Sept. 16, 2006
ATLANTA – Tournament MVP Talisa Kellogg had 11 kills and three digs, while all-tournament nominee Ulrike Stegemann recorded a team-high 12 kills to lead Georgia Tech (8-2) to a 3-0 (30-21, 31-29, 30-23) victory over Sam Houston State (5-5) Saturday night at O’Keefe Gymnasium on the campus of Georgia Tech.
With the win, the Jackets finished as the 2006 Georgia Tech Regency Suites Midtown Invitational champions, capturing their second tournament title of the season after winning the first Regency Suites Midtown Classic title two weeks ago.
Kellogg hit .400 while recording three digs and two blocks to go along with her 11 kills, while Stegemann had 12 kills, six digs and three assists in the nightcap. The offense was again run by sophomore setter Allie Niekamp, who recorded 28 assists, eight digs, five kills and three blocks in the match.
Overall, the Yellow Jackets had eight total blocks against the Bearkats, while Sam Houston State recorded just one.
“We got great contribution from everybody tonight, and it was rewarding as a coach to watch all our hard work on serving in practice this week come to fruition in the match,” said Georgia Tech head coach Bond Shymansky. “Talisa Kellogg was virtually unstoppable tonight, which is a great indication of the hard work that she’s put in to become a better player. Ulli provided plenty of fire-power, but it was the gritty play of Lindsey Gray and Abby Showers that really boosted our team when things got tight.
With the first game tied at 9-9, the Yellow Jackets rattled off eight-straight points on a pair of aces by Niekamp, a pair of kills by Stegemann and Callie Miller, a block by Miller, and a pair of attack errors by the Bearkats to take a permanent lead at 17-9. Sam Houston State would pull within three points at 18-15, but the Jackets extended their lead back to 21-15 on a pair of kills by Erin Birmingham and another from Kellogg. With another six-straight points late in the game, five of which came off Birmingham’s serve, the Jackets won the first frame, 30-21.
After falling behind 19-13 in game two, the Bearkats scored nine-straight points to take a three-point lead with Melissa Sims serving. The Yellow Jackets fought back late in the game however, as they scored seven of the final 10 points, receiving three kills from Niekamp and one apiece by Stegemann and Lindsey Gray, and a service ace by Birmingham.
The Jackets hit .372 in the third game and were led by Stegemann, who had five kills on seven attack attempts (.714) while Gray, Niekamp and Showers led Tech defensively with five digs in the frame. After Sam Houston State scored the first two points in the game, the Jackets answered by winning five of the next six points off kills by Stegemann, Gray and Kellogg, as well as a service ace by Gray, to take the lead for good.
“It’s important for us to defend our home court,” added Shymansky, “but even more important to have great momentum as we head into road play in the ACC this weekend.”
The Yellow Jackets will return to action this week when they travel to the state of North Carolina to begin Atlantic Coast Conference play at Wake Forest (Friday, 7 p.m.) and Duke (Saturday, 7 p.m.)
2006 Regency Suites Midtown All-Tournament Team:
Talisa Kellogg, Georgia Tech – MVP
Ulrike Stegemann, Georgia Tech
Lindsey Gray, Georgia Tech
Cynthia Yarotsky, Sam Houston State
Lindsey Roebken, Sam Houston State
Ashley Reavis, South Florida
Rebecca Orzechowicz, Stetson