Virginia Posts Comeback Win Over Tech Volleyball, 3-2

Sept. 28, 2007

Box Score

ATLANTA - Sarah Kirkwood posted 17 kills and Katie Oakes added nine block assists to lead Virginia (8-5, 3-1 ACC) back from an 0-2 deficit to win a 3-2 (16-30, 22-30, 30-26, 32-30, 15-12) match over Georgia Tech (8-5, 2-1 ACC) Friday night at O'Keefe Gym.

Kirkwood came alive in game five, recording five kills, two digs and a block assist to hand the Yellow Jackets their first ACC loss of the season. The defeat negated multiple highlights for the Yellow Jackets, including career highs for rightside hitter Brittany Roderick and defensive specialist Michelle Kandell

Roderick, playing in the Yellow Jackets' 6-2 offense which was finally used to its full effect with the return of junior setter Allie Niekamp, notched career-highs in kills (9), digs (4), assists (3) and total blocks (5) while Kandell tied a career high with 28 digs against the Cavaliers.

Ulrike Stegemann and Callie Miller led Tech with 15 kills apiece, while Talisa Kellogg added 14.

Both Yellow Jacket setters notched double-doubles on a night when Tech recorded 94 digs and 15 total blocks as a team. Niekamp posted 30 assists, 13 digs and four service aces in her first match since the first weekend of the season, while freshman Mary Ashley Tippins had 25 assists and 12 digs in the match.

Middle hitter Nikki Kaminskas continued her climb up the Yellow Jacket blocking charts, moving to eighth in the Tech career annals with 262 block assists in her four years, including nine vs. the Cavaliers, while she moved to ninth in the Jackets' total blocks list (290).



After beginning the match on a 10-4 run, the Yellow Jackets hit .286 to the Cavaliers' minus-.075 to cruise to a 30-16 victory in game one. Tech held the Cavs' top hitter, Kirkwood, to just three kills by racking 19 digs and three total blocks in the frame.

Through two games the Yellow Jacket defense allowed just 19 Virginia kills while the Cavaliers committed 19 attacking errors (.000), resulting in a 2-0 lead for the Jackets as the home team won, 30-22. Tech posted 21 digs and four total blocks in the second game while Lindsey Gray provided the offense for the Jackets, hitting .500 with six kills.

Kendahl Voelker and Oakes combined for nine kills in game three as Virginia narrowed to the lead to one with a 30-25 victory. The Jackets hit just .150 while the Cavs managed a .204 hitting clip.

Virginia tied the match at 2-2 with a block by Shannon Davis and Kelly Irvin to give the Cavaliers a 32-30 win in game four. The two teams had traded the previous nine points, with a kill by Kirkwood giving Virginia a 31-30 lead, before the Cavalier duo posted the block off an attempt by Ulrike Stegemann from the middle of the court for the game victory.

With game five tied 10-10, Virginia took the lead on a service error by the Jackets and then extended it to three on a Tech attack error and a kill by Kirkwood. After a kill by Lindsey Gray made the score 13-11, the Cavs went back to Kirkwood for point No. 14 and held on for a 15-12 win over the Jackets with another kill from the senior captain.

Tech will return to action Saturday night when it hosts Virginia Tech at 8 p.m. The match can be heard on WREK Radio (91.1 FM/ and followed online at