Nov. 11, 2011
CHAPEL HILL, N.C. – Despite 15 kills by Monique Mead, the Georgia Tech volleyball team (15-12, 8-8 ACC) fell 3-1 to North Carolina (20-7, 12-4)in front of 1,735 fans at Carmichael Arena, Friday. Six different Jackets tallied a kill in the loss.
Mead led all attackers on the night with her 15 kills, but had 12 errors (eight in the first set) during the match. Both Alexis Woodson and Ivona Kolak each had eight kills on the night while Kaleigh Colson netted 36 assists during the match.
UNC’s advantage came via the block as the team combined for two solo blocks and 34 block assists for a total of 19 team blocks. The Tar Heels were led by Cameron Van Noy who had a ridiculous 12 blocks on the night as well as Chaniel Nelson who had 10 of her own. Nelson also racked up 14 kills for the double-double.
The Tar Heels got off to a quick 3-0 start in the first set and never looked back extending that lead to 9-4, then 12-5 after tallying seven points in a row. The Heels had their greatest lead of the game at 20-7 after rallying off six consecutive points, but the Jackets fought back. Their attempt wasn’t enough though, as UNC took the first set 25-13. On 16 attempts in the first set, Mead was only able to rack up four kills (that led all hitters), but made eight errors. UNC’s serving and blocking shone in the first set as they netted an ace and four team blocks.
Set two got off on a better foot for the Jackets. Early blocks led to an early lead but UNC managed to rally of six points in a row once again to make a 7-7 game, 13-7. The Jackets fought back behind four-straight serves by Susan Carlson to bring it to 13-15 and then 16-18, but some service errors by the Jackets squelched any shot that they had at starting an early rally and Carolina jumped out to a 21-16 lead. Tech netted three straight points behind Zoey Morton, but two more UNC blocks gave the Heels the set point. Tech wasn’t done, however, as Nicki Meyer tabbed two aces in a row and a Tar Heels blocking error brought the game to 23-24. But it was too late as a kill by Chaniel Nelson sealed the 25-23 win for UNC.
Set three was the closest of all of the sets on the night. UNC and Tech went back and forth for the majority of the match recording 15 ties and four lead changes. At the 16-all mark, UNC made a slight run netting three straight points before Tech called a timeout and got the sideout. The Jackets edged their way back into the game but could not even things up until one of Kaleigh Colson’s patented tips netted things at 23-all. A tip to the right by Quinn Evans on an overpass by UNC gave the Jackets a 24-23 lead but Emily McGee slammed one down to tie the game up once again. Evans had another big play at the net winning a joust to give Tech a 25-24 advantage and Jennifer Percy slammed one through a gap in the UNC block to give Tech their first win of the night, 26-24.
Tech continued to fight in set four. After falling behind 6-2, the Jackets went on a 3-0 run of their own fueled by kills from Mead and Lexi Woodson to bring the game to 5-6. UNC responded with a run of their own retaking their four point lead, but Tech did not give up. Three straight kills by Monique Mead brought things to 11-12. Play continued to be back and forth with UNC holding the slight edge until the Heels broke open the game to finish with the 25-20 win.
The Yellow Jackets will finish their road season in Raleigh with a TV game at NC State on Sunday afternoon at 1 p.m. The game will be broadcast live via RSN.