Oct. 24, 2014
THE FLATS – Down 2-0 in the match, the Georgia Tech volleyball team (10-12, 3-6 ACC) rallied to win the next three sets against Syracuse (8-13, 1-8) to pull out the five-set victory (23-25, 23-25, 25-11, 25-20, 15-10) Friday night at O’Keefe Gym.
The Jackets had a balanced attack with four players in double digit kills. Teegan Van Gunst led the Jackets with a career-high 27 kills to go along with 12 digs.
Annika Van Gunst and Courtney Felinski added 16 kills each; a career-high for Felinski. Freshman Sydney Wilson tallied a career-best 10 kills on 19 swings with just one error for a .474 hitting percentage. On defense, Annika Olsen (15 digs) and London Ackermann (20 digs) anchored the back row.
The Jackets out-hit the Orange .326 to .196, and Tech put down a season-high 78 kills against Syracuse.
“I think we showed a lot of resilience tonight and we played with a lot of heart,” head coach Michelle Collier said. “We didn’t back down when Syracuse was up 2-0, and we kept believing that we could control the game and do better. I think everyone stepped up and earned it.
“Offensively, we played great. Hitting .326 is pretty good as a team. We knew it was going to have to be a team effort. I think Syracuse did a lot of really good things, but we were able to last longer.”
The first two sets were back and forth affairs. Georgia Tech led from the beginning of and through the majority of each game, but the Orange never gave up. Syracuse tied the Jackets 23-23 in both games and won 25-23 to go into the break with a 2-0 lead in the match.
The Jackets came out of the break with renewed energy, settling into a rhythm leading 9-6 and stretching that margin to 15-6. Tech put its foot on the gas pedal and went on a 10-5 run. The Jackets scored the last four points of the match from 21-11 to win 25-11 thanks to a pair of kills from Teegan Van Gunst and one from Lauren Pitz.
Game four featured nine tied scores and three lead changes as the two teams battled for momentum. Knotted 14-14, Tech scored three straight thanks to kills from Teegan and Annika Van Gunst, which sparked its momentum and the Jackets won the set, 25-20.
Tech led 8-5 at the switch in game five capped off by a huge block courtesy of Wilson and Felinski. Leading 13-10, Tech put the match away on a kill from Teegan Van Gunst and a Syracuse hitting error.
The Jackets are back in action Sunday when they host No. 9 North Carolina. First serve is set for 1 p.m. on ESPN3.