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No. 20 Tech Upends No. 8 Penn State

TAMPA, Fla. — No. 20 Georgia Tech volleyball conquered No. 8 Penn State for a 3-1 upset (25-21, 20-25, 25-19, 25-16) on Saturday night in the Yuengling Center. The Yellow Jackets (2-0) strong-armed the Nittany Lions (0-2) en route to tying their third-highest ranked triumph in program history. Tech’s first ranked victory of the season marked the 25th ever during a regular season contest and the 29th all time.

In a primarily defensive contest, Georgia Tech topped Penn State offensively, leading the way in kills (56-41) and assists (52-40).

Senior outside hitter Tamara Otene had a whale of a match on both ends, piling up 17 kills to lead the squad on top of 15 digs for her first double double of the season. Fellow pin Bianca Bertolino joined Otene in the double double club for the night, tallying 10 kills and 14 digs of her own.

Sophomore Liv Mogridge stood tall in the middle with six total blocks and eight kills, while senior libero Paola Pimentel cleaned up 21 digs.

Senior setter Bella D’Amico orchestrated the attack with 46 assists, and freshman outside hitter Larissa Mendes added 14 kills, six digs and three blocks (1 solo, 2 assisted) in a well-rounded day.

No. 20 Georgia Tech vs. No. 8 Penn State

August 26, 2023 (Tyler Rover)

How it Happened

The first set remained tight throughout its majority as neither side managed to separate by more than a pair of points until Georgia Tech strung together four consecutive points to take a 22-18 lead. The two squads alternated from there, leading up to a 25-21 first set victory for the Yellow Jackets.

The White and Gold rolled on to take the first four points of set two, but the Nittany Lions closed the gap to knot the match at 8 all. Tech later took the lead with another four-point burst to move to a 16-14 advantage, but Penn State returned the favor with five straight points of its own and another four-point run to control the set leading 24-18. The Nittany Lions finished on top in the second set, 25-20.

Georgia Tech used a pair of three-point flurries to take an 8-5 lead early in set three, and later strung together five straight points to boost up to a commanding, 18-11 lead. The Jackets cruised from there, besting Penn State 25-19 in the third set.

Tech took control early and never looked back in set four, claiming four straight points for a 6-3 advantage early. The White and Gold rolled on with another five-point stretch for a commanding, 16-9 lead. Soon after, the Yellow Jackets claimed the final three points for a 25-16 triumph in the fourth set and a 3-1 match victory.

All-Tournament

For their efforts through both contests in the tournament, Mogridge and Mendes were both named to the Road 2 Tampa Bay Invitational’s all-tournament team.

Up Next

Georgia Tech will remain on the road, heading to No. 14 Ohio State (2-0) for two more consecutive ranked matchups Sept. 1-2 in Columbus, Ohio.

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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 atfund.org.   

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