From Role Player to Star

Brittany Northcutt could accurately be described as a multi-talented player on Georgia's volleyball team.

She might best be acclaimed as a true star for the Bulldogs.

The senior outside hitter has helped Georgia to a 17-7 record (7-5 Southeastern Conference) with wins over Lipscomb, Furman, Texas Christian (TCU), Southern Mississippi, Georgia Southern, North Florida, Louisiana, the University of North Carolina-Greensboro, North Dakota State, Notre Dame, Louisiana State (LSU), Mississippi (Ole Miss), South Carolina and the first straight set wins (25-21, 25-18 and 25-23) over Tennessee since 2002. Also, the 'Dawgs upset nationally 15th ranked Kentucky in five sets October 23 in Stegeman Coliseum before a national ESPNU television audience. However, they lost to Alabama two days later, before edging Mississippi State. But Georgia won in a rematch with Tennessee last Sunday to sweep the Volunteers this season.

Her statistics have been impressive and include: 11 kills, 14 digs and two service aces against Georgia Southern; 11 kills versus Southern Miss; 12 kills and 15 digs in the North Florida game; 10 kills versus Notre Dame; nine kills against both Furman and in a loss to Nebraska; and seven kills in a defeat to Texas A&M (the other two losses were to Kansas and Florida). Northcutt was named all-tournament and Most Valuable Player in the Benson's Group Hospitality Group Invitational after she made 22 assists in the Louisiana and UNCG tournament matches.

She also tallied 11 kills and 22 assists versus Tennessee. And she posted her third double-double of the season and collected her 1,000th career kill against Ole Miss to become only the 16th Bulldog to achieve that lofty milestone. Northcutt finished with a match-high 16 kills to go along with 12 digs to lead Georgia. She also had two service aces.

Northcutt led the Bulldogs offensively versus Florida with seven kills. She also had a team-best two blocks. At undefeated Missouri, Northcutt tallied 11 kills. Then in a loss at Arkansas, she posted a team-best 14 kills and ten digs. Then against Kentucky, she had 13 kills and ten digs. Northcutt made 11 kills versus Alabama. She led Georgia against Mississippi State by recording her 20 kills and 18 digs. She had her sixth-double-double of the season with 11 kills and twelve digs at Tennessee.

Northcutt changed schools prior to her high school senior year, which resulted in her freshman year at UGA being the third school she had played for in as many seasons. During Northcutt's first season playing collegiately with the Bulldogs, UGA dismissed head coach Joel McCartney. After completing the 2010 season with interim coach Chad Hanson, UGA hired current head coach Lizzy Stemke in 2011—Nortcutt's fifth coach in four seasons.

"It was definitely an adjustment going from coach-to-coach in high school and college," Northcutt commented. "But I really like our current UGA coaching staff. Coach Stemke and her assistants are extremely knowledgeable about the game and very enthusiastic. They're also very tough and push me and all our players hard to excel on the court and in the classroom. They've definitely help make me a better player and a better student."

Northcutt came to Georgia having experienced vast prep sports success. In her junior season at Anson Senior High School in Wadesboro, NC, she was named to the all-state volleyball team and received conference player of the year honors. Northcutt also earned all-conference honors in basketball. As a sophomore and freshman, she also was named all-conference in volleyball and basketball, besides being s soccer all-conference selection her freshman season.

After moving to Northwest Guildford High School in Greensboro, NC for her senior year, Northcutt led her team to a 30-5 record and a conference championship. She was named her league's volleyball Player of the Year as well as her team's most valuable player.

Northcutt played on the 2008-09 USA High Performance A2 team helping it earn the Gold Medal (team championship). She also played for the Triangle Volleyball Club in 2009-10 and on the Piedmont Triad Volleyball Club team in 2008-09, the latter of which she helped lead to the USAV Junior Championships where Piedmont finished 25th.

In a press release, McCartney called Northcutt an "extraordinarily talented athlete and perfect fit for us (Georgia) on and off the court."

UGA has been an ideal fit for her, too.

"I love everything about the University of Georgia-- the volleyball program, the over-all athletics program, the school and its other attributes," Northcutt declared. "I'm very happy with the opportunity to attend school at UGA and play volleyball for the ‘Dawgs."

Stemke said Northcutt has been a tremendous leader for the Bulldogs with her darring-do play.

"It's been awesome to witness Brittany further develop her game to such a highly-accomplished level of play," Stemke said. "She's added a great deal of consistency and aggressiveness to how she plays that has been crucial to our team. She can give us a big swing when we need one, which gives us a lot of momentum. Brittany does a lot of good things at the net and she's one of our best servers and passers."

During her freshman (2010) season, Northcutt appeared in all 32 matches with 25 starts and she played in all 123 sets. She recorded 302 kills on a team-high 849 attacks. She added 37 aces, 121 digs and 58 blocks. Northcutt led or tied for the team lead in kills nine times, in both attempts and aces (11 times each) and in points eight times. She had 16 matches with double-digit kill totals, including a season-best 20 at Northern Colorado.

In the Bulldog Invitational, Northcutt provided her team with 27 kills and eight blocks. She was named to Northern Colorado Classic All-Tournament Team after helping UGA go 3-0 with a team-best 51 kills, 5 aces, 15 digs and eight blocks. She also helped Georgia win the Wake Forest Deacon Invitational by making 32 kills, 13 aces and seven blocks. Additionally, she had an impressive first-game debut for the Bulldogs by making 10 kills for the Bulldogs against East Tennessee State.

Playing on basically the same team in consecutive years for the first time since her junior year of high school was a big factor for Northcutt going into her sophomore campaign at UGA.

"I definitely think that team chemistry and knowing who you're playing with gets a lot easier the more you play with someone," Northcutt said. "It made a big difference for me. When you know who's on the court and the type of game everyone plays, you get a feel for each other and their style of play."

In 2011, Northcutt played in all 30 matches with 29 starts and in 107 sets. She recorded a team-best 306 kills to go along with 22 assists, 25 aces, 246 digs and 47 blocks. She led or tied for the team lead in kills 13 times and made four double-doubles.

Northcutt led the Bulldogs with 12 digs against Mississippi State while also recording nine kills. She made four aces and a career-best 19 digs versus LSU. She also led UGA with 13 kills and made five blocks against 20th ranked Tennessee. She also registered a team-best 13 kills on a .364 clip versus thirteenth-ranked Florida. Northcutt posted a double-double with 12 kills and 10 digs versus South Carolina. And in the Georgia Tech Regency Suites Invitational, she provided the ‘Dawgs with 50 kills including a career-best 21 against Mercer.

She led UGA with 13 kills on a .455 clip against Kennesaw State and recorded 29 kills and 19 digs in the Pepperdine Asics Classic. Additionally, Northcutt compiled 23 kills and 22 digs in the Hotel Indigo Bulldog Invitational.

For her stellar academic showing, Northcutt also was named to the UGA Athletics Director's Honor Roll.

Northcutt played in, and started, 26 matches during her junior season at UGA (2012). She was second on the team in kills with 270, averaging 2.81 per set. She recorded double-digit kills in 15 matches. Northcutt notched a season-best 20 kills at LSU and had 19 at Tennessee.

She finished the season with 45 blocks, including 15 solo blocks, and accounted for 314 points and recorded 14 aces. She blocked a season-best five shots at Auburn, including three (a-season best) solo blocks. She also registered 242 digs with nine double-double performances. Northcutt tied her career-best of 19 digs against Texas A&M, and had 11 double-digit dig efforts. Additionally, she hit .400 at Alabama and recorded two service aces in four matches.

The daughter of Cerise Belk, Brittany has a sister, Aniston Belk. Brittany was born January 10, 1993. She is majoring in Arts & Sciences at Georgia.

Dawg Post Top Stories