Nov. 3, 2013
THE FLATS – Freshman Annika Van Gunst recorded her first career double-double as the Georgia Tech volleyball team (9-15, 3-9 ACC) defeated the Virginia Tech Hokies (18-8, 6-6), 3-1 (25-20, 18-25, 25-21, 25-22) Sunday at O’Keefe Gym.
“I think Annika has been working so hard on our offense,” head coach Tonya Johnson said. “It was nice to see her do well offensively today, put balls away and score for us. We still have to work on getting her in a really good position to attack the ball, but I think she did a nice job today and was very smart in her shot selection. She had a great day of digging as well. We can always count on her to have double-digit digs. She does a great job defensively for us.”
Annika Van Gunst notched 10 kills and a team-best 17 digs. The Fayetteville, Ga., native was one of four Yellow Jackets to put down double-digit kills along with Jennifer Percy (15), Courtney Felinski (12) and Chanell Clark-Bibbs (10) as freshman setter Rebecca Martin ran a balanced offense with 45 assists.
“It was nice to see Rebecca come out and run the offense,” Johnson said. “She did a nice job of distributing the ball. I thought she ran a balanced offense and I thought she made the right choices at the right times. She really did a nice job of staying poised and not playing like the weight of the world was on her shoulders.”
In the opening frame, the Jackets jumped out to a 4-0 lead behind the serving of Clark-Bibbs and controlled the tempo throughout the set. Clark-Bibbs and Percy had four kills each to lead Georgia Tech, while Felinski added three kills and her first solo block of the season to help the Jackets win game one, 25-20.
The tables turned in set two. It was Virginia Tech’s turn to come out hot with 18 kills and a .382 hitting percentage compared to Georgia Tech’s .219 hitting clip.
Set three was a back-and-forth battle. Neither team led by more than one point until a kill by Percy and a VT attacking error gave Georgia Tech a two-point advantage, 14-12. The Hokies fought back from an 18-16 deficit to tie it 19-19, but the Jackets stayed poised. A solo block by Annika Van Gunst gave Georgia Tech a 22-20 lead and a kill from the freshman gave the Yellow Jackets set point, 24-20. The Yellow Jackets won the game on a kill courtesy of Felinski.
The Jackets were down 11-7 in set four when they rattled off four-straight points capped off by a block from Martin and Quinn Evans, which knotted the game at 11-11. Georgia Tech took its second lead of the set, 13-12, on a solo block by Percy, and a block from Annika Van Gunst and Evans put the Yellow Jackets ahead, 14-12. The Hokies did not give up, tying the score 22-22. Three-straight Georgia Tech points on a VT serving error, an ace by Zoey Morton and another block by Annika Van Gunst and Evans handed the Jackets the set, 25-22, and the match, 3-1.
“I’m proud of Zoey Morton for coming in today and basically saving the day from a passing, defense and serving standpoint,” Johnson said. “I thought it was a great confidence booster for her. It was really neat to see her come out and play, be composed and take care of business.”
The Jackets hit the road next weekend with a pair of matches in North Carolina. Tech takes on NC State Saturday at 5 p.m. in Raleigh on ESPN3, before making the short trip to Chapel Hill for a Sunday match against No. 12 North Carolina at 2 p.m.