Sept. 8, 2006
LEXINGTON, Ky. – Junior Ulrike Stegemann hit 46 percent for the afternoon with 25 kills and junior Lindsey Gray (10 kills, 11 digs) and sophomore Allie Niekamp (51 assists, 13 digs) added double-doubles to lead Georgia Tech (5-1) to a pair of victories over Villanova (1-5), 3-1 (31-29, 30-23, 16-30, 30-26), and Toledo, 3-1 (30-21, 30-24, 27-30, 30-24), at the Kentucky Volleyball Classic on Friday.
“It’s tough to play two matches back-to-back like that in the same day, but our team did a good job fighting through to get two hard fought victories,” said Tech coach Bond Shymansky.
The Yellow Jackets extend their match winning streak to five games. Senior captain Abby Showers tallied a season-high 20 digs against the Rockets and had 16 against the Wildcats. Sophomore Callie Miller had 12 kills in the nightcap and 10 kills against UT. Freshman Erin Birmingham recorded a season-high 10 kills against VU to round out double-digit kills for the Jackets. Tech had 18 blocks in the match against the UT Rockets and hit .289, holding the Rockets to a .152 hitting percentage.
“We got great leadership from our senior libero Abby Showers and we really needed her work ethic at there at times,” said Shymansky. “Ulli Stegemann did a great job as a terminal hitter for us. The overall ball control and defense is what really made a difference tonight.”
Against Toledo, the Jackets scored the first four points of game one and jumped out in front early. After a Rocket rally and Tech leading 14-13, Tech used a counter attack to put away Toledo in game one 30-21. The Rambling Wreck held the Rockers to a .043 hitting percentage in the opening game.
Once again the Jackets took control early in game two against Toledo, scoring the first three points and building an 18-12 lead. The feisty Rockets did not go away, scoring four straight points and staying within two through the next 18 points, before Tech’s Gray came up with a big kill and block to lead the Jackets to a 30-24 victory.
Game three was a seesaw battle between the two teams with 11 ties and four lead changes as the Jackets trailed 24-20 after five straight points by the Rockets. Trailing 24-21, Tech scored four of the next five points to climb within one, 25-24. After UT scored three straight points, freshman Chrissy DeMichelis came up with two consecutive kills to bring the Jackets within one again, 28-27. The Rockets then added the finishing touch to take game three, 30-28.
With the score tied at 18-18 in game four, Tech turned up the heat on the Rockets scoring eight of the next 10 points to grab a commanding 26-20 lead. Each team traded points before Toledo had a hitting error to give Tech the victory, 30-24.
Sophomore Talisa Kellogg recorded a match-high 14 kills, Gray tallied 12 kills, four service aces and six digs and Niekamp had 43 assists, eight digs and six kills to lead Tech against Villanova in the opening match.
The Yellow Jackets took the opening game, 31-29. Tech and the Wildcats were tied at 25-25, but the Jackets scored the next three points to take a 28-25 advantage. VU would storm back with three of the next four points and saved one game point to tie the game at 29-29. Tech would then score the next two points on a Miller kill and a misplay by the Wildcats to jump out in front of the match 1-0.
In game two with Tech in front 25-23, the Jackets’ Niekamp recorded two aces and Stegemann had a pair of kills as Tech rattled off the final five points on Niekamp’s serve to win 30-23.
The Wildcats jumped out in front of the Yellow Jackets in game three, taking a 12-5 advantage and forcing Tech’s first timeout of the match. Villanova would continue the pressure and score five of the next six points to take their biggest lead of the match, 17-6. The Jackets tried to mount a comeback, but the deficit proved to be too much as the Wildcats hit .455 for game three as the Jackets fell 30-16.
After exchanging points and the score tied at 6-6 in game four, the Rambling Wreck rallied off six consecutive kills to take a 12-6 advantage. VU made a charge and the two teams battled back and forth with four lead changes and ties over the final 10 points, but Tech would string three points together to take a 28-25 advantage and would go on to win the game 30-26.
The Tech vs. Kentucky game on Saturday can be followed via live stats at Tourney Central.