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No. 13 Georgia Tech Powers Past UNC

THE FLATS – No. 13 Georgia Tech volleyball (17-3, 8-2 ACC) secured its best 20-match start in the Michelle Collier era with a four-set win over North Carolina (10-9, 4-6 ACC) on Sunday afternoon inside O’Keefe Gymnasium. Tech controlled the match throughout its three set victories, as the Jackets have now won 17 of their first 20 matches for only the fifth time in program history.

QUICK HITS

  • Tech has now won five matches in a row against UNC and six of the past seven, dating back to the 2017 season. It’s the longest winning streak the Jackets have held over UNC this century and the longest since winning seven in a row from 1993-96.
  • This is the 24th consecutive sellout at O’Keefe Gymnasium dating back to the 2021 season.
  • Going beyond 2019’s NIVC title, Tech has won 96 of its last 119 matches (.807 winning pct.).
  • The White and Gold have won 17 of the first 20 matches this season – tied for the best 20-match start to a season in the Michelle Collier era (also 2021). It is tied for the third-best record through 20 matches in program history (20-0 in 2003 and 18-2 in 1996).
  • Tech hit .349 as a team in the win, the highest hitting percentage, in a home match, this season.
  • Senior outside hitter Tamara Otene tied her season high with 23 kills on .348 hitting – the most kills by any hitter in the ACC in a four-set conference match this season.
  • It was Otene’s third match with at least 20 kills on .300 hitting this season.
  • Otene owns 985 career kills, the most on the roster as she closes in on her 1,000th career kill.
  • Junior outside hitter Bianca Bertolino made 20 kills on .459 hitting, her most efficient match of the season and highest hitting percentage since her freshman season.
  • Bertolino and Otene are the only hitters in the ACC to hit 20 kills or more in the same four-set match this season.
  • Bertolino added in two aces, giving her 48 aces this season and 102 over her career.
  • Senior libero Paola Pimentel secured 21 digs to lead all players. She has made at least 20 digs in four of her last five matches for an average of 5.24 digs/set over that stretch.
  • Senior setter Bella D’Amico led the team with 30 assists with freshman setter Heloise Soares adding 21 after entering the match late in the third set.
  • Soares made 19 assists in the fourth set alone, helping the Jackets hit .500 as a team in the final set.
  • Sophomore middle blocker Anna Boezi set a new career high for blocks/set in a match, making seven blocks (1.75/set). She is averaging .90 blocks/set in her seven starts.
  • Freshman opposite Larissa Mendes recorded a pair of aces today, marking the third time this season she has made multiple aces in a match.
  • Senior defensive specialist Liz Patterson made a pair of digs as a serving sub. She has recorded digs in six consecutive matches, the longest streak of her career.

Georgia Tech VB vs. UNC: Oct. 22,2023

Set By Set

Set 1 (GT, 25-15): The Jackets wasted no time establishing their dominance at the service line, as Mendes and Otene secured aces to help GT to an early 10-3 lead. Tech’s passing was stellar through the first, as four of every five UNC serves ended in a point for Tech. Conversely, the Tech serving kept UNC off balance. Those out of system swings led to 19 Georgia Tech digs throughout the set as the Jackets never allowed UNC back within six points after a 10-4 score. Bertolino led the offense with five kills while D’Amico led the defense with five digs in a dominating opening set for the White and Gold.

Set 2 (GT, 25-16): Tech did well to carry its positive momentum into the second set, going in front early to the tune of a 9-5 advantage. Tech maintained that four-point lead until a 4-0 run put the Jackets ahead, 18-11, taking the air out of the set for UNC. Bertolino ended things with her eighth kill of the day, giving Tech a nine-point set victory. The offense was humming in the second, as the Jackets recorded 12 kills on .455 hitting, led by 5 kills on .714 hitting from Otene. D’Amico made 11 assists while the Tech block came alive, recording three in the set.

Set 3 (UNC, 26-24): The Jackets suffered a lapse of concentration in the third set, going in front, 20-15, only to allow UNC to win 11 of the next 15 points and avoid the sweep. North Carolina took their first, and only, lead in the match at the 21-22 mark, holding on for a two-point win in extra points. Boezi had her best set of the season at the net, making five blocks throughout the set.

Set 4 (GT, 25-17): For the third set of the day, the White and Gold took the lead on the first point and never relinquished it. Soares, who had subbed in after UNC tied the third set at 21, took control of the offense, leaning on some incredible hitting from Bertolino and Otene to finish off the match. Otene (9) and Bertolino (8) combined for 17 kills, with Bertolino doing so on .778 hitting, as Tech took care of business to send the sold-out crowd home happy. Soares finished the set with 19 assists while Pimentel made five digs, the same amount as UNC’s whole team in the fourth.

UP NEXT
Georgia Tech heads back on the road for a pair of ACC matches at Boston College (Oct. 27) and Syracuse (Oct. 29). The trip offers an opportunity for the Jackets to record their ninth and 10th road victories this season. The White and Gold have only achieved double-digit road victories in six of its previous 42 seasons.

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