Sept. 26, 2008
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. – Chrissy DeMichelis posted a season-high 19 kills to lead Georgia Tech (10-2, 2-0 ACC) to a 3-1 (25-20, 27-29, 25-23, 25-21) win over Virginia (8-6, 0-2 ACC) Friday night at Memorial Gym in Charlottesville.
The Yellow Jackets overcame sometimes sloppy play to remain undefeated in conference matches and will meet the only other team without a league loss Saturday night in Blacksburg.
“Tonight was a rollercoaster match for our team,” said head coach Bond Shymansky. “We played hot and cold, and you have to give Virginia credit for fighting and not giving up tonight. Most importantly, our team was willing to grind it out when things got tough, and we are excited about being 2-0 in the ACC.”
DeMichelis more than doubled her previous season high in kills (7) and fell just three shy of tying her career high with her strong performance against the Cavaliers. The junior outside hitter logged her 19 kills on 45 swings while posting one block on the night.
“Chrissy is really coming back into pure form, and we know that we are going to need her to continue having success in conference play this year,” Shymansky added.
Callie Miller, Talisa Kellogg and Brittany Roderick joined DeMichelis in double figures in kills, with Kellogg falling just four blocks shy of a triple double against the Cavaliers. Miller finished with 12 kills while hitting .400 against the Cavaliers. She also led the Jackets with nine total blocks (one solo, eight block assists) on the night.
“We received very equal distribution from our offensive attack, and our middles were the mainstay for our success tonight,” Shymansky said.
With a season-high 28 digs against the Cavaliers, senior libero Michelle Kandell led the Jackets’ back row defense to a season-high 80 digs in the four-set match. Joining the senior in double figures in digs were Kellogg and Mary Ashley Tippins, both of whom posted double-doubles on the night. Tippins ran the Yellow Jacket offense with 60 assists, 14 digs and three block assists while Kellogg tallied 11 kills and 15 digs in addition to six total blocks.
“Passing and serving are especially critical when we play on the road, and it’s an area that we need to improve upon as a team,” Shymansky said.
The Yellow Jackets won the first set, 25-20, despite a sluggish start to the match. Ten of the Cavaliers’ first 12 points came off Georgia Tech errors, but the Yellow Jackets held the Virginia offense to a .097 hitting percentage with key back row play from Kellogg, Jordan McCullers and Kandell, all of which posted four digs in the frame, to win the opening set.
Tech took a commanding 21-13 lead to begin the second set, but the Cavs scored six of the next seven points to pull within three at 22-19. After DeMichelis pushed the Jackets to within one point of taking a 2-0 match lead at 24-20, Virginia scored five consecutive points, four of which came off Yellow Jacket attacking errors, and finished off the frame on a 4-2 run to win the set, 29-27, and tie the match at 1-1.
Back-to-back kills from Miller and DeMichelis capped a 25-23 win for the Yellow Jackets in the third set to give Tech a 2-1 lead in the match. The duo combined for eight kills to help Tech hold off a late-charging Cavalier team. Virginia had tied the set at 23-23 with an 8-2 run after Tech took a 21-15 lead in the frame, but the kills by Miller and DeMichelis sealed the win for the Jackets.
Tech hit a commanding .311 in the fourth set to close out the match with a 25-21 victory. The Jackets finished the match with 80 kills while limiting the Virginia hitters to just 49 kills on the night.
Georgia Tech will continue on to Blacksburg to face the Hokies in a 6 p.m. match Saturday evening. Fans can follow a live video broadcast of the match on ACC Select (www.theacc.org) while live stats will be available at www.hokiesports.com.