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No. 13 Jackets Dismantle Duke

THE FLATS – No. 13 Georgia Tech volleyball (16-3, 7-2 ACC) won the last five points of the fourth set to emerge victorious over Duke (12-8, 3-6 ACC) on Friday night inside O’Keefe Gymnasium. Bianco Bertolino posted her 100th career ace in the final 5-0 run to secure the White and Gold’s seventh conference win of the year.

QUICK HITS

  • Tech has now won six consecutive meetings against Duke and eight of the past 10 dating back to the 2015 season. The streak is tied for the Jackets’ longest in series history, matching a six-match win streak from 2002-04.
  • This is the 23rd consecutive sellout at O’Keefe Gymnasium dating back to the 2021 season.
  • Going beyond 2019’s NIVC title, Tech has won 95 of its last 118 matches (.805 winning pct.).
  • Junior outside hitter Bianca Bertolino delivered four service aces tonight, bringing her season total to 46 and her career total to 100.
  • She becomes the third Yellow Jacket in the modern scoring era to reach the 100-ace club, joining All-Americans Julia Bergmann (164) and Monique Mead (148).
  • Senior libero Paola Pimentel secured 25 digs to lead all players. She has made at least 20 digs in three of her last four matches for an average of 5.23 digs/set over that stretch.
  • Senior setter Bella D’Amico set a new career-best with 20 digs to go along with 33 assists for her sixth double-double of the season.
  • Senior outside hitter Tamara Otene secured her team-leading 11th double-double of the season, making 12 kills and 12 digs.
  • Otene owns 962 career kills, the most on the roster as she closes in on her 1,000th career kill.
  • Freshman opposite Larissa Mendes led the match with 16 kills on .389 hitting. She recorded 11 of her kills in the final two sets, doing so on an impressive .476 hitting.
  • This is her seventh match of the season to have made 10+ kills on .300 or better hitting.
  • Senior defensive specialist Liz Patterson secured her second-career multi-ace match tonight, securing a pair of aces in the first set.
  • Sophomore middle blocker Anna Boezi registered her first solo block as a Jacket tonight, finishing with two solo blocks and five overall.
  • She is averaging 1.05 blocks/set in her last six starts.
  • The Yellow Jackets made 10 service aces today, headlined by four from Bertolino and a pair each from Patterson and Pimentel. This was the fourth 10+ ace effort of the season.
  • Tech’s defense posted 77 digs, tied for the most in a four-set match this season (Sept. 2 at Ohio State).

Set By Set

Set 1 (GT, 25-10): The Jackets took advantage of some early errors from Duke to go in front, 7-4, before Boezi recorded Tech’s first kill of the match. The Tech back row play was stellar from the start, making 19 digs throughout the set while also siding out at a perfect 11/11 clip. The 8-4 lead grew into a 14-5 advantage and soon, D’Amico was serving out the set as the Jackets won the final five points in the set to secure the largest margin of victory for a set so far this year. The 15-point set win was the largest margin of victory since last season’s 25-8 2nd set win over North Carolina (Oct. 28, 2022). The Jackets held Duke to -.053 hitting in the set thanks to six digs from Mendes and five from Pimentel. Otene and Boezi paced the offense with three kills each behind six assists from D’Amico. Boezi finished the set with three kills and three blocks including her first-career solo block to make it 19-9.

Set 2 (Duke, 25-23): Duke’s offense bounced back in the second, clawing its way back to positive hitting for the match with a .209 clip in the set. Defense was the name of the game in the second set as both teams combined for 46 digs and just 27 kills. The score shifted back and forth with 11 ties and seven lead changes. The final lead change came during a 3-0 Duke run that turned a 20-19 advantage into a 20-22 deficit. The Jackets fought to get back within one point only for a service error to upend the comeback and level the match at one set apiece.

Set 3 (GT, 25-15): The Jackets wasted no time in the third as Otene recorded two kills and a block in the first three points. That lead would never be relinquished as Tech kept Duke at least two points behind for the remainder of the set. D’Amico’s efforts on the service line were crucial as she helped GT on a 7-0 run to go in front, 15-6. The lead stayed around 10 points for the rest of the set as the Jackets closed it out with another solo block from Boezi to reclaim the lead in the match. D’Amico finished with one ace, 11 assists, four digs and 10 total serves in the set to lead the way. Mendes found her offensive footing in the third, posting six kills on 10 swings (.600 hitting). Pimentel helped shut the door with nine digs in the set, securing her 20th dig late in the action.

Set 4 (GT, 25-23): The fourth set seemed to follow the second, with both sides trading the lead back to each other and neither side managing to lead by more than three points. GT seemed to be in good shape, up 20-17, only for Duke to go on a 6-0 run to go ahead, 20-23. With the threat of a fifth set looming, the Jackets got a kill from Bertolino to stop the run and send her to the service line, where she delivered her 100th career ace and a kill to give Tech the lead, 24-23. At match point, Heloise Soares found Mendes for the final blow. Bertolino was excellent in crunch time, yet again, posting five kills on .308 hitting with two aces and a perfect 10/10 on receptions. Soares subbed into the match after the 6-0 Duke run, helping the Jackets on the match-clinching 5-0 run with four assists.

UP NEXT
Georgia Tech will finish its four-match homestand on Sunday with an afternoon match against North Carolina inside O’Keefe Gymnasium. The match will begin at 1 pm and will be streamed on ACC Network Extra.

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