Nov. 1, 2001
After a five game road stretch which saw the Yellow Jackets post a 3-2 record, the Georgia Tech volleyball team (14-6, 8-4 ACC) returns to the cozy confines of O’Keefe Gymnasium to take on North Carolina (18-5, 10-2) and NC State (6-12, 1-11) this weekend.
“This is a huge weekend for Atlantic Coast Conference volleyball, both her e at Georgia Tech and around the league in other matches,” said head coach Shelton Collier.
On Friday at 7 p.m. the Yellow Jackets will host the Tar Heels, who are atop the conference standings. The two teams met earlier this season in Chapel Hill, with the Tar Heels winning easily in three games. In that match, Amanda Hess led the Yellow Jackets with 11 kills, followed by Lynnette Moster who had 10 digs.
“Our match against North Carolina is very important,” said Collier. “With a win, we keep our hopes alive of getting a share of the conference title, and it is an important match for us in terms of NCAA Tournament selection.”
“For us to beat North Carolina, it will take a great effort,” said Collier. “In our first meeting, North Carolina was simply hungrier and better prepared than Georgia Tech, and we hope to reverse this for Friday’s match.”
Saturday night at 7 p.m., Tech will entertain the Wolfpack. In their previous meeting, the Jackets defeated NC State in Raleigh, NC, in four games. Kyleen Bell led Tech with 16 kills, along with Maja Pachale who had 15. The match carries special significance, as the Jackets will be honoring seniors Bell, Pachale, and Dori Pap.
“NC State has certainly struggled this year, and I believe that the extra motivation for us playing them on our “senior night” will help our level of play,” said Collier. “Obviously playing a lesser opponent after our North Carolina match would normally be a cause for concern in terms of motivation. I like the fact that it will be our senior night.”
Entering the weekend, senior outside hitter Pachale needs just 38 kills to surpass the career kill record of 1,749 held by former outside hitter Cris Omiecinski (1992-95). Pachale leads the Jackets with 337 kills, and is currently second in the league in kills per game (4.49). Alexandra Preiss continues to improve upon her play this season. She is now ranked in the conference in hitting percentage (.312) and also blocks per game (1.26).
“We should have a sold out event in O’Keefe Gym for North Carolina which will make it a great atmosphere for a great match and a great crowd for our seniors on Saturday,” said Collier. “I expect us to rise to the occasion and play well each night.”