Dec. 11, 2004
Despite a career high 36 digs by Marisa Aston and a career high 22 digs by Lynnette Moster, the No. 20 Georgia Tech volleyball team fell in five games to No. 4 Minnesota (30-25, 22-30, 24-30, 48-46, 9-15) in the NCAA Minneapolis Regional. With the loss, the Yellow Jackets end their season with a 27-7 record while the Gophers improve to 31-4 on the season. The Gophers will now face Ohio State Saturday at 8 p.m. ET with a chance to advance to the Final Four next weekend in Long Beach, Calif.
“One of the greatest matches that I’ve ever coached in. Period,” said head coach Bond Shymansky. “To watch these seniors go is tough. I’m so proud of our team and so pleased with what they were able to give tonight I thought was great. I think you watched two great teams going at it and our program made a statement that we belong. But, we have more to do. We get a bitter taste a success and it’s hard to go away a loser and have pride, but we managed to do it tonight. Our seniors motto the rest of this season was giving it all and having pride and I think we did just that tonight.”
The 48-46 score in game four is an NCAA record for points scored in a single game, breaking the previous best of 46-44 which was set in a match between San Jose State and Fresno State in 2001.
The match was a defensive spectacle, with 113 digs from the Jackets as five players from Tech ended in double figure digs. In addition to Aston and Moster, Lindsey Laband notched a career high 19 digs, Abby Showers had a career best 16 digs and Jennifer Randall added 10.
Offensively, the Jackets were led by Lauren Sauer who had a season best 25 kills. Moster followed with 20 and Stegemann added a career-best 16 kills with Gergen posting 11 of her own.
The Gophers were led by Erin Martin who recorded 31 kills while Paula Gentil added 41 digs in the match.
As the five seniors finish their careers at Tech, several will leave their names etched in the Jacket record book. Moster finishes as the Tech career kill leader with 1,859, which is also good for fourth in the ACC record book. Moster also ends her career ranked third on the career dig list with 1,456 while finished third in school history in service aces with 193. Sauer ends her career ranked fourth on the Tech career kill list with 1,706, second on the career solo block list (99), seventh on the career block assist list (269), and seventh on the career total block list (362). Gergen completes her career fifth on both the career block assist list (427) and fifth on the career total block list (469). Finally, Aston ends her career with 1,583 digs, which is second on the Tech career dig list and ninth on the ACC career list.
In the first game, neither team could get in an offensive rhythm which allowed each team to score points on hitting errors. Tech took a 7-5 lead after a service error by Lindsey Taatjes and a hitting error from Kelly Bowman and held onto the lead the rest of the way. The Jackets led by as many as six at 27-21 and went on to win 30-25. In the game, Gergen combined for five kills on six swings and for two block assists, while Moster and Stegemann each tallied four kills. Tech outhit the Gophers .282 to .163 in the game.
Tech held a slim 8-6 lead in the second game before the Gophers’ Taatjes recorded a kill followed by an overpass from Aston which led to a kill by Martin and tied the score at 8-8. From that point, the Gophers went on to lead 10-8 on a ballhandling error by Gergen and a kill from Martin. Tech cut the score to one point at 16-17 following a stuff block from Gergen and Moster and a hitting error from Bratford, but it was as close as the Jackets would get in the game. After a timeout at 20-17, Martin recorded two straight kills and then two straight solo blocks giving the Gophers a commanding 24-18 lead. Minnesota then went on a 6-4 run to finish out the game and won 30-22.
Game three was similar to game two in that the Gophers built an early 6-2 lead with two straight service aces and two kills from Martin. Tech could only cut the margin to five points the rest of the game, and fell behind by as many seven points following a Moster hitting error at 26-19. After a Georgia Tech timeout, Kuhn recorded two straight kills cutting the score to 26-21 and forcing the Gophers into a timeout. Following the timeout, Aston served the ball out of bounds and then Byrnes recorded a crosscourt kill giving Minnesota a 28-21 lead. Laura Kuhn then recorded a kill, but hit the next ball into the block of Martin and Byrnes to make the score 29-22. Gergen then recorded a kill behind the setter and then teamed with Kuhn and recorded a stuff block, but a hitting error into the net by Sauer gave the Gophers the game, 30-24.
In game four, the Jackets fell behind early, 4-8 on a kill from Bratford and hitting errors by Stegemann and Moster, but climbed back into the game with a kill from Moster and a hitting error by Bowman. The Jackets then caught the Gophers at 11-11 following a Martin hitting error. The game then went back and forth with the Jackets holding a brief lead after a service ace by Moster at 17-16. Following a Moster kill which made the score 22-22, Bratford recorded a kill and Stegemann hit a ball into the block of Bratford and Byrnes giving the Gophers a 24-22 lead. Following a Tech timeout, Bratford tallied a kill with a kill over the block, Moster had a kill down the line, but then Taatjes notched a kill just in bounds and Martin recorded a kill off the block giving Minnesota a 27-23 lead. The Jackets then got a block from Gergen and Moster followed by a kill down the line from Sauer to cut the score to 28-25. Following a Minnesota timeout, Moster recorded a service ace and Sauer had a kill on an overpass and then Gergen and Kuhn posted a stuff block as the Jackets tied the score at 28-28. The Gophers then called another timeout which followed by a kill off the block by Sauer to give Tech a 29-28 lead. Moster then had a service ace and then the drama began to unfold as both teams rallied back and forth at 29-29 and played 36 more points to see who would win the game. The Jackets took seven leads during that span before a hitting error off the antennae and a stuff block by Gergen and Laband gave Tech the game, 48-46.
In the final game, the Jackets fell behind 0-6 and could just never recover. Tech narrowed the deficit to 5-9 on a kill by Moster, but Meredith Nelson responded with a kill of her own to give the Gophers a 10-5 lead. After Gergen scored on a kill to make the score 9-13, Martin recorded the final two kills of the game to give Minnesota the victory, 15-9.