Oct. 7, 2010
Yellow Jackets Continue Road Trip In Florida
After picking up its first ACC wins of the season, the Georgia Tech Volleyball team (9-7, 2-3 ACC) continues its road swing this weekend in the Sunshine State.
The Yellow Jackets will face Miami (12-4, 2-3) Friday night at 7 p.m. and then No. 20 Florida State (12-3, 4-1) Sunday at 1 p.m. The match against the Seminoles will be televised live on FS-Florida and Fox College Sports Atlantic.
This will be Tech’s 12th and 13th matches away from O’Keefe Gym this season. After this weekend swing in Florida, the Yellow Jackets will play 10 of their final 14 at home.
Georgia Tech is 5-6 all-time against Miami including a pair of five-set losses last season. The Yellow Jackets haven’t won in Coral Gables since 2007 (3-1).
The Hurricanes are off to a 12-4 start and have an identical 2-3 mark in ACC play. They’re led by Lane Carico who has 3.28 kills a set, which is good for sixth in the ACC. Setter Katie Gallagher is first in the ACC with 10.98 assists per set and Ryan Shaffer comes in at 10th with 3.80 digs per set.
Scouting Florida State
No. 20 Florida State, 12-3 overall and 4-1 in ACC play, is Tech’s second ranked opponent this season. The Seminoles, picked in a tie with Duke for first place in the ACC preseason poll, just lost their first conference match of the season at first-place North Carolina.
Georgia Tech is 28-11 all-time against FSU after splitting a pair of matches last season. The Jackets’ 3-2 come-back win in Tallahassee was their first win against a ranked team on the road since 2003. The Seminoles came back to sweep the Jackets at O’Keefe Gym later in the season.
FSU has a very balanced scoring attack with seven players averaging at least 1.5 kills per set and no one with more 3.21. Visnja Djurdjevic comes in at ninth in the ACC with 3.21 kills per set, while Lauren Young (1.24) and Sareea Freeman (1.21) are second and fourth, respectively, in the league in blocks.
What Sophomore Jinx?
Don’t tell sophomore right-side hitter Monique Mead there is such a thing as a sophomore jinx. The 2009 ACC Freshman of the Year and honorable mention AVCA All-American is first in the ACC and 20th in the nation averaging 4.34 kills per set. She is one of just two players in the ACC with more than four kills a set.
Mead has three double-doubles this season and has had at least 20 kills six times. In a five-set loss to Duke on Sept. 24, Mead piled up a career-high 30 kills. It was Tech’s first 30-kill match since Talisa Kellogg had 35 against Virginia on Oct. 22, 2005 and just the 12th 30-kill match by an individual in school history.
Mead is hitting .272 this season and also averages 1.97 digs and 0.93 blocks a set.
Can You Dig It?
On Aug. 28, senior libero Jordan McCullers recorded her 1,000th career dig. The Atlanta native now has 1,222 in her career which is 53 behind Kele Eveland for 10th place in school history.
McCullers is averaging 4.08 digs per set this season which ranks eighth in the ACC. She has also been contributing in other ways as she has a career-high eight assists twice, most recently Oct. 1 at Virginia.
Mash Nears 3,000
Senior setter Mary Ashley Tippins needs 26 more assists to reach 3,000 in her career. She currently ranks sixth in Tech history with 2,974 career helpers.
Tippins, an Atlanta native, is currently sixth in the ACC with 10.33 assists per set. Last season, she finished first in the ACC and 20th in the nation with 11.27 assists per set.
Tippins leads the team with eight double-doubles already this season. She is also averaging 2.49 digs per set and 0.44 blocks while adding 45 kills as well.
Percy Bursts Onto The Scene
Last year it was Monique Mead who had a break-out season for Georgia Tech and this year it looks like it might be Jennifer Percy.
Percy, a native of Mobile, Ala., has at least 13 kills in three of the five ACC matches this season. That includes the career-high 17 she had at Virginia on Oct. 1. Percy is now fourth on the team with 1.93 kills a set and also has 17 total blocks.
In high school, Percy was a member of the prepvolleyball.com “Senior Aces” and led her team to three state titles. She was a four-time all-state performer and member of the 2008 USA Volleyball Junior A1 camp.
Sophomores Getting Reps
Two sophomores, Susan Carlson and Nicki Meyer, have made some significant contributions this year after playing sparingly as freshmen in 2009.
Carlson has played in all 61 sets this season, while Meyer has seen time in 37 sets, mainly in the last few weeks.
Carlson, a native of Burbank, Calif., has been solid across the board with 1.95 digs per set and 47 kills. She is also second on the team with 15 service aces.
Carlson recently had a career-high 12 digs Oct. 1 at Virginia and has had at least 10 digs in four different matches.
Meyer, meanwhile, has played in all but one set since Sept. 17 at Clemson. Meyer has 21 digs on the year and has been a big part of the Jackets’ stellar defensive efforts.
Junior Asia Stawicka has continued to put up some impressive blocking numbers this season, something she has done when healthy throughout her Tech career thus far.
Stawicka is currently fifth in the ACC with 1.20 blocks per set and has 73 total, including seven solo. She is 45 away from 10th place in Tech history with 276 blocks now, despite missing nearly half of her freshman year with an elbow injury. With 254 career block assists, the Warsaw, Poland native is just five behind Kele Eveland for 10th-place.
Stawicka is also seventh in the ACC this year with a .370 hitting percentage and is averaging 2.11 kills per set, good for third on the squad.
Stawicka has had a season-high nine total blocks on two different occasions this year (at Georgia, at Clemson) and has had at least five blocks on five different occasions.
Hunter Continues Solid Play
After a break-out 2009 season, junior Bailey Hunter has continued her success in 2010. Following a career-high 24 kills at Virginia Tech Oct. 2, Hunter now ranks second on the team with 2.89 kills.
Hunter’s previous career-high was a 20-kill, 10-dig performance at Clemson in the 2009 regular season finale. That is her only career double-double.
Hunter has had at least 10 kills in all but six matches this season after going 19 straight a year ago.
Tech Picked Third In ACC
The Georgia Tech volleyball team was picked to finish third in the Atlantic Coast Conference it was announced Aug. 17 in voting conducted by the league’s coaches. In addition, seniors Jordan McCullers and Mary Ashley Tippins as well as junior Bailey Hunter and sophomore Monique Mead were named to the Preseason All-ACC team giving the Yellow Jackets the most selections of any school.
Tech earned 103 points and three first-place votes trailing only Florida State and Duke, who tied for first place with 108 points. The Seminoles had five first-place votes to the Blue Devils’ four. Miami came in fourth followed by North Carolina, Clemson, Virginia, Virginia Tech, Maryland, Wake Forest, NC State and Boston College.
Last year, the Yellow Jackets were picked eighth in that same poll and went on to finish third. Tech was one of a league-record five schools selected to the NCAA Tournament.