ATLANTA – Perched atop the Atlantic Coast Conference standings with North Carolina, the Georgia Tech (22-5, 12-2) volleyball team hosts two key matches in the final weekend of conference play. Friday night, the Jackets will host Florida State (19-10, 7-7) at 7 p.m. and on Saturday, the Tech will host its final home match of the season at 7 p.m. against North Carolina (23-6, 13-2).
The Jackets have won 13 of their last 14 matches, including a 3-0 defeat Tuesday night of NC State.
“In our match against NC State we wanted to reestablish a level of play that would allow us to prepare for our matches this weekend,” said head coach Shelton Collier. “Tuesday night we wanted to play a number of different lineups and work on some things that would prepare us for this weekend and for the ACC Tourney.” “I”m very concerned about Florida State because they were very tough for us before in their gym, so we expect that it will be a difficult matchOur team has been pointing to this final weekend ever since we lost to North Carolina in September to have a chance to redeem ourselves.
On Friday night, Tech will host Florida State. The Jackets rallied from an 0-2 deficit to claim their earlier meeting in Tallahassee in five games, 9-15, 13-15, 15-6, 15-9, 15-10. In that match, Maja Pachale notched a season-high 29 kills and 12 digs, with Teryl Townsend chipping in 21 kills and six digs. The Seminoles were led by Norisha Campbell who had 18 kills followed by Jennifer Werrick who notched 14.
“In our earlier match, Florida State had us down 0-2, and it took an exceptional comeback for us to win that match,” said Collier. “We had to play at a very high level and it took a great effort for us to win that match in Tallahassee. The Seminoles are a team that can give us a number of problems as they have several players that are very talented, and I expect a very difficult and competitive match.”
Tech’s final home match of the season will be on Saturday night against North Carolina. The Tar Heels defeated the Jackets in their earlier meeting in Chapel Hill, NC, after Tech led two games to none. The match carries extra importance as both teams are tied in the conference standings with two losses.
“North Carolina has obviously gone through the league and beaten everybody, including us,” said Collier. “I think they will be a very tough opponent and it is very likely that our match will be for the regular season title. I think right now we are the two best teams in the conference, and our records prove that we are. It should be a great battle on Saturday night in the final match of the regular season.”
“We are very excited to be ending our season at home in O’Keefe Gym,” said Collier. “We’ve had some great crowds this season and I expect a really great atmosphere that will be very supportive of us. If we win Friday and Saturday night, we will be the ACC regular season champions and be the number one seed in the ACC tourney and that will certainly be a very special event for us and for our fans.”