Dec. 3, 2004
Senior outside hitter Lauren Sauer posted a match-high 15 kills to lead Georgia Tech past arch-rival Georgia, 3-0 (30-21, 30-21, 31-29), in the first round of the 2004 NCAA Women’s Vollebyall Championship on Friday evening at O’Keefe Gymnasium in Atlanta.
The Yellow Jackets (26-6) took control of the match early, jumping to an early 4-0 lead in game one, behind an opening kill by Sauer, and three attack errors by the Bulldogs (18-12). Tech extended its lead to 8-2 on a service ace by Jennifer Randall, and the Jackets led by five points or more through the rest of the game. Laura Kuhn and Lynette Moster each posted five kills in the opening game, as the Jackets hit .325. A block by Sauer and Jayme Gergen of an attack by Bulldog middle blocker Alexandra Oquendo clinched game point, as the Jackets claimed game one 30-21.
Tech and Georgia battled through much of game two, leaving the score knotted at 17-17, before a Gergen kill gave the Jackets the lead for good. Tech went on to win 13 of the last 17 points of game two, posting a 30-21 victory.
In the final game, the Bulldogs took control early and built a four point lead at 16-12 following an attack error by Tech’s Ulrike Stegemann. Georgia Tech won seven of the next ten points to knot the score at 19-19, led by a pair of kills by Moster and Kuhn. Tech and Georgia matched each other, with further ties at 21-21, 22-22, 25-25, and 27-27. Georgia reached game point at 29-28, before a Stegemann kill knotted the score at 29-29. An attack error by Oquendo gave Tech a 30-29 lead, before Georgia’s Margot Wallace was called for a net violation, sealing match point for the Jackets, and a 31-29 game three victory.
Junior setter Lindsey Laband tallied 49 assists in the match, engineering the Tech offense which posted a .352 hitting percentage over the three games.
Julia Petruschke led the Bulldog attack with 15 kills, while setter Margot Wallace added 32 assists in the losing effort.
The Yellow Jackets took their second match from their in-state rivals in ten days, as Tech posted a similar 3-0 victory in Athens on November 23rd. “We just played them a week ago, they didn’t play their best game, and we knew they’d come out on top of their game, and they did. It was a very good game,” said Tech libero Marisa Aston. Georgia Tech advances to the second round and will face No. 16 Santa Barbara, a 3-0 winner over Alabama A&M Friday night, Saturday at 2 p.m. in O’Keefe Gymnasium.
Tickets for the match will go on sale at 1 p.m. at O’Keefe Gymnasium. Ticket prices are $7 for adults and $5 for senior citizens and students.
“Santa Barbara and Alabama A&M provide good motivation. Off their record, we anticipate playing Santa Barbara, and I think that the motivation for us is that we’ve been playing all year to get national recognition, and we believe that we’re a good enough team to be ranked and be a Sweet 16 team, but we have to prove it and go out and show it,” said Tech head coach Bond Shymansky, who has advanced to the Second Round of the NCAA Tournament in each of his season’s as head coach.
“If playing Georgia in the first round wasn’t enough motivation, playing someone else in our home gym, no matter who it is, to get to the Sweet 16. I know our seniors are going to want to go out on a high note, and I think they’ll put it all out there for the fans.”