Sept. 27, 2013
COLLEGE PARK, Md. – Georgia Tech senior Jennifer Percy and junior Courtney Felinski collected career-high kills, but the Yellow Jacket volleyball team (6-7, 0-1 ACC) fell to Maryland (9-4, 1-0 ACC) in a five-set thriller (20-25, 25-18, 19-25, 25-19, 14-16) Friday in the teams’ ACC opener at the Comcast Center.
Percy led all players on the court with 21 kills and Felinski added 15 of her own. Three Yellow Jackets recorded double-digit digs in London Ackermann (20), Annika Van Gunst (17) and Wimberly Wilson (13).
“I thought we battled tonight and came up short in the end,” head coach Tonya Johnson said. “Even though we had career highs in kills tonight from Courtney and Jennifer, which are both positives, the difference in the match was that Maryland made fewer attacking errors than we did. This team showed a lot of character tonight and that is something that we can build off of.”
In the opening set, Georgia Tech had the lead until back-to-back Tech attacking errors gave Maryland a 7-6 advantage. Nine tied scores later, the Yellow Jackets led by two points, 18-16, to force a Maryland timeout. The Terps gained momentum following the break and strung five points together to go up, 21-18. Maryland built on its momentum with three more points and after a marathon rally captured set one 25-20.
Georgia Tech controlled set two from the beginning, jumping out to a 5-0 lead behind the serving of Ackermann. The Jackets built its lead to six points, 16-10, capped off with a block by Chanell Clark-Bibbs and Annika Van Gunst. Another block by Annika Van Gunst and Quinn Evans gave Tech a 21-16 lead and forced a Terps timeout. The Jackets rallied for three points and won the set on a kill from Felinski, 25-18.
The third set was a back and forth battle with 14 tied scores and four lead changes. Maryland hit .428 in the third frame and held Georgia Tech to a .182 hitting clip. Neither team led by more than two points until the Terps went up by three, 21-19. Maryland continued with four-straight points to put the set away, 25-19.
Percy turned it on in the fourth set. Eight of her 21 kills came in the fourth frame and she hit .636. The Jackets trailed to start the game, but took their first lead at 11-10 then 12-10 thanks to kills from Felinski and Percy. Back-to-back kills from Percy widened Georgia Tech’s advantage, 14-11 and the Jackets went on a four-point rally to go ahead 19-13. Felinski’s first-career service ace gave Tech set-point 24-19 and another kill from Percy gave Tech the 25-19 victory.
Georgia Tech led 8-5 at the switch in game five. Maryland went to work and rallied from behind 11-8 to tie the game 11-11. The score was knotted three times from then on and each time a kill from Emily Fraik gave Maryland the lead, including match-point. The Terps capitalized on a Georgia Tech attacking error to take the set, 16-14.
The Jackets continue ACC play Sunday at Pittsburgh. Match time is set for 2 p.m. and will air on ESPN3.