Nov. 10, 2011
ATLANTA – The Georgia Tech volleyball team will finish out their four game road trip in a weekend series with North Carolina and NC State this weekend. These games will mark the final away games of the season for the Yellow Jackets. Tech will play UNC on Friday night at 5:15, a schedule change from the original 7 p.m. start time, and will round out their weekend at NC State with a TV game at 1 p.m. that will be aired live on RSN.
The Jackets are coming off of a sweep of Boston College and Maryland on the road last weekend where they defeated each team by a 3-1 score. Monique Mead’s 51 kills for a .392 hitting percentage coupled with 21 digs earned her the ACC Co-Player of the Week award. On Friday night, both Mead (22 kills, 12 digs) and Kaleigh Colson (41 assists, 17 digs) recorded double-doubles. It was Mead’s 10th double-double of the season and Colson’s eighth. Also, Mead’s 29 kills in the victory over Maryland was the most by an ACC athlete in a four set match this season.
SCOUTING NORTH CAROLINA: The Tar Heels are 19-7 on the season and 11-4 in ACC play, however, heading into their match with the Jackets UNC is currently on a two game losing streak dropping 3-1 matches at Miami and No. 18 Florida State. During the middle of their season, the Tar Heels had a stretch where they won seven in a row (Sept. 17-Oct. 7) and 12 of 14 (Sept. 10-Oct. 14) losing to Tulsa and No. 24 FSU during that stretch.
At home, the Tar Heels hold a 10-3 advantage falling only to the aforementioned Tulsa and Florida State and No. 19 San Diego. Four of the Heels seven losses have come from a ranked opponent (FSU-twice, No. 9 Florida, No. 19 San Diego.
The Tar Heels are led by Emily McGee who has registered 364 kills on the season and is averaging 4.04 kills/set with a .259 hitting percentage. McGee ranks second, behind Mead, in the ACC in kills/set and second in points/set with 4.50.
SERIES PAST: North Carolina holds the series lead 30-24 adding to their lead with a 3-0 sweep earlier this season. UNC has won the last two meetings between the two teams, however, the Jackets are 7-3 in their last 10 meetings with UNC and 3-2 in Chapel Hill. Tonya Johnson holds a 3-2 advantage over the Tar Heels during her time as the head coach of the GT Volleyball team and a 1-1 record on the road against UNC.
SCOUTING NC STATE: NC State is 17-11 overall, but 5-10 in the conference in 2011. The Wolfpack, like UNC is currently on a two game-losing streak after being swept by Florida State and Miami this past weekend. The weekend before, the Pack picked up two of their five conference wins with 3-1 victories at home against Boston College and Maryland. They have also earned victories at Wake Forest, their first time out against Tech, and at BC earlier in the season. After their victory at Tech, the Wolfpack went on a six game skid falling to Clemson, UNC, Miami, FSU, VT and Virgnia.
Margaret Salata leads the UNC hitters with 312 kills in 2011 for a 3.12 kill/set ratio and a .350 hitting percentage. Megan Cyr has dished out over 1,000 assists this season (1,082) for a 10.46 assist/set ratio which ranks third in the ACC.
SERIES PAST: Georgia Tech and NC State have met 51 times in the past with the Jackets holding the 28-13 advantage. Tech has won eight of the last 10 games, but the Wolfpack are on a two-game winning streak over Tech. Their victory last season in Raleigh snapped a 21-match win streak Tech held over NC State and their win at O’Keefe earlier this season was Tech’s first home loss to NC State since Oct. 8, 1999.
MEAD LEADS THE ACC (AND COUNTRY): Junior Monique Mead continues to lead the ACC in kills per set and is second in the nation at 5.19. She also leads the ACC in points per set and ranks second in the country with 5.90. The Newnan, Ga., native has 10 double-doubles this season, 13 matches with at least 20 kills and has recorded double figure kills in each match this season. Mead is also averaging 2.61 digs per set and 0.84 blocks.
Last weekend against Wake Forest and Duke, Mead registered two 20-kill games and a double-double adding 15 digs to her 27 kills against Duke.
DUAL THREAT: The Jackets have a dual threat at the setter position with Freshman Ali Santi dishing out 10.89 assists per set this year. Her 60 assists against NC State was good enough for fourth most in a game in the ACC this season and she also has five double-doubles under her belt.
However, as of late, Kaleigh Colson has been taking the majority of the sets for the Jackets, netting 598 on the year in 61 sets for a 9.80 assist/set average, fourth in the ACC. Colson has dished out at least 40 assists in six of her last seven games, including four straight while netting 92 against Boston College and Maryland. The sophomore also has a knack for finding the open spots on the court and has recorded 82 kills this year (7 last weekend) and 25 service aces which ranks second on the team. Her aces/game average, however, is first in the ACC. Colson is a major threat when she is on the court as she recorded her first career triple-double at Miami (34 assists, 12 kills, 11 digs) also earning four service aces in the match.
SMOKIN’ ACES: Colson’s aces have helped Tech to a league best 1.33 aces per set (1.46/set in ACC play). Also adding to the total is Susan Carlson who had tallied 30 aces on the season, the team leader. Last weekend, Carlson went off for four service aces against Boston College and Maryland to boost her to fifth in the ACC with .31 aces/set but FIRST in ACC play registering .39 aces/set, just .01 points ahead of Carlson.
Also seeing success at the service line last weekend was Quinn Evans who notched three service aces of her own, including three at the end of a set one victory over Maryland. Evans’ aces erased a two-point Terrapin lead and gave the Jackets a five-point advantage of their own and the early victory.
ACC-OLADES: This past week, Mead was named the ACC Co-Player of the Week after her 51 kill, 21 dig performance against Boston College and Maryland, it was her fourth ACC Player of the week honor and second this season. Mead, after entering the weekend tallying 5.09 kills/set, upped that total with a 22 kill performance against Boston College and a 29 kill performance at Maryland, the most kills in a four set match by an ACC player this season. Mead’s 22 kills on Friday night was accompanied by 12 digs as she netted her 11th double-double of the season. Her 20-kill games were the 12th and 13th time she accomplished the feats on the season. Over the course of the weekend, Mead finished with 51 kills for a .392 hitting percentage and 21 digs.
Mead also earned the honor earlier this season after the Georgia Tech Courtyard Marriott Classic where she helped the Jackets to a 3-0 weekend. Mead averaged 5.25 kills a set and hit .331 en route to MVP honors of the Georgia Tech Courtyard Marriott Classic. The two-time All-American also averaged 2.58 digs per set and had eight total blocks and seven service aces. Mead had 20 kills in a four-set win over Kansas State Friday night in the season opener and then tied a career-high with 30 the next night against Louisville as Tech overcame a 2-0 deficit to stun the preseason Big East favorites.
The Newnan, Ga., native exploded for 22 of her 30 kills in the final three sets against the Cardinals, including 11 in the third, to help the Jackets begin the season 3-0 for the second time in three years under head coach Tonya Johnson. It was the second time Mead went for 30 kills in her career and just the 13th time in school history an individual has had at least 30 kills.
TOP-10: Monique Mead needs just 18 kills to crack the top-10 in the Career Kills category … one thing, Monique Mead is only a JUNIOR. After netting 356 kills in her freshman season and 515 in 2010, Mead has already tallied 509 kills this season with five games to go. Her 509 kills currently rank as the ninth highest single season total in school history. In order to beat Lynette Moster’s single season kills record of 629 set back in 2002, Mead would have to average 24 kills a match, not an impossible feat for the junior who has registered over 20 kills in four-straight games.
DOWN A COUPLE JACKETS: Tech’s two seniors, Bailey Hunter and Asia Stawicka, each have gone down with an injury during the 2011 season. Hunter, a captain this season, was the first to miss a game with a torn abdominal muscle while Stawicka injured her knee during the Maryland game back on October 7.
JACKETS DIG FOR THE CURE: Every year, the Georgia Tech volleyball team hosts a dig for the cure game in October to help raise money for the Susan G. Komen foundation. This season, during the weekend of the NC State and North Carolina games, Tech hosted a silent auction to auction off their pink jerseys also collecting donations over the course of the weekend.