Oct. 27, 2007
ATLANTA – Ulrike Stegemann hit .415 with 19 kills and Chrissy DeMichelis added a match-best 20 kills to help Georgia Tech hold off a North Carolina comeback to win, 3-2 (30-24, 30-21, 20-30, 25-30, 17-15), Saturday night at O’Keefe Gym.
North Carolina came back from a 0-2 deficit to win games three and four, 30-20 and 30-25, but the Jackets held off the Tar Heels in game five, 17-15, behind the play of Stegemann, who hit .800 with four kills on five attempts in the frame.
“Consistency continues to be a theme for our team,” head coach Bond Shymansky said. “We need to find the focus to put away our opponents when we’re up 2-0, but we’ll certainly take the five-game win. I wasn’t happy about being in the fifth game, but I was extremely pleased with the poise and concentration that we played with in the that final game.”
With the win in addition to Virginia’s 3-2 loss at Florida State Saturday night, the Yellow Jackets moved into a tie for third place in the ACC. The Jackets and Wahoos both stand at 9-4 in the conference standings behind Clemson (13-0) and Duke (13-1)
On a night when the Jackets honored Stegemann, one of three Georgia Tech seniors, prior to the match, the Schwerin, Germany native was virtually unstoppable, posting her fourth double-double of the year (19 kills, 10 digs) in addition to recording four total blocks, two assists and a service ace.
“Ulli put on another show tonight, and it was great that she could do it in front of her parents, who were visiting from Germany,” Shymansky added. “Our outside hitters also did a phenomenal job of terminating when we needed the big point.”
DeMichelis notched her third match of 20+ kills while recording a pair of block assists, and Talisa Kellogg added 16 kills and three digs on the night.
The Yellow Jackets middles – Callie Miller, Nikki Kaminskas and Erin Birmingham – combined for 18 kills and seven block assists on the night while Michelle Kandell was outstanding on the back row, leading Tech with 24 digs against the Tar Heels.
Junior setter Allie Niekamp recorded her fifth double-double of the year with 61 assists and 12 digs in addition to posting a match-best three service aces. She also had three kills and a block assist on the night.
North Carolina used an early 8-0 run in game one to take a 10-4 lead, but the Jackets fought back with seven unanswered points midway through the frame to take a two-point edge at 22-20. Tech then closed out the game with an 8-3 run, which was highlighted by three kills from DeMichelis, to win 30-24.
The Jackets hit a match-high .394 in game two, led by a .700 hitting clip from Stegemann, to take a 2-0 match lead with a 30-21 victory. Holding a four-point lead midway through the frame, Tech used a 5-0 run, which included three kills by DeMichelis and a pair from Stegemann, to take the nine-point lead and then held on for the victory.
The `Heels jumped on the Jackets early in game three with six unanswered points and posted five total blocks while holding Tech to an .098 hitting clip to win game three, 30-20. Bekah Brinkley and Lauren Prussing each had four kills in the frame, while Ashley Board notched a game-high seven digs against the Jackets.
UNC evened the match at 2-2 with a 30-25 win in game four. Prussing posted five kills and the Tar Heels rallied from an early 5-1 deficit to eventually tie the match at 13-13 before capitalizing on late errors by the Jackets to earn the win.
Prussing finished with 15 kills while Brinkley added 14 on the night.
The Jackets will have two days off before traveling up the road for a midweek match at Clemson Tuesday. The match will begin at 7 p.m. and will be aired on ACC Select (gatech.playonsports.tv) and WREK Radio (91.1 FM/www.wrek.org). Live stats will be available at RamblinWreck.com.