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No. 10 Jackets Tackle Tar Heels, 3-1

THE FLATS — Senior outside hitter Julia Bergmann led No. 10 Georgia Tech volleyball (16-4, 9-2 ACC) to a 3-1 victory over North Carolina (13-9, 5-6 ACC) on Friday night in Carmichael Arena, tallying 21 kills for her eighth 20+ kill match this season. In the process, Bergmann picked up eight digs, adding yet another historic feather to her cap as she surpassed 1,000 career digs to become the fifth Yellow Jacket in program history to join the 1,500 kill/1,000 dig club.

The Yellow Jackets were dominant as a unit on their way to their fifth straight win, earning their fourth over the Tar Heels in as many years. Tech nearly doubled North Carolina in kills (61-34) and assists (59-31) while holding the home squad to almost 0 in hitting percentage (.282-.043) and leading the way in digs (68-45).

Not to be overshadowed by Bergmann, junior right side hitter Tamara Otene put forth her most productive outing of the year as she nearly reached a double double by piling up season highs of 17 kills and six blocks assists along with nine digs. Joining Bergmann and Otene with a stellar night of her own was graduate middle blocker Breland Morrissette, who tied her career high of six blocks while nearly setting marks for the season with nine kills at a gaudy .727 clip. Rounding out Tech’s success on the block was senior middle blocker Erin Moss, who added five blocks of her own to go with eight kills.

Junior setter Bella D’Amico orchestrated the offense as per usual, doing so with high proficiency as she racked up a career-high 49 assists. On the back end, senior libero Paola Pimentel and sophomore outside hitter Bianca Bertolino cleaned up the Tar Heel attacks with 19 digs apiece.

How it Happened

In a back-and-forth first set, Georgia Tech used a pair of three-point runs to gain a narrow lead, 7-5. The Yellow Jackets continued to keep their distance until another burst of three created more separation, moving the White and Gold ahead, 16-11. North Carolina remained in striking distance, taking nine points in a stretch of 10 to jump in front, 22-19. Tech would bounce back by taking four of the next five points to even things up at 23 all, but after the two sides each traded a point, the Tar Heels took the final two points for a 26-24 win in set one.

In response to the first set, the Yellow Jackets exploded in the second. Beginning with four-point stretch to take a 4-1 lead, Tech soon after rattled off seven straight to increase its lead to double digits at 15-4. The White and Gold piled on from there, claiming eight of the final nine points to thrash North Carolina, 25-8, for a set two triumph and the largest set margin of victory of the season.

The third set was competitive early as Georgia Tech used a three-point burst to slip ahead, 8-4. The Jackets maintained the lead, extending it with a following run of three up to 17-11. The White and Gold went on to claim the final five points of set three, resulting in nearly another double-digit victory, 25-16.

Neither side managed to create separation of more than three points early in the fourth set. Midway through, the Yellow Jackets gained momentum by taking five straight points to speed out to an 18-11 lead. Another run of four proved to put the match out of reach as the White and Gold moved further ahead, 22-14. Tech closed out the set taking the final two points, clinching the match on Bergmann’s 21st kill of the night for a 25-20 set four win and 3-1 match victory.

Up Next

Georgia Tech will conclude its trip to The Triangle at NC State (12-10, 6-5 ACC) on Sunday at 1 p.m. in Raleigh, N.C. The match will be broadcast on ACC Network Extra.

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Competitive Drive Initiative

In a unified endeavor, Georgia Tech, the Georgia Tech Foundation, Georgia Tech athletics and the Alexander-Tharpe Fund have come together to accelerate funding for student-athlete scholarships with the launch of the Competitive Drive Initiative. The initiative kicks off with the Accelerate GT Match Program, where any new gift to the A-T Fund’s Athletic Scholarship Fund made through Dec. 31 will be matched dollar-for-dollar by the Georgia Tech Foundation, up to $2.5 million. Should Accelerate GT reach its $2.5 million fundraising goal, the matching gift would result in a $5 million impact for Georgia Tech athletics. To learn more and to contribute online, visit atfund.org/accelerate.

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