Sept. 19, 2003
Lauren Sauer recorded a career-high 30 kills in front of a over-capacity crowd of 1,411 as the No. 5 Georgia Tech volleyball team fought back from an 0-2 deficit to defeat No. 24 Wisconsin, 3-2 (24-30, 31-33, 30-26, 30-27, 15-10) in their first match in the Georgia Tech Invitational on Friday. With the win, the Yellow Jackets improve to 9-0 while the Badgers fall to 6-3. The win marked the fourth consecutive nationally-ranked opponent that Tech has defeated in the last week.
“First, I thought our fans were outstanding tonight. This is the first time since I’ve been a head coach where we literally had a line out the door until the middle of the first game. Even in game five, we had fans sitting on the floor and in the stairwell cheering us along and for our players, that means a lot. Secondly, Wisconsin gave us every thing that they had tonight and in many ways I thought outplayed us,” said head coach Bond Shymansky who is now 7-4 in matches against ranked teams. “You look at statistics, and really the only statistic that we won was in serving. Their offense was extremely hard for us to contain and at times it just felt like they were digging everything that we hit their way. But, I give our team a lot of credit for being down like that and just fighting back and finding a way to win. Lauren Sauer was obviously our go-to player tonight and at times her kills were crucial to our team. We scrambled on several plays tonight defensively to just stay in points and many times won those points, and that can be a huge swing of momentum. We are happy to have survived tonight and look forward to having a chance to improve on our play in our matches tomorrow.”
Wisconsin opened the match on fire, outhitting the Jackets in the first game .488 to .205 and recording 23 kills in the game while holding Tech to 15. In the game, Sheila Shaw notched seven kills while Marian Weidner had six.
In the second game, Tech gave their best to tie the score, but fell short, 31-33. The game was close throughout with 14 ties, but with the score 31-31, Shaw recorded one of her five kills in the game giving the Badgers a 32-31 lead. A hitting error by Moster then gave the Badgers the game, 33-31. Again Wisconsin’s offense was virtually unstoppable, recording a .311 hitting percentage while holding Tech to .204.
Tech opened game three with two straight kills from Sauer giving them an early 2-0 lead. But, the Badgers got back into the game on two Tech hitting errors and took a 10-8 lead. Tech’s offense began to click as Preiss recorded six kills and Sauer five while hitting .333 as a team. The Jackets took the final point of the game on a stuff block from Preiss and Moster.
In game four, Sauer was virtually unstoppable, recording eight kills on 12 swings and posting only 1 hitting error. Preiss followed with six kills of her own, including the final point of the game on a three set that she pounded into the middle of the floor.
Wisconsin took an early lead in the fifth game on two kills from Aubrey Meierotto and led 5-2. Preiss recorded a kill to make the score 3-5 and the Jackets scored on a hitting error by Bladlow to pull within 4-5. With the score knotted at 9-9, Sauer recorded two kills, Gergen and Kuhn posted a stuff block and Moster a service ace giving the Jackets a commanding 13-9 lead. At 10-13, Weidner recorded a service error and Sauer tallied the match’s final kill off the hands, giving Tech the game, 15-10.
In the match, Preiss had 20 kills (.385) followed by Moster who had 13. Aston led the team in digs with 21, followed by Eveland who had 15 and Jennifer Randall who had 11. Eveland notched 64 assists in the match along with a match-high 3 service aces.
The Yellow Jackets will return to action Saturday when they face Western Carolina at 10 a.m. and South Florida at 5 p.m. in O’Keefe Gymnasium in the final matches of the Georgia Tech Invitational.