Oct. 26, 2001
Concluding a stretch of five road matches, the Georgia Tech volleyball team (13-5, 8-3 ACC) heads to the state of Florida this weekend. On Saturday, the Yellow Jackets face Florida A&M (19-1) at 2 p.m. followed by a Sunday afternoon meeting with Florida State (10-9, 6-4 ACC) at 1 p.m.
“Our primary focus is the Florida State match this weekend because it is a critical conference match for us,” said head coach Shelton Collier. “Having two matches this weekend is a good schedule for us because it allows us to play a good Florida A&M team and get ourselves ready to play an excellent Florida State team Sunday afternoon.”
The Yellow Jackets and Florida A&M have met nine times, with Tech holding the series’ advantage, 7-2. The two teams last met last season when the Yellow Jackets defeated the Rattlers in three games in 2000.
“Florida A&M is going to present a strong challenge to us,” said Collier. “They are a much improved team, most likely an NCAA team, and it will be a good challenge for us to have to play a good match on Saturday before we face Florida State.”
In their meeting in Atlanta this season, the Yellow Jackets defeated the Seminoles in three games. As a team, Tech hit .304, and were led by Lauren Sauer and Alexandra Preiss who each had 12 kills, while Kele Eveland dished out 44 assists.The Yellow Jackets played solid defense, recording 42 digs to Florida States’ 36 while holding the Seminoles to a .224 hitting percentage.
“At 6-4 in the league, Florida State is right behind us in the conference standings and although we do have a good home victory over them, in which I thought we played very well, we are going to have to play even better to win in Tallahassee,” said Collier.
“Teams typically play very well at home and not as well on the road in this conference and I’m sure the Florida State players will have a great deal of confidence and it is up to us to prove that we can play well on their court.”
Tech continues to be led this season by Maja Pachale, who leads the conference in kills per game (4.56) and leads the team in kills with 301. But Alexandra Preiss continues to put up some impressive numbers for the Jackets, including a career-high 25 kills in the match Tuesday night against Clemson. In the past month, Preiss has improved her hitting percentage from .239 to .301 and her blocking statistics have increased from 1.00 a game to 1.28
“Certainly we are looking to improve each week, and Alex’s improvement has been the biggest on our team this season,” said Collier. “She has become a dominant offensive force for us and that gives us confidence as we head into the matches this weekend.” “It’s going to take a solid team effort and the determination of playing well in our opponents’ gyms to make this weekend a success for us,” said Collier.