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No. 5 Seed Jackets Roll Past Raiders

MILWAUKEE — No. 5 seed Georgia Tech volleyball blew by Wright State (25-13, 25-14, 25-17) for a swift sweep to kick off the First Round of the 2022 NCAA Division I Women’s Volleyball Championship on Thursday at the Al McGuire Center. With double-digit advantages in both of the first two sets on the way to a comfortable victory, the Yellow Jackets have now won an NCAA tournament match for three consecutive years, the most since an identical streak from 2002-04.

The White and Gold made more history on the night, highlighted by coach Michelle Collier taking sole possession of second in program history in career victories with the win, moving up to 173 wins on The Flats. Senior outside hitter Julia Bergmann joined Collier as she continues her climb through program history, moving to seventh on The Flats in single-season kills with 525 to date. Junior setter Bella D’Amico reached a personal milestone of her own as well, eclipsing 1,000 assists on the season as she’s up to 1,017 on the year.

On the way to their 15th sweep of the season, the Jackets controlled the match in all phases. Tech held sizable advantages in kills (41-27), hitting percentage (.352-.061), assists (38-23), aces (6-2), digs (45-34) and blocks (8-4).

Despite all the Yellow Jacket accolades, senior middle blocker Erin Moss led the way through the night as she racked up 12 kills at a scorching .733 clip while blocking a pair of shots. Her partner in the middle, graduate middle blocker Breland Morrissette, had an efficient night of her own with seven kills on a .500 hitting percentage, also leading the squad with four blocks (one solo, three assisted). Bergmann added 10 kills and eight digs, and D’Amico orchestrated the offense with 28 assists to go with seven digs.

How it Happened

The Yellow Jackets (21-7, 13-5 ACC) flew out of the gates, starting the first set off with an ace and taking the opening five points. Tech would continue to press forward as Wright State (28-4, 18-0 Horizon) managed to draw as close as within four, trailing 11-7, but no closer. The White and Gold took seven of the next eight points to widen the gap for a double-digit lead, 18-8, before closing out the set on a similar stretch. Georgia Tech claimed six of the final eight points, resulting a 25-13 victory.

The Jackets started off the second set with shades of the first, going on another early run. Four straight points put Tech on top 5-2 early, but the Raiders knotted things up shortly after at six all. From there, the White and Gold exploded to seize nine of the next 10 points, separating out to a 15-7 lead. The Yellow Jackets maintained control from that point on, later taking six points in a seven-chance stretch to nearly wrap up the set, leading 23-12. Senior setter Nicole Drewnick put a bow on set two, serving up an ace to secure another double-digit victory for the nationally seeded squad, 25-14.

The third set was a battle early, but Tech used primarily back-to-back aces from sophomore outside hitter Bianca Bertolino and a few kills from Bergmann to win nine points in 11 chances for a 13-8 lead. A five-point burst for the Jackets soon after would create a 22-13 advantage that proved to be an insurmountable as the White and Gold closed things out. Moss fittingly stamped Georgia Tech’s ticket to the Second Round with a kill, sealing a 25-17 set three win and match sweep to begin the NCAA tournament.

Up Next

Georgia Tech will advance to take on the winner of host Marquette (27-3, 17-1 Big East) and Ball State (24-8, 15-3 MAC) on Friday at 7 p.m. ET. The victor will move on to regional play on Dec. 8 and 10 at one of four non-predetermined campus sites.

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Competitive Drive Initiative

In a unified endeavor, Georgia Tech, the Georgia Tech Foundation, Georgia Tech athletics and the Alexander-Tharpe Fund have come together to accelerate funding for student-athlete scholarships with the launch of the Competitive Drive Initiative. The initiative kicks off with the Accelerate GT Match Program, where any new gift to the A-T Fund’s Athletic Scholarship Fund made through Dec. 31 will be matched dollar-for-dollar by the Georgia Tech Foundation, up to $2.5 million. Should Accelerate GT reach its $2.5 million fundraising goal, the matching gift would result in a $5 million impact for Georgia Tech athletics. To learn more and to contribute online, visit atfund.org/accelerate.

For the latest information on the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets, follow us on Instagram (@GTVolleyball), Twitter (@GTVolleyball), Facebook (Georgia  Tech Volleyball) or visit us at www.ramblinwreck.com.

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