Tech Volleyball Stops North Carolina, 3-1, in ACC Opener
Sept. 21, 2007
CHAPEL HILL, NC - Nikki Kaminskas hit a career-high .714 with a season-high 10 kills to lead Georgia Tech (7-4, 1-0 ACC) to a 3-1 (30-20, 31-29, 33-35, 30-26) victory over North Carolina (5-6, 0-1 ACC) Friday night in the Atlantic Coast Conference opener for both schools.
"This is a great way to start ACC play," Georgia Tech head coach Bond Shymansky said. "Our team came out hot and was able to withstand North Carolina's home crowd. Our ball control is starting to look better, and we're excited about the prospect of contending for the ACC title at every point in the season."
Kaminskas keyed the Yellow Jackets' victory with 10 kills and no errors on 14 attempts while adding five block assists and four digs on the night. Ulrike Stegemann led all players with 19 kills while hitting .514. The Schwerin, Germany native also had nine digs and a season-high four service aces while recording three total blocks against the Tar Heels.
"Nikki K. did a great job of getting kills when we needed them and giving us the production that our offensive system needs from the middle hitter position," Shymansky added. "Ulli, as usual, was unstoppable again tonight."
Freshman Mary Ashley Tippins ran the Yellow Jacket offense, posting a season-high 65 assists to go along with eight digs, five kills and a pair of block assists, while Lindsey Gray recorded her third double-double of the season with 11 kills and 11 digs on the night.
Michelle Kandell guided the Yellow Jackets on the back row, recording 24 digs.
Tech won 10 of the first 12 points of the match before cruising to a 30-20 win in game one behind the strong hitting of Stegemann, who had seven kills and no errors on nine attempts in the frame.
Trailing by four points in the second game, Megan Owens recorded a kill and three blocks to help the Tar Heels tie the game at 26-26. Tech responded with a pair of kills and a block for game point, but UNC again tied the match at 29-29 on two more kills from Owens and a block by Christie Clark and Stephanie Jansma. The Jackets then went to Nikki Kaminskas, who recorded back-to-back kills to give Tech a 31-29 game win and a 2-0 lead in the match.
Game three proved to be the most exciting, with a total of eight lead changes and 16 tie scores before the Tar Heels came away with a 35-33 victory. Both teams hit over .300 for the first time in the match, with UNC edging the Yellow Jackets, .354-.333. With Tech leading 33-32, the Tar Heels scored off an attack error by Lindsey Gray and a pair of kills by Clark and Jansma to pull within 2-1 in the match.
With game four tied 25-25, Chrissy DeMichelis and Talisa Kellogg posted back-to-back kills and, after a service error by Gray, the Yellow Jackets polished off the Tar Heels with back-to-back blocks by Kellogg and Tippins and Kaminskas before an attack error by UNC star Lauren Prussing finished off the match.
Kellogg finished with 16 kills and five digs in the match, while DeMichelis posted seven kills while hitting .385.
The Yellow Jackets will have Saturday off before traveling to Raleigh to take on the NC State Wolfpack Sunday at 2 p.m. Live video of that match will be available online at gatech.playonsports.tv (ACC Select), while live stats can be found at GoPack.com.