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Collier Claims 100th ACC win over NC State

THE FLATS — No. 13 Georgia Tech volleyball downed NC State, 3-1, as coach Michelle Collier earned her 100th ACC win on The Flats on Sunday afternoon in O’Keefe Gymnasium. Michelle Collier tied former skipper Shelton Collier for the program record in conference victories as the Yellow Jackets (11-1, 2-0 ACC) fended off the Wolfpack (11-2, 1-1 ACC) for a 3-1 (25-23, 25-21, 23-25, 25-21) triumph.

In a match that was largely nip and tuck, the White and Gold were more efficient with a higher hitting percentage (.275-.224) and less offensive errors (23-35) while riding their defense to victory with advantages in blocks (9-5) and digs (58-52).

Senior outside hitter Tamara Otene finished her explosive week with her seventh double double of the year by way of a team-leading 16 kills, 13 digs, a pair of blocks, an ace and an assist. Two other Yellow Jackets posted double-digit kills in freshman right side hitter Larissa Mendes (11) and sophomore middle blocker Liv Mogridge (10), who swung at a blistering .692 clip and also added four blocks.

Junior outside hitter Bianca Bertolino was steady as per usual with nine kills, 10 digs and three blocks. Junior middle blocker DeAndra Pierce led the defense with five blocks, and senior libero Paola Pimentel led the unit with 16 digs. The offense was primarily run by senior setter Bella D’Amico, who tallied 34 assists.

How it Happened

Tech created initial separation in the first set with a four-point run to move in front, 10-7. The Jackets extended the lead to 14-9 with a quick burst of three and would do the same after the Wolfpack drew within one, pushing up to a 19-15 advantage. Although NC State remained in striking distance and trimmed the lead to one yet again, an Otene kill granted the White and Gold match point in set one as they staved off the Wolfpack, 25-23.

The Yellow Jackets got off to another solid start in the second set as they raced out to a 9-3 lead, thanks in large part to another four-point stretch. NC State continued to nip at Tech’s heels, drawing within one twice more to trail 15-14 and later 21-20, but the home squad would separate again and again with three-point streaks for 21-16 and 24-20 advantages to set up a 25-21 set two victory clinched by a Mendes kill.

The third set was tight throughout as neither side could separate by more than three. As the two sides traded a pair of three-point blows, the match continued to go back and forth up to a 20 all draw. The Jackets would take a final lead at 22-21, but NC State managed to close set three and escape with a 25-23 win.

Georgia Tech took an 8-5 lead in the early stages of the fourth set and never looked back, using a four-point rally to gain control. The Wolfpack would tie the match at 14 apiece, but three ensuing points gave the Jackets a lead they would never surrender. Another three straight soon after would bolster the advantage to 21-16, and the White and Gold would later claim the final two points by way of Bertolino and Mendes kills, securing a 25-21 set four victory and 3-1 match triumph.

Up Next

Georgia Tech will begin a four-match road swing, opening at Virginia Tech on Sept. 29 at 4 p.m. in Blacksburg, Va. before wrapping up the weekend at Wake Forest on Oct. 1 at 1 p.m. in Winston-Salem, N.C.

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The Alexander-Tharpe Fund is the fundraising arm of Georgia Tech athletics, providing scholarship, operations and facilities support for Georgia Tech’s 400-plus student-athletes. Be a part of developing Georgia Tech’s Everyday Champions and helping the Yellow Jackets compete for championships at the highest levels of college athletics by supporting the Annual Athletic Scholarship Fund, which directly provides scholarships for Georgia Tech student-athletes. To learn more about supporting the Yellow Jackets, visit atfund.org.   

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