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Tech Volleyball Hosts Duke, Wake Forest This Weekend

Oct. 26, 2006

ATLANTA – The Georgia Tech volleyball team will return to Atlanta for a pair of Atlantic Coast Conference matches against 25th-ranked Duke (18-2, 11-0 ACC) and Wake Forest (11-9, 7-4) this weekend at O’Keefe Gymnasium. The Yellow Jackets (11-10, 3-8 ACC) have won three of their last five matches, including a 3-0 victory at Virginia Tech this past weekend.

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“We are excited to be hosting nationally-ranked Duke and Wake Forest this weekend as we begin the second round of ACC play,” said Georgia Tech head coach Bond Shymansky. “After a hard-fought match against Duke at the beginning of conference play, we are looking forward to the opportunity to take them on in front of our home crowd. And then Saturday, we will have the opportunity to welcome back all of our volleyball alumni as we take on Wake Forest at 8 p.m. It will be a great time to honor all of our past players’ hard work and accomplishments.”

Tech and Duke will square off Friday at 7 p.m. in the Yellow Jackets’ Dig for the Cure match, with Georgia Tech raising money for the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation. (For more information, click Dig for the Cure Story)

“An estimated 215,000 women will be diagnosed with breast cancer this year, and more children, husbands, families and friends will be affected by this disease each day,” said Bond Shymansky. “Our goal for Dig for the Cure is to elevate awareness in the hopes of detecting breast cancer in the early stages and to assist in raising money for research in finding the cure.”

The Yellow Jackets and Demon Deacons will square off at 8 p.m. Saturday night, following the conclusion of the Georgia Tech-Miami football game, which begins at 3:30 p.m. As part of the Dig for the Cure Weekend, Mizuno has donated a pair of MX-900 irons and golf bag to auction off, with all proceeds going to the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation. The raffle will take place between games two and three of Saturday evening’s volleyball match. (For more information, click Mizuno Gives Tech Boost in Dig for the Cure Campaign).

The Jackets and Blue Devils will be meeting for the 49th time in history Friday night, with Duke holding the 31-17 edge in the series, which dates back to 1980. The two teams have split the 18 matches played in Atlanta, 9-9, but Tech holds the edge in matches played under Shymansky, 6-4. Earlier this season, Duke stopped Georgia Tech, 3-1, in Durham.

Tech and Wake Forest will be meeting for the 28th time in history, with the Yellow Jackets holding the 19-8 lead in the series. Tech is 8-2 against the Deacs under Shymansky, and has won seven-straight home matches against Wake Forest, dating back to 1999. Wake Forest stopped Georgia Tech, 3-0, earlier this season.

The Jackets stand second in the conference in hitting percentage (.270) and are led by middle hitters Ulrike Stegemann (.327) and Erin Birmingham (.318) while sophomore Talisa Kellogg is pacing the Jackets with 3.53 kills per game. Sophomore setter Allie Niekamp is fourth in the ACC in assists per game (11.66) and also ranks eighth with 0.38 service aces per game, which is five spots behind junior Lindsey Gray, who stands third (0.48 SApg). The Yellow Jacket defense is anchored by senior libero Abby Showers, who stands eighth in the league with 3.88 digs per game, while middle hitters Birmingham and Nikki Kaminskas are both averaging over 1.00 blocks per game.

Both matches can be heard on WREK Radio, 91.1 FM in Atlanta and online at www.wrek.org, and livestats can be found at www.ramblinwreck.com. Live video for Saturday’s match can be found on ACC Select (gatech.playonsports.tv).

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