THE FLATS – On the heels of two double-doubles from freshman Mikaila Dowd, including a stunning 22 kills against Idaho State, Georgia Tech volleyball (2-0) took both matches on opening day against Idaho State and Winthrop. Tech topped Idaho State 3-1 in the early match before sweeping Winthrop 3-0 on Friday night in O’Keefe Gymnasium.
The action continues tomorrow on day two of the Hyatt Regency Invitational. The Jackets take on Abilene Christian at noon before concluding the tournament at 7 p.m. against Georgetown, all at O’Keefe Gymnasium.
Georgia Tech 3, Idaho State 1
The Jackets came out ready to play in the first set. Freshman Mariana Brambilla followed up two attack errors by the Bengals with an ace to put Tech up 12-7 and force Idaho State to call timeout. The Jackets continued to roll and back-to-back blocks from the tandem of junior Kodie Comby and sophomore Cori Clifton extended Tech’s lead to 17-10. The Bengals pulled within four at 20-16 and the Jackets called timeout to regroup. Idaho State kept at it, coming within two at 21-19 but Dowd got on a roll. She tallied three of her six kills in the first set in the final four points of the set to claim it for the Jackets at 25-19.
Tech carried its momentum into the second set. Jumping out to a 7-2 lead off a kill from Dowd, Georgia Tech forced Idaho State to use their first timeout early. The White and Gold just kept on rolling and led 14-6 when the Bengals burned their second final timeout of the set. The Jackets led by as many as 10 at 22-12 on another kill from Dowd and with no timeouts left, Idaho State fell 25-16 on a block from senior Lauren Frerking and Clifton.
The third set was a closer affair. The teams traded points to a tie at 10-10. Idaho State squeaked ahead by two at 12-10 and Tech used its first timeout. It seemed to have worked and the Jackets took back the lead at 15-14 on an attack error. Another kill from Dowd pushed Tech’s lead to 17-14, inciting Idaho State to use its first timeout. The Bengals tied the set back up at 18-18 but Tech retook the lead on a sneaky kill from setter Matti McKissock. Idaho State came right back to tie it at 20-20. Tech took a small lead at 23-21 but four straight points for the Bengals stole the set at 25-23 to force a fourth set.
The teams came into the fourth set trading points. Tied at 12-12, Brambilla put Tech ahead with a kill. Back-to-back kills from Dowd moved the score to 17-13 in favor of the Jackets. The Bengals fought back, taking three in a row to come within one at 17-16 and Tech used a timeout. A powerful swing from Comby got the Jackets back on track and they would hold the lead for the rest of the set. Dowd notched her 22nd kill of the match to seal the set for the Jackets at 25-22 and win the match 3-1.
Georgia Tech 3, Winthrop 0
After taking an early lead in the first set at 4-1, Tech never trailed. The Eagles tied the Jackets at 5-5 but a kill from Brambilla put Tech back on track. The White and Gold used back-to-back blocks from the duo of Frerking and sophomore Kendall Wilson to push its lead to 10-5. Winthrop fought its way back in it, coming within two at 14-12 but a kill from Clifton kept Tech ahead. After calling a timeout after a service ace from Dowd at 16-12, Winthrop edged its way back within one at 17-16, inciting the Jackets to call timeout of their own. Winthrop kept it close but Tech dug out a win to take the first set 25-21. The Jackets kept Winthrop at a .114 clip in the first set.
The momentum held in favor of the White and Gold, rolling to another early lead. The Jackets took a five-point lead at 10-5 on a kill from Comby. Relentless, Tech pushed its lead to as many as 10 on a service ace from Brambilla to make it 19-9. Comby easily put away the set for Tech with a kill at 25-12 to move the score to 2-0 in favor of Georgia Tech. The Jackets hit above .500 in the second set at .522.
The third set stayed close the whole way. There were a total of 19 ties and nine lead changes. In the back-and-forth battle, the Jackets had set point at 24-22 on a kill from Comby but Winthrop found its way back in to tie it at 24-24. The Jackets found themselves facing the possibility of a fourth set, trailing at 27-26 but Comby drove home two kills in a row to once again give the Jackets set point. An attack error by the Eagles completed the sweep for Tech at 29-27.
The Jackets look to keep rolling on Saturday, facing off against Abilene Christian and Georgetown in the second day of the Hyatt Invitational at O’Keefe Gymnasium. Tech takes the court at 12 p.m. and 7 p.m.
GT vs. ISU Tech tidbits:
- Sophomore Kodie Comby was 9-for-9 with a 1.000 hitting percentage after the first two sets.
- Freshman Mikaila Dowd’s 22 kills are the most in a single game by any active Georgia Tech player.
- Freshman Mariana Brambilla (14 kills, 13 digs) and Dowd (22 kills, 11 digs) recorded double-doubles. Juniors Kodie Comby and Lexi Dorn were just one dig away each from a double-double.
- Four of the seven freshmen made their collegiate debuts against Idaho State.
GT vs. Winthrop Tech tidbits
- Freshman Mikaila Dowd had her second double-double of the day and her career in as many games with 13 kills and 14 digs against Winthrop.
- Senior Lauren Frerking had a career-high eight kills and four digs. She tied her career-high in blocks with four.
- Sophomore Kendall Wilson had a career night with career highs in kills (4), digs (5) and blocks (4).