Dec. 14, 2003
Despite Lynnette Moster recording 25 kills and 22 digs while hitting .404 the No. 11 Georgia Tech volleyball team dropped its final match of the season in front of 9,412 fans to No. 2 Hawaii in four games, 34-32, 31-33, 30-24, 30-25. With the loss, the Yellow Jackets end their season with a 34-4 record while Hawaii improves to 36-1 and advances to the Final Four in Dallas, Texas next week.
“This was a fantastic match,” said head coach Bond Shymansky, who in 77 games as a head coach has yet to fall to a team in three games. “We appreciate so much everything the Hawaii volleyball program put together, they are a first-class operation. There was tremendous fan support tonight from their crowd, and I thought the spirit of their fans was absolutely tremendous. We are so proud of effort that we gave. We said in the beginning of the season that we give our best effort and we go out and see what happens. It might not have been our best execution tonight, some players had it, some didn’t, but the bottom line was that nobody gave up and that attitude is what got us here to this point in the season. I couldn’t be prouder of our team and the things that they accomplished this season.”
Both team’s had offensive success, as Tech posted a .297 hitting percentage and Hawaii had a .320 percentage. For the Jackets, Alexandra Preiss had 22 kills and hit .420 for the night, while Sauer added 15 kills, Gergen nine and Laura Kuhn added six. Eveland, who finished her career with 6,464 and ranked 4th on the NCAA career assist list, dished out 70 assists in the match.
In addition to Moster, defensively the Jackets were led by Marisa Aston who had 19 digs and Keight Vincent who posted a season-high 15 digs in the match. At the net, Preiss led Tech with three blocks, Sauer posted two solo blocks and Kuhn added two block assists.
The difference in the match was outside hitter all-American Kim Willoughby who played sensational. In the four games, she posted 36 kills while hitting .394 and hit 13 digs while Lily Kahumoku added 25 kills and 19 digs.
The first game was tight, with neither team holding more than a three point lead throughout the game. When the first television timeout was allotted, the Rainbows held a 15-14 lead on a kill from Kahumoku. After the timeout, the Jackets responded with a kill from Eveland to tie it at 15-15. The teams battled back and forth before Hawaii built a 25-22 lead on kills from Willoughby and Duggins. The Jackets fought back and tied it at 28-28 on kills from Preiss and Moster. After a service error by Gergen, a kill from Preiss made the score 33-32 and the Jackets scored the final point on a stuff block from Eveland and Gergen on a Kahumoku attempt. In the game, Preiss recorded 10 kills and hit .714 while Moster had 7 kills and hit .429. The Jackets outhit Hawaii .338 to .268 in the game, as Eveland racked up 25 assists in the game. Defensively, Vincent posted 10 digs in the game while Moster had seven.
The second game was just as exciting, with the team’s battling back and forth throughout. Hawaii built a 8-4 lead early in the game, but Tech fought back on two kills from Preiss and a kill from Eveland, along with a hitting error from Duggins to close the score to 9-10. Tech tied the game at 12-12 on a kill crosscourt from Sauer and from then the two teams traded points with six ties. The Jackets fell behind 21-24 on two kills from Willoughby, but a service error from Willoughby gave Tech the point and the serve at 22-24. Tech then took a 25-24 lead on a service ace from Gergen, a kill from Sauer and a hitting error from Tano forcing Hawaii to call its last timeout. Kahumoku responded with a kill after the timeout tying the score once again at 25-25. The Jackets then scored on a kill from Preiss and one from Moster taking a 29-28 lead. Tech had three game points before Willoughby recorded a kill and then served two bullets, causing Aston and Moster to send overpasses back over the net, which allowed Kahumoku to record two kills, giving Hawaii the game, 33-31.
In the third game, Hawaii built a 5-2 lead on three Tech hitting errors before the Jackets responded with a kill from Moster to make it 5-3. The Rainbows increased their lead to 17-11 on a pounding kill from Willoughby before a kill from Moster and a hitting error from Kahumoku made the score 19-17, Hawaii. After a Hawaii timeout, Willoughby recorded one of her eight kills in the game to give her team a 20-17 lead. Tech kept the deficit at no more than three points before two blocking errors from the Jackets and a hitting error by Moster gave Hawaii a 27-22 lead. The Jackets scored on a kill from Moster, but after a kill from Lundqvist, Willoughby recorded a solo stuff block on an attack from Kuhn, giving Hawaii the game, 30-24.
Tech built a 3-2 lead in game three on a kill from Gergen, but Hawaii responded with two kills from Willoughby and a kill from Tano to take a 5-3 lead. The Jackets came back and tied the score at 9-9 but again two kills from Willoughby gave the Rainbows a quick 11-9 advantage. At the television timeout, Tech was down 11-15, but Sauer blasted a kill down the line to make the score 12-15. With the Jackets trailing 17-13, Tech got three straight kills from Moster, Kuhn and Preiss and a hitting error from Kahumoku to tie the score at 17-17. Tech then took a 21-19 lead on a kill from Gergen and a hitting error from Willoughby, but the Rainbows answered with a kill from Kahumoku and Willoughby and tied the score at 21-21. With the Jackets trailing 24-22, Sauer recorded a kill to make it 24-23. It would be as close as Tech would get, as Hawaii had two kills from Kahumoku and the Jackets recorded hitting errors from Eveland and Moster to give the Rainbows a 29-25 lead. The final point of the match ended as Preiss was called for a ball handling error.