Dec. 5, 2002
In the first round of the 2002 NCAA Volleyball tournament, All-american candidate Lynnette Moster recorded 12 kills and a career high six service aces as the No. 17 Georgia Tech (33-5) volleyball team defeated Florida A&M in three games, 30-21, 30-27, 30-17. With the win, the Yellow Jackets set a school record for wins in a season with 33 and advance to the second round of the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 1996. Florida A&M concludes its season with a 23-7 record.
“This is a good moment for our program to advance to the second round, which is something that we haven’t done in six years,” said first year head coach Bond Shymansky. “This is my third season at Tech and the past two years, we’ve fallen short in the first round., so it’s an exciting win for us. Obviously, it was a little tough for us to get motivated and focused after having played Florida A&M four times now and having beaten them three. I thought at times we were a little stale, but I thought that as the match went on, our team responded well.”
The Jackets hit .304 as a team in the match while holding the Rattlerettes to a .108 hitting percentage. The middle blockers for the Jackets were dominating as Alexandra Preiss recorded 11 kills on 18 attempts (.500) and six block assists, while Jayme Gergen tallied 10 kills on 18 attempts (.444) and notched three block assists. Lauren Sauer also recorded nine kills and three block assists in the match. Defensively, Kele Eveland led the way with 12 digs and Marisa Aston notched eight.
In game one, the Jackets built a 12-9 lead on four kills from Preiss and several Florida A&M hitting errors. The Jackets continued to play well and work through first-game jitters, as Gergen and Laura Kuhn tallied three kills on four attempts and Preiss ended the first game with six kills. Preiss also tallied four block assists in the game, followed by Kuhn and Gergen who each had two. Defensively, Lynnette Moster led the way with four digs.
Game two was much closer, with neither team’s offense executing at a high level. The Jackets fell behind, 10-13, but fought back to tie the game at 17-17 on a kill down the line from Moster. Tech then took the lead for good on a block from Eveland and Preiss. Tech was held to a .174 hitting percentage in the game, but Moster, Kuhn, and Gergen did each manage four kills to lead the way. Eveland recorded five digs in the game, followed by Marisa Aston who had four.
The Jackets carried their momentum in game three, jumping out to a 16-8 lead on a kill from Lauren Sauer. Tech offense continued to click, as the Jackets hit .455 in the third game. In the game, Moster and Sauer each recorded five kills and Kele Eveland notched five digs. Moster’s serve was strong, as she tallied four service aces in the game.
The Yellow Jackets will face No. 10 Minnesota (31-5) in the second round of the NCAA Tournament Friday at 7:30 p.m. EST. The game will be carried on WREK radio (91.1 FM) and via audio streaming at www.wrek.org. In addition, fans may follow live stats at www.ramblinwreck.com or www.gophersports.com. -30-