Nov. 17, 2011
ATLANTA – The Georgia Tech volleyball team heads back to O’Keefe Gymnasium for their final ACC weekend series of the 2011 season where they will take on Miami and Florida State. The Jackets and Hurricanes will meet Friday night at 7 p.m. while Tech and FSU have a Saturday night game that will begin at 6 p.m.
The Jackets are coming off of an 0-2 weekend in the state of North Carolina where they fell in four sets to the Tar Heels and in straight sets to the Wolfpack. Monique Mead led all Tech hitters on the weekend with 20 kills and a 4.29 kills/set average while Jennifer Percy put down 17 on the weekend. Kaleigh Colson dished out 67 assists in the losses.
SCOUTING MIAMI: Miami is currently 23-3 overall on the year with all of their losses coming in conference play (14-3), one of which was at the hands of Georgia Tech, their only loss at home in 2011. Florida State swept the Hurricanes on the road and Miami fell to North Carolina in five sets in Chapel Hill.
The Hurricanes started the season off on a nine game win streak defeating the likes of No. 18 Oklahoma, LSU and Georgia during that time. They are currently on an eight game win streak heading into their game at Tech.
Miami is led by Lane Carico who has notched 324 kills on the year, 3.64/set and a.284 hitting percentage. Carico has also registered 371 digs on the year to go with 28 blocks. Ali Becker is next with 279 kills while Katie Gallagher has dished out the majority of the sets this season, going over the 1,000 mark in her last game at Wake Forest (1,007).
SERIES PAST: Tech holds the series lead with Miami, edging the Hurricanes 8-6. Earlier this season the Jackets earned a four set victory over the then-No. 22 Hurricanes, their third straight victory over Miami. In the last 11 games with Miami none have ended in a 3-0 fashion and five have gone all five sets (Tech is 2-3 during that time.
SCOUTING FLORIDA STATE: Florida State is currently 22-5 overall and 16-1 in conference play, suffering their first conference loss of the season at Duke last weekend. Heading into that game, the Seminoles were on a 16 game win streak all over conference opponents. FSU has registered wins over three ranked opponents this season (No. 23 Tulsa, No. 23 Daytona and No. 20 Miami) falling twice (No. 9 Florida, No. 20 Michigan).
The Seminoles are led by Jekaterina Stepanova who has notched 304 kills this season to go along with 48 blocks. FSU leads the ACC in blocks/set notching 3.08 blocks per set in 2011. They are also second in opponent hitting percentage only allowing their opposition to hit .176 (NC State leads the league with .163). Ashley Neff has notched the most blocks in the ACC with 164 this season, 18 solo, while Sareea Freeman is second on the team and fifth in the ACC with 113 blocks in 2011.
SERIES PAST: Tech has dominated the season series with the Seminoles 29-13, but is currently on a two-game losing streak falling in its final weekend of last season and earlier this year to the then-No. 21 FSU.
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 5.13. She also leads the ACC in points per set and ranks second in the country with 5.81. 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 2.57 digs per set and 0.79 blocks.
Last weekend at North Carolina and NC State, Mead registered 15-kill matches against each team.
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, Kaleigh Colson has been taking the majority of the sets for the Jackets, netting 665 on the year in 68 sets for a 9.78 assist/set average, sixth in the ACC. Colson has dished out at least 40 assists in six of her last nine games, and had 67 last weekend against UNC and NC State. The sophomore also has a knack for finding the open spots on the court and has recorded 88 kills this year (6 last weekend) and 26 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 1.30 aces per set second in the ACC (1.40/set in ACC play, however ranks first). Also adding to the total is Susan Carlson who had tallied 31 aces on the season, the team leader. Carlson went off for four service aces against Boston College and Maryland to boost her to seventh in the ACC with .30 aces/set but second in ACC play registering .37 aces/set, just .02 points ahead of Carlson who sits in third.
Also seeing success at the service line against Boston College and Maryland 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: After her play against Boston College and Maryland, 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 cracked the top-10 in the career kills category last weekend at NC State and currently sits in 10th place with 1,410 … one thing, Monique Mead is only a JUNIOR. After netting 356 kills in her freshman season and 515 in 2010, Mead has already tallied 539 kills this season with five games to go. In order to beat Lynette Moster’s single season kills record of 629 set back in 2002, Mead would have to average 30 kills a match, not an impossible feat for the junior who has registered over 20 kills 13 times this season
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.