Oct. 17, 2001
Volleyball Team Heads to North Carolina to Take on Wake Forest and Duke
Currently on a three-match win streak, the Georgia Tech volleyball team (11-4, 6-2 ACC) will travel this weekend to play a pair of critical conference matches. On Friday, the Yellow Jackets will take on Wake Forest (11-4, 4-4) at 7 p.m. in Reynolds Gym, followed by a 7:30 p.m. contest with Duke (14-2, 6-2 ACC) on Saturday in Cameron Indoor Stadium.
“Last week was one of the most successful weekends we’ve had here at Georgia Tech volleyball in quite some time,” said head coach Shelton Collier. “We had an opportunity to earn a come-from-behind win over Maryland, play our entire roster against Virginia, and work hard for our victory over Arkansas. It was good for us in a lot of ways and my hope is that it gives our team some confidence and momentum as we head into the second half of our conference season.”
The Jackets continue to be led by senior Maja Pachale who leads the team in kills (257) and hitting percentage (.312). For her performance last week, the outside hitter earned ACC player of the week accolades for the second time this season and the third time in her career. In three matches, she recorded 74 kills (6.17 kills per game) and 32 digs (2.67 digs per game), while hitting .367 on the week.
“Maja has been playing well and she has high expectations for herself and the team this year,” said Collier. “She has made so many improvements in her game over the last several years and its nice to see the hard work pay off. We clearly need her at her best if we are going to challenge for an ACC title this year.”
In their meeting in Atlanta this season, the Yellow Jackets defeated the Demon Deacons in four games. Kyleen Bell led Tech in that match as she recorded a double-double with 15 kills and 12 digs, as well as four block assists, while Alexandra Preiss added 14 kills and recorded an impressive .684 hitting percentage. The Yellow Jackets played solid defense, recording 65 digs to Wake’s 45, while holding the Demon Deacons to a .119 team hitting percentage.
“Certainly, the biggest change we are going to see in Wake Forest is them playing much better against us on their home court,” said Collier. “They did not play their best match against us here in Atlanta, while I thought we played extremely well. We are now going to have to face the flip-side of that in traveling to their gym and playing against a team that plays well at home. It will be a very hard-fought match and one that we need to win to accomplish some of our goals this season.”
The Blue Devils defeated Tech in O’Keefe Gymnasium in their previous meeting in a hard-fought five-game match. Amanda Hess led the Jackets in the match, recording a career-high 22 kills and adding 17 digs while Kele Eveland notched a season high 21 digs.
“Duke is a good team and showed it by beating us on our home court earlier this year,” said Collier. “Cameron Indoor Stadium is a unique environment for volleyball and it should be a good challenge for our team.”
“It is challenging in our league to play very good opponents back-to-back like we do this weekend,” said Collier. “What we want to do is do everything we can to win at Wake Forest and then change gears and focus on Duke. If we defeat Wake Forest and Duke, then we will take over sole possession of second-place in the ACC, which is very important. Should we drop the matches, we will fall back into the middle of the pack, so it’s critical that we establish ourselves as one of the top two teams in the league.”