THE FLATS – Advancing to the program’s first ever National IVC title match, Georgia Tech volleyball (25-8, 14-4 ACC) protected O’Keefe Gymnasium on Saturday night, topping TCU (12-18, 4-12 Big 12) 3-1 in the NIVC semifinals.
— Georgia Tech Volleyball (@GTVolleyball) December 15, 2019
How it happened:
The first set was a close start with the teams trading points to a tie at 9-9 before Tech used a 3-0 run to lead 12-9 on a service ace from sophomore Kayla Kaiser and TCU called the first timeout of the match. The Horned Frogs came back within one but the Jackets pushed back out to lead by four at 20-16 on a kill from sophomore Mikaila Dowd and TCU used its second timeout. The Horned Frogs took the next two coming out of the timeout and the Jackets signaled for one of their own with the lead at 20-18. Tech managed to keep the lead for the rest of the second, taking the 1-0 lead at 25-20 on a block from senior Kodie Comby and Grace Rigsbee.
TCU bounced back in the second, grabbing a 7-4 lead and Tech called its first timeout early. The Jackets struggled to put points on the finally, finally getting a break at 13-6 on a solo block from freshman Julia Bergmann. Tech couldn’t fight back against TCU’s momentum and the Jackets called their second timeout trailing 16-8. The Jackets strung together four in a row to bring the score to 19-12 and TCU used a timeout. The Jackets never gave up but the deficit proved to be too much to overcome and TCU took the set at 25-19 to tie it at 1-1.
The Jackets wasted no time in the third, cruising to a 5-0 lead on a kill from sophomore Mariana Brambilla and TCU used its first timeout. Tech added one more on a kill from Bergmann before the Frogs found their way onto the board. Tech kept rolling, putting together a 8-0 run with Bergmann at the service line to lead 14-1. The Horned Frogs would only put seven more points on the board in the third before a kill from Bergmann sealed it at 25-8 to give the Jackets the 2-1 lead.
The fourth set was a close one and the Jackets went ahead at 15-14 on a kill from Bergmann to incite the media timeout. The teams kept trading points to a tie at 18-18 but TCU took two in a row to lead 20-18 and Tech called for a timeout. Brambilla knocked down back-to-back kills coming out of the timeout to knot the set at 20-20 and TCU called a timeout. Battling back and forth, the Jackets took set point at 24-23 on Brambilla’s career-high 25th kill of the match and TCU used its second timeout. Junior Grace Rigsbee and Kaiser teamed up on the block to seal the set at 25-23 for the 3-1 victory, sending the Jackets to their first-ever NIVC title match.
The Jackets face the winner of South Dakota and Tulsa in the NIVC Championship match. Date and location to be announced later.
- Tech is 17-1 in its last 18 matches.
- Brambilla recorded a career high 25 kills.
- Tech has only dropped two sets this postseason: one to TCU and one to Troy.
- The Jackets hit at a stunning .727 clip in the third set going 17-for-22 with one attack error.
- Bergmann’s six service aces were one shy of her career best.
- With 15 service aces this postseason, Bergmann is averaging 1.07 aces per set.
- Bergmann’s three solo blocks were a career high.
- Comby’s seven block assists were a season high; her eight total blocks were also a season high for the senior.
- Redshirt senior Coral Kazaroff and Comby graduated on Saturday afternoon.