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Come-Back Falls Short As Volleyball Drops Season-Opener To Indiana, 3-2

Aug. 27, 2010

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ATLANTA – The Georgia Tech Volleyball team (0-1) fought back from a 2-0 deficit, but Indiana (1-0) won a back-and-forth fifth set to take the match, 3-2 (25-20, 25-20, 22-25, 20-25, 18-16), in front of 1,300 fans Friday night at O’Keefe Gym in the Courtyard Marriott Classic.

“I was proud of how we battled back tonight, but we need to do a better job of finishing,” said head coach Tonya Johnson. “We dug ourselves a hole in those first two games but did a nice job to come back. Indiana is a good team and showed it tonight. I saw some positives that we can build on and now we need to get ready for two tough matches tomorrow.”

Sophomore Monique Mead just missed a double-double for the Yellow Jackets as she had a match-high 20 kills and nine digs. Senior Mary Ashley Tippins had a double-double with 43 assists and 10 digs, while juniors Asia Stawicka and Bailey Hunter had 11 kills apiece. Senior Jordan McCullers had a team-high 19 digs, while sophomore Susan Carlson chipped in with a career-high 10.

The Yellow Jackets hit .108 for the evening, while Indiana had a .201 attacking percentage. Ashley Benson led the Hoosiers with 18 kills. The difference in the match was Indiana’s blocking game as the Hoosiers had 14 compared to Tech’s seven.

Trailing 2-0, Georgia Tech roared back to tie the match at two sets apiece. The Yellow Jackets used an 8-1 run to take command of the third set and led 22-16. Indiana cut the deficit to 23-21, but Tech held on for the win. Mead led the Jackets with seven kills in the third set helping them get back in the match.

The fourth set saw Tech jump out to leads of 7-3 and 19-11 before Indiana tried to make a late run. The Jackets were up 24-16 but IU reeled off four straight points before Tech put it away and sent the match to a fifth and deciding set.

The fifth set saw Tech lead much of the way, but Indiana would not go down without a fight. Every time the Yellow Jackets looked like they were going to run away and complete the come-back, Indiana came right back. Late in the set, Tech led 13-11 before Indiana scored three straight points to hold match point. Tech answered with two straight to hold its own match point, but IU responded back with two in a row. The Jackets tied the set at 16, but Indiana scored the final two points to win on opening night.

In the first set, Indiana got off to an early 12-5 lead and the Yellow Jackets were never able to get any closer than three points as the Hoosiers went on to a 25-20 win. Tech hit just .091 in the set compared to Indiana’s .233. Junior Asia Stawicka led the Jackets with four kills in the opening set on .667 hitting.

The second set was back and forth for much of it but Indiana started to pull away late. Every time the Hoosiers got their lead up to three points, the Yellow Jackets would cut it to one but they could not tie it. Tech made it a 21-20 contest, but IU reeled off the final four points to win the second set as well, 25-20. IU hit .360 in the second set and Tech converted at a .067 clip. Sophomore Monique Mead had six kills to pace the Jackets.

The Yellow Jackets continue play in the season-opening Courtyard Marriott Classic on Saturday against Alabama A&M at 12:30 p.m. and UAB at 7 p.m. If you can’t make it out to O’Keefe Gym, follow all of the action online with video, audio and stats at RamblinWreck.com. Both matches will also be broadcast on WREK, 91.1 FM in Atlanta.

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