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Four Jackets Receive All-ACC Honors

THE FLATS – The No. 5-seeded Georgia Tech volleyball team (22-6, 13-5 ACC) was honored with four All-ACC selections as voted on by the league’s head coaches, the conference office announced on Monday. Junior outside hitter Bianca Bertolino and senior outside hitter Tamara Otene were awarded First Team All-ACC honors with freshman opposite Larissa Mendes and freshman setter Heloise Soares were named to the All-Freshmen Team.

This marks the fifth season in a row, since 2019, that Georgia Tech will have multiple representatives on all-conference first team, the second longest streak in the conference. It is the first time Bertolino has been named to the first team after earning Second Team (2022) and All-Freshman team (2021) honors in her career. It is the first All-ACC honor for Otene.

Mendes and Soares become the 25th and 26th Jackets to be named to the All-Freshmen team in program history. Tech owns the second most All-Freshman team selections in ACC history, just one behind Duke. This is the seventh time in program history and just the second time in the Michelle Collier era that the Jackets will have multiple representatives on the All-Freshman team – also 2018 (Brambilla and Dowd).

Bianca Bertolino | Jr. | OH | San Guillermo-Santa Fe, Argentina

Bianca Bertolino was the catalyst for Georgia Tech all season, positively affecting each point in a variety of ways. She is the only Power 5 pin hitter to finish the season with 300+ kills, 250+ digs and 50+ aces all while posting an incredible .974 receiving percentage as a primary passer in serve/receive. She was named ACC Offensive Player of the Week on Oct. 23 and leads the ACC with 61 aces (.59/set). She leads all Power 5 pin-hitters in aces and is 5th overall in Division I in aces/set. She made 7 aces in Georgia Tech’s four-set win over Louisville, the second most aces in a single match by a Power 5 player this season. She becomes the 24th Yellow Jacket in program history and the 7th in the Michelle Collier era to be named to the All-ACC First or Second teams in back-to-back seasons.

Tamara Otene | Sr. | OH | Auckland, New Zealand

One of the most versatile attackers in the country, Otene secured a 300 kill/300 dig season, registering a team-best 361 kills and 306 digs, the third most among Power 5 pin hitters. Otene was the most prolific attacker on the roster, serving as the go-to for out of system sets, while also serving as the best defensive non-DS/L in the ACC. She was named ACC Offensive Player of the Week on Sept. 25 and became the 1st Jacket in program history to achieve back-to-back 20 kill/20 dig double doubles (at UVA and vs. FSU). Otene delivered a team-best 14 double-doubles, nine of which came against AVCA Top 50 opponents. She is the first Jacket to record a 300 kill / 300 dig season since Marianna Brambilla’s All-American year in 2021. The Auckland native becomes the 75th Jacket to be named All-ACC. It is her first All-ACC honor after being named 1st Team All-Missouri Valley Conference and 2021 MVC Player of the Year at Illinois State before transferring to the Flats.

Larissa Mendes | Fr. | Opp. | Fortaleza, Brazil

Mendes announced herself as one of the most dangerous young attackers in the conference this season. She was the second freshman in the ACC to record a 20+ kill match, making 21 in Tech’s five-set win over ACC Co-Champion Florida State. A two-time ACC Freshman of the Week (Sept. 4 and Sept. 11), Mendes was one of only three freshmen to win the award in consecutive weeks this season. She secured eight of her 15 10+ kill matches against AVCA Top 50 opponents and was the third offensive option on an offense that average 13.58 kills/set, the fourth highest in the conference. Mendes becomes the fifth pin-hitter in the Michelle Collier era to be named to the All-Freshman team, joining Bertolino (2021), Julia Bergmann (2019), Mikaila Dowd (2018) and Mariana Brambilla (2018).

Heloise Soares | Fr. | Setter | Joinville, Brazil

Soares earned her way onto the court and quickly established herself as one of the most promising young setters in the nation. Playing as the second setter in a 6-2 system, Soares has provided a spark off the bench, finishing the season with 455 assists and 106 digs. She became the first freshman setter in program history to achieve a 50+ assist match when she delivered 59 dimes in a five-set win over ACC Co-Champion Florida St. She averaged an incredible 10.78 assists/set in the 18 sets she started this season and was named ACC Freshman of the Week twice (Oct. 2 and Nov. 6). She becomes just the third Yellow Jacket setter to be named to the All-Freshman team, joining Georgia Tech Hall of Famers Kele Eveland (2000) and Andrea Nachtrieb (1993).

UP NEXT

The Jackets will travel to Gainesville, Fla. to compete in the 2023 NCAA Tournament. Click here to read the full NCAA Tournament selection show release. Tech will play South Alabama in the opening round, Thursday Nov. 30 at 4:30 p.m. from inside Exactech Arena at Stephen C. O’Connell Center on the campus of the University of Florida.

Competitive Drive Initiative Turn 2

Looking to build on the success of last year’s Competitive Drive Initiative, Georgia Tech, the Georgia Tech Foundation and Georgia Tech athletics are partnering once again to launch Competitive Drive Initiative Turn 2. CDI Turn 2 has a goal of raising $2.5 million in new gifts to the Alexander-Tharpe Fund’s Athletic Scholarship Fund by Dec. 31, and Georgia Tech and the Georgia Tech Foundation will match eligible gifts to accelerate the impact for Tech athletics. Like last year, not only will gifts to CDI Turn 2 be matched, but so will the contributor’s benefits in the way of A-T Fund giving levels and priority points. To learn more and contribute online, visit atfund.org/turn2.

For the latest information on the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets, follow us on Twitter (@GTAthletics), Facebook, Instagram or visit us at www.ramblinwreck.com.

 

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