THE FLATS – With a 3-0 win over Alabama State and a 3-2 victory over Wofford on Friday on day one of the Hyatt Regency Tournament, Georgia Tech volleyball (6-0) extended its unbeaten streak to six wins for the best start for the Yellow Jackets since 2003. The Jackets continue the tournament Friday at 12 p.m. and 7 p.m. at O’Keefe Gymnasium.
Georgia Tech 3, Alabama State 0
Tech took a two-point edge in the first set on a service ace from freshman Mariana Brambilla to lead 6-4. A kill from freshman Kayla Kaiser, making her collegiate debut, put Tech up 11-8. That kill sparked a 5-0 run from the Jackets with Kaiser at the service line to bring the score to 15-8. Tech kept rolling, pushing its lead to 19-9 on a kill from sophomore Kendall Wilson, inciting Alabama State to call its second timeout. The set already belonged to the White and Gold, and Tech took the first set at 25-11 on a kill from freshman Mikaila Dowd.
Alabama State bounced back to take an early lead in the second set but the Jackets kept it close, never trailing by more than three. Tech tied it at 7-7 on a kill from sophomore Cori Clifton. A 4-0 run by the Jackets with freshman Matti McKissock at the serving line, adding two aces, put Tech ahead at 11-7, and Alabama State used its first timeout. The Hornets came back within one but a kill from Clifton kept the Jackets ahead. Tech moved the tally to 19-13 on a kill from Wilson for the Jackets’ biggest lead of the set and Alabama State burned its second timeout. Keeping the Hornets at arm’s length, the White and Gold pocketed the set on an attack error at 25-16 to lead 2-0.
After tying at 5-5 early in the third, the Jackets took the lead off back-to-back kills from Brambilla, and at 7-5 the Hornets called a timeout. Tech kept rolling, pushing its lead to 9-5 on a ball handling error. The Jackets brought their lead to 17-11 with a 4-0 run sparked by a kill from Clifton, and Alabama State used its second timeout. There was no stopping the White and Gold and Tech won its 13th-straight set and secured its fourth-straight sweep at 25-17.
Georgia Tech 3, Wofford 2
Tech jumped out to an early lead in the first set. A 4-0 run sparked by a kill from Brambilla put Tech up 6-2 after back-to-back blocks. Wofford called its first timeout to slow the Jackets but Tech kept rolling, taking the next point on a kill from senior Lauren Frerking. The Jackets extended their run to 10-0 on back-to-back aces from Brambilla to move the score to 12-2. The Terriers broke their scoring drought but didn’t get far and the Jackets stormed their way to an easy 25-10 victory to take the first set.
The second set was a closer affair. Tech took a small lead but the Terriers kept it close. Frerking landed back-to-back service aces to push the White and Gold to a 10-6 lead. Wofford took three in a row to bring the tally back within one at 10-9 but a block off the hands of junior Kodie Comby and Dowd kept the Jackets’ lead intact. The Terriers knotted the set at 11-11 and the teams went back and forth to a tie at 15-15. Wofford snuck ahead by two at 17-15 and the Jackets used their first timeout. The Yellow Jackets responded coming out of the timeout, taking three in a row to regain the lead at 18-17. Wofford tied the score before taking a two-point edge but the Jackets knotted it back up at 21-21 and Wofford called a timeout. The Terriers took two coming out of the timeout and Tech used its second timeout, trailing 23-21. The Jackets took the next point on a kill from Comby but it wasn’t enough and the Terriers tied the match with a 25-23 win of the second set.
The Terriers carried the momentum into the third, taking four in a row to a 7-4 lead. A kill from Dowd ended Wofford’s scoring run and a service ace from McKissock tied it at 7-7. Wofford made another run to lead at 11-8 and Tech called its first timeout of the set. The Jackets fought back to tie it at 15-15, taking the lead at 16-15 on a kill from Comby. Trading points to a tie at 21-21, an attack error gave Tech the advantage causing Wofford to call a timeout. The Terriers tied it right back up but a kill from Dowd gave the Jackets set point at 24-23 and a kill from Comby sealed the set at 25-23 for the Jackets, giving Tech the 2-1 lead.
Wofford came back to take the first nine points in the fourth set. The Jackets managed to get three points on the board to make it 9-3. The Terriers put up two more to make it 11-3 and the Jackets used their second timeout of the set. Tech fought back but the set remained out of reach and Wofford took it at 25-13 to force a fifth.
The Jackets made their way to a 6-4 lead in the fifth with a huge solo block from Frerking. Wofford brought it back within one but a service error paired with a block from Wilson and Frerking kept Tech up at 8-5. A kill from Wilson followed by an attack error by the Terriers moved Tech’s lead to 10-6, causing Wofford to use its first timeout. Tech kept at it and Wofford used up its second timeout with the Jackets up 12-6. The Terriers made a 5-0 run to bring the score to 13-10. Dowd gave Tech set point with a kill and Comby sealed the match with a kill at 15-10 to give Tech the win.
GT vs. Alabama State Tech tidbits:
- Freshman Kayla Kaiser made her collegiate debut against the Hornets.
- Freshman Breland Morrissette tallied her first career kill.
- The Jackets hit at a season-high clip of .364 and held Alabama State to a .000 hitting percentage.
- Tech out-blocked the Hornets 7-2.
- Tech’s four-straight sweeps are the most since 2015.
GT vs. Wofford Tech tidbits:
- It was the first five-set match for the Jackets in the 2018 season.
- It marks the best start for Georgia Tech since 2003 when the Jackets started the season 23-0.
- Mariana Brambilla had her fourth double-double of the season with 18 kills and 15 digs.
- Brambilla’s 18 kills are a career high for the freshman.
- Junior setter Lexi Dorn also recorded a double-double with 24 assists and 13 digs.