructed its 24-22 lead, but two choice kills from Ceasar tied the score at 24. The Owls (6-1) sealed the frame 27-25 with a pair of kills after a total of seven lead changes.

Ceasar propelled the Bulldogs to a second-set lead with four early kills, and after a slew of back-and-forth points, Donovan set up another Ceasar attack for the 19-18 advantage. The Owls, in turn, used four-straight points at the end of the set to take the frame 25-20.

Georgia began the third set with Ceasar, the SEC leader in aces per set, at the line and jumped to a quick 2-0 margin. A kill from Anna Kate Karstens tied up the game at 10 and allowed Georgia to establish the 11-10 lead.

By the end of the set, the Bulldogs trailed 24-17, but forced three-straight match points with the help of Donovan’s digs on defense, complimented by a pair of kills from Rachel Ritchie. The Owls held on for a 25-19 final for their first defeat in the six-game series history with the Bulldogs.

Georgia returns home tomorrow at the Ramsey Center to begin a five-match home stand. The Bulldogs play host to Texas Tech on Thursday and Georgia Tech on Friday, both at 7 p.m.

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