Dowd Leads Tech to Victory over Tar Heels

Box Score

 THE FLATS – Behind a 26-kill effort from freshman Mikaila Dowd, Georgia Tech volleyball (14-10, 3-8 ACC) kicked off its final home stand with a 3-2 victory over North Carolina (5-15, 1-10) in O’Keefe Gymnasium on Friday night.

Georgia Tech 3, North Carolina 2
The first set was close the whole way. Battling through 13 ties to a score of 17-17, the Jackets took a two-point edge on a kill from freshman Mariana Brambilla to lead 20-18 and North Carolina called the first timeout of the set. The Tar Heels committed an attack error coming out of the timeout to move the score to 21-18 in favor of the Jackets and promptly burned their second timeout. This time North Carolina took two in a row to come within one at 21-20 and Tech called timeout. The Jackets stayed ahead on a kill from senior Lauren Frerking but the Tar Heels tied the set at 22-22. A kill from Dowd put Tech back on top but North Carolina took two in a row to take over the lead at 24-23 and the Jackets called timeout. Another kill from Dowd tied it back up at 24-24. The Tar Heels took in two a row to close out the set at 26-24 for the 1-0 lead.

Tech took a three-point lead in the second set at 8-5 on a kill from Dowd. The Tar Heels used a 4-0 run to overtake the Jackets at 12-10 but back-to-back errors by North Carolina tied it back up at 12-12. The teams battled and Tech took a three-point lead at 18-15, causing North Carolina to call timeout. A kill from Dowd pushed Tech’s lead to five and the Tar Heels called their second timeout, trailing 20-15. North Carolina took three in a row to bring the score to 20-18 and Tech called timeout. The Yellow Jackets pushed the lead back to five on a block from sophomore Dominque Washington and junior Kodie Comby. The Tar Heels kept attacking but a kill from Brambilla took the set for the Jackets at 25-21 to tie the match.

The Tar Heels took a two-point edge early in the third at 5-3 but Dowd knocked down three kills in a row to move the score in favor of the Yellow Jackets. The teams fought back and forth, seeing four ties to a score of 11-11 before a kill from Frerking set Tech on a 4-1 run to lead 15-12 at the media timeout. Tech stayed ahead, leading 20-16 on a kill from Washington and North Carolina used a timeout. The Tar Heels came back within two at 21-19, inciting the Jackets to call timeout. North Carolina made it 21-20 but Tech took two in a row to lead 23-20 and the Tar Heels used their second timeout. The Tar Heels to two in a row, making it 23-22 and the Jackets called timeout. Dowd tallied back-to-back kills coming out of the timeout to take the set for the Jackets at 25-23 and give Tech the 2-1 advantage.

The Tar Heels bounced back in the fourth, jumping to an 8-4 lead and Tech called its first timeout early in the set. North Carolina pushed its lead to 10-4 before a kill from Dowd got the Jackets back on track. The White and Gold inched its way back into the set, coming within one at 16-15 on a kill from Brambilla but the Tar Heels stayed ahead. Tech called its second timeout, trailing 21-17 but North Carolina held on to force a fifth at 25-20.

The Tar Heels grabbed the first lead of the fifth set but Tech tied it at 4-4 on a block from Comby and sophomore Grace Rigsbee. The Tar Heels kept sneaking ahead but the Jackets kept responding. A kill from Dowd tied the set at 10-10 and UNC called timeout. The Tar Heels went ahead by one but a 4-0 run by the Jackets gave Tech set point at 14-11. North Carolina took two in a row and Tech called timeout with the lead at 14-13. The final point for the Jackets came at 15-13 on the swing of Dowd for her 26th kill of the match to secure the 3-2 victory.

Up next:
The Jackets finish out the weekend on Sunday, Oct. 28, when they host NC State for a 1 p.m. matchup on ACC Network Extra.

Tech tidbits:

  • Mariana Brambilla recorded her 16th double-double of the season with 12 kills and 14 digs.
  • Mikaila Dowd recorded a career-high 26 kills, overwriting her old record of 22 from the season opener against Idaho State.
  • Dowd’s 26 kills are the most by a Yellow Jacket this season and the most in a single game among active Jackets.
  • Dowd turned in her eighth double-double of the season with 26 kills and 10 digs.
  • Matti McKissock recorded her seventh double-double of the season with 47 assists and 16 digs, both were career highs for the freshman.
  • Lauren Frerking matched her career high of 10 kills, recording double-digit kills in back-to-back matches.
  • Tech moves to 12-3 in O’Keefe this season.

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