THE FLATS -- Georgia Tech volleyball (2-2) took care of business on Sunday afternoon, handing North Dakota (4-1) its first loss of the season with a 3-0 sweep in the final match of its four-match homestand at O'Keefe Gymnasium.
Head coach Michelle Collier says:
"I think we did extremely well today. I can see the growth every time that we step on the court, we're playing so much better. We're playing with more confidence; we're understanding situations better that will get us closer to winning the match and executing those things. It's really good to see that they're able to execute the game plan and that we're able to put pressure on them.
"We're just really maturing and growing as a volleyball team overall, which is great because moving forward in the season, when we play two ranked teams next weekend with Texas and San Diego and a great team in Villanova, it's going to be a challenging weekend for us.
"I think we gained a lot of confidence this weekend with what we can do. It was great to see the turnaround from the great win last night to coming in and being focused, understanding what we needed to do and getting out of here in three sets. North Dakota is a really good group that's used to winning and for us to win the way we did, it just shows that we're growing and that we're getting better and that's exciting."
How it happened:
It was a slow start in the first as the teams traded points to a 10-10 tie. Tech took a slight edge but a 7-0 run off the serve of freshman Sam Knapp put the set in the hands of the Yellow Jackets. Having built up an 11-point lead, the Jackets took the set and the 1-0 advantage with a kill from senior Ashley Askin. Senior Sydney Wilson tallied four kills in the set, hitting at an impressive .800 clip. Tech hit .387 overall for the set.
The second set stayed tight as the two teams battled to a tie at 18-18 with neither team taking more than a two-point lead. Tech then squeaked ahead by one at 19-18, causing the Fighting Hawks to call a timeout. The Jackets took the next two points as well, and a kill from senior Gabriela Stavnetchei spurred another timeout. Tech would take a timeout with a 22-20 lead and Collier made good use of the time as Stavnetchei served out the set for Tech to a 25-20 win.
Tech jumped out to a 5-0 lead in the third but North Dakota fought back to tie the set at 10-10. Tech made another run to a 16-11 edge but again the Fighting Hawks responded. The two teams tied again at 17-17 and battled back and forth. North Dakota took a one-point advantage at 21-20 but Tech sparked a 4-0 run to get match point. The Fighting Hawks took two more to bring the tally to 24-23. Collier called a timeout and the Jackets responded as Askin finished the sweep and the match with a kill.
Tech hits the road and heads west to San Diego, Calif. to participate in the USD Tournament Sept. 1-2. The Jackets will take on No. 22 San Diego, No. 1 Texas and Villanova as part of the road trip before returning to O'Keefe Sept. 7-8.
- Stavnetchei hit in double figures for the fourth-straight match.
- Senior Gabby Benda finished the weekend with 109 assists.