Volleyball Drops Five-Set Heartbreaker To Duke

Sept. 24, 2010

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ATLANTA – Sophomore Monique Mead had a career-high 30 kills and 14 digs but it was not enough as the Duke University Volleyball team (10-2, 2-0 ACC) defeated Georgia Tech (7-6, 0-2), 3-2 (26-28, 25-21, 18-25, 25-20, 18-16), in front of 1,274 fans on Alumnae Night at O’Keefe Gym on Friday. The Yellow Jackets led 2-1 in the match and had a four-point edge in the fifth set only to see the Blue Devils come back and win.

Mead established her new career-high midway through the fourth set as she hit .339 on the night. It was her third double-double of the season and fifth time she’s had at least 20 kills. She also added 14 digs, two service aces and four total blocks. Junior Bailey Hunter added 12 kills for Tech, while junior Asia Stawicka had nine kills and five total blocks. Sophomores Alexis Woodson and Susan Carlson had five kills apiece for the Yellow Jackets. Seniors Mary Ashley Tippins and Jordan McCullers led Tech with 54 assists and 24 digs, respectively.

Georgia Tech hit .214 for the night and had eight total blocks. Duke hit at a .241 clip and had five blocks.

In the first set, Georgia Tech led by as many as three points early but a 5-0 Duke run gave the Blue Devils a 12-10 lead. Duke later led 21-16 before the Yellow Jackets came charging back. A 6-1 Tech run tied the set at 22 apiece and set the stage for a wild finish. The Jackets fought off two Duke set points and eventually took the set 28-26. Mead led Tech with eight kills in the set as the Jackets hit .149.

Mead had seven more kills in the second set giving her 15 for the match, but Duke pulled even with a 25-21 win. Duke took an early three-point lead before Tech came back to tie it at 10 apiece. The Blue Devils came right back with three straight points and this time the Yellow Jackets could not come back. Tech hit .206 in the second set, but .375 hitting and five kills by Claire Smalzer enabled the Blue Devils to tie the match at one.

In the third set, Georgia Tech used a 7-1 run to open up an eight-point lead at 23-15. Duke tried to come back and scored three straight points making it 23-18, but Tech closed it out and went up 2-1 in the match with a 25-18 win. Mead and Woodson led the Yellow Jackets with four kills apiece in the third set as Tech hit .118 and had three blocks.

Georgia Tech’s only lead of the fourth set was at 1-0 as Duke took a 6-2 lead and went on to a 25-20 win. The Blue Devils led by as many as seven points when Tech tried to come back. The Yellow Jackets got as close as two points at 20-18, but Duke hung on for the win that sent the match to a fifth set. Mead had nine more kills as she established her new career-high mid-way through the fourth set. Tech hit .486 in the set, but Duke was even better at .559.

Tech led the fifth set by a 5-1 score only to see Duke come back and take a 10-8 advantage. The Jackets tied the set at 12 and set off a wild flurry that ended in an 18-16 Duke win. The Jackets had one match point at 16-15 but the Blue Devils won the final three points to win the match.

The Yellow Jackets will now host Wake Forest on Sunday at 1 p.m. at O’Keefe Gym. Live video will be available at RamblinWreck.com and the match will also be broadcast on WREK, 91.1 FM in Atlanta and online at RamblinWreck.com.

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