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Tech Comeback Falls Short to Florida State, 3-2

Sept. 29, 2006

Box Score

ATLANTA – Makini Thompson paced Florida State (10-3, 4-0 ACC) with 18 kills to lead the Seminoles to a 3-2 victory Friday night at O’Keefe Gymnasium, halting a Georgia Tech (8-5, 0-3 ACC) comeback bid that began after the Yellow Jackets dropped the first two games of the match.

With the Yellow Jackets leading 7-4 in the fifth, Florida State went on a 10-1 run to take a commanding 14-8 lead in the final frame. After a kill by Chrissy DeMichelis pulled the Jackets to within 14-9, Jackie BonSalle finished off the long match with a kill off an assist by Zrinka Tomic.

“We knew that Florida State was a gritty team, and I think that we showed a lot of grit of our own tonight,” said Georgia Tech head coach Bond Shymansky. “We need to find a way to make sure that our team maintains a high level of focus for all five games.”

Ulrike Stegemann led the Jackets with a season-high 18 kills on the night, while Talisa Kellogg and DeMichelis added 15 and 11 kills, respectively.

“It is no surprise that Ulli and Talisa put up consistent numbers again tonight,” added Shymansky. “We just need to get good offensive output from every hitter in order to be successful in the ACC.”

Rookie middle hitter Erin Birmingham hit a match-high .462, recording eight kills on 13 attack attempts while recording a season-high nine blocks for the Jackets. Tech hit .270 on the night while Florida State, who stands fourth in the nation in hitting percentage, hit just .250.

Michelle Kandell paced the Jackets’ back line with a career-high 15 digs, while junior Lindsey Gray added 10 digs and a match-high four service aces for Tech.

The Yellow Jacket defense held a pair of the Seminoles’ top hitters, Jessica Skower and Sara Griffin, to an average of 4.2 kills per game between the two, after the pair averaged more than 5.47 kills per game-combined-entering the contest. The duo also hit just .117 on the night after hitting .336 through their first 12 games of the season. In their place, BonSalle and Brianna Barry picked up the Seminole offense, combining for 21 kills and a .421 hitting percentage.

Florida State won the first game 30-23, and then won five of the last six points of the second frame to take a 2-0 lead in the match. With Tech leading 29-27 in that game, Thompson had back-to-back kills to tie the game at 29-29 and then added another to make the score 30-30 after a kill by Talisa Kellogg handed the Jackets a one-point edge. Back-to-back blocks by Griffin and Skower then gave Florida State the 2-0 match lead with a 32-30 win in game two.

Tech jumped out to an early lead in game three and then used an 8-1 run to take a 20-9 edge before cruising to a 30-15 victory, and the Jackets received seven kills from Stegemann in the fourth frame to help tie the match at 2-2 with a 30-27 victory.

The Yellow Jackets will return to action Saturday night when they host the Miami Hurricanes at 7 p.m. at O’Keefe Gymnasium. Live video will be available at gatech.playonsports.tv and radio can be found at www.wrek.org and on WREK-Radio, 91.1 FM in Atlanta. Livestats for all Georgia Tech matches can be found at www.ramblinwreck.com.

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