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No. 13 Jackets Push No. 3 Panthers to the Brink

THE FLATS – No. 13 Georgia Tech volleyball fell 3-1 to No. 3 Pitt (25-17, 22-25,23-25, 21-25) on Friday evening in O’Keefe Gymnasium, giving the Panthers all they could handle and besting them nearly across the board on paper. The Yellow Jackets stormed ahead taking the first set before getting edged by no more than four points in each of the final three sets.

Senior right-side hitter Mariana Brambilla’s stellar night fueled the Jackets throughout the match as she piled up a season-high 24 kills to go with 16 digs for her eighth double double of the year. Senior setter Matti McKissock had a solid outing all around, setting up Tech’s attack for 50 assists while adding five block assists on the defensive end. Freshman outside hitter Bianca Bertolino and senior middle blocker Breland Morrissette were at the forefront of the White and Gold’s defensive efforts as Bertolino led the team with 16 digs while Morrissette tallied a team-high six block assists.

Despite the outcome, Georgia Tech (21-5, 12-4 ACC) held the advantage over Pitt (25-2, 14-2 ACC) in nearly every major statistical category including kills (58-55), hitting percentage (.259-.255), assists (57-51), aces (4-3) digs (61-56) and blocks (10-8).

How it Happened

Georgia Tech came out of the gates at a blistering pace, racing ahead 4-1 in the first set. The Panthers would claw their way back to temporarily even things up at 6 all and 8 apiece, but the Jackets responded with a five-point run to leap back in front 13-8. Tech maintained control for the duration of the set, using two bursts of three to push further ahead up to a 19-12 lead and later a 24-16 advantage. Brambilla next earned her fifth kill of the set, securing a 25-17 first set triumph for Tech.

Pitt bounced back in the second set, incrementally building up a 10-5 lead. The Panthers managed to preserve a lead of three or more until the Yellow Jackets landed three straight points to cut Pitt’s advantage to 21-19. Tech answered each Panther point with one of its own from there to threaten extending the set to extra points trailing 24-22, but Pitt picked up the final kill for a 25-22 second set win.

The third set was neck-and-neck all the way through as neither side could separate by more than two points throughout the set’s entirety. As the match saw 20 tie score lines up to a 22 all deadlock, Pitt broke away at the end, taking three of the final four points for a 25-23 third set victory.

The Panthers were the first squad to get hot in the fourth set, using a four-point run to slide ahead 11-8. The Jackets would draw back within two eight different times up to a 20-18 Pitt lead, but a three-point swing by the Panthers to follow would give Pitt enough breathing room to roll on to a 25-21 fourth set win and match victory.

Up Next

Georgia Tech will close out the regular season with matches on both sides of Thanksgiving Day, first hosting Clemson before the season finale at Florida State. The Yellow Jackets will first take on the Tigers on Nov. 24 at 2 p.m. in O’Keefe Gymnasium, then wrap up regular season play with the finale against the Seminoles on Nov. 26 at 6 p.m. in Tallahassee, Fla. Coverage information will be provided here.


Alexander-Tharpe Fund

The Alexander-Tharpe Fund is the fundraising arm of Georgia Tech athletics, providing scholarship, operations and facilities support for Georgia Tech’s 400-plus student-athletes. Be a part of developing Georgia Tech’s Everyday Champions and helping the Yellow Jackets compete for championships at the highest levels of college athletics by supporting the Annual Athletic Scholarship Fund, which directly provides scholarships for Georgia Tech student-athletes. To learn more about supporting the Yellow Jackets, visit   

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