Sept. 12, 2008
OXFORD, Miss. – Talisa Kellogg led Georgia Tech (5-2) with a match-high 16 kills, but SMU (4-4) held off a late Yellow Jacket rally for a 3-2 (25-21, 27-25, 15-20, 20-25, 15-12) win in the opening match of the 2008 Magnolia Invitational at the Gillom Sports Center on the campus of the University of Mississippi. The loss was the Yellow Jackets’ second of the season, with both coming in five sets.
Tech had to win the third and fourth sets just to force the fifth frame, but SMU capitalized on Tech’s miscues in the final set to win its fourth match of the season. The two teams traded the first seven points before a trio of attacking errors gave the Mustangs a 7-3 edge. Tech battled back to tie the set at 9-9, but SMU went on a 4-0 run to take a 13-9 lead and then held on for the victory.
The Yellow Jackets will continue tournament play this evening when they take on the host Rebels of Mississippi at 7 p.m. CT. Live stats for the match can be found at www.olemisssports.com or by visiting www.ramblinwreck.com following the start of the match.
Kellogg led a quartet of Yellow Jackets with double figures in kills, as Alison Campbell notched 11 and Callie Miller and Brittany Roderick added 10 apiece. The Jackets hit .331 has a team, and out-matched the Mustangs in every category except the score.
Michelle Kandell posted her second-straight 20-dig match, recording a season-high 21 against the Mustangs, while Miller led Tech’s net defense with six block assists on the morning.
Despite posting a .344 hitting percentage, including a perfect 5-for-5 attack conversion for Chrissy DeMichelis, the Yellow Jackets fell to the Mustangs in the opening set, 25-21. Trailing by three, the Mustangs used a 5-0 run to take a one-point lead at 12-11 and later added a 6-1 run to put the set away. SMU finished the frame hitting at a .394 clip with 16 kills and only three errors on 33 attempts.
The Mustangs ended the second set on a 4-1 run to win, 27-25. The Jackets battled back from a four-point deficit to take a 21-20 lead and even had set point at 24-23, but back-to-back service errors opened the door for the Mustangs. SMU finished off the set with a pair of kills from Kathryn Wilkerson to take a 2-0 lead in the match.
After allowing the Mustangs to hit .439 through the first two frames, Tech’s defense shut down SMU in the third set with three blocks and 11 digs. The Mustangs finished with just eight kills and committed eight attacking errors (.000) while the Jackets hit a match-best .435 with 12 kills and only two errors on 23 swings. Tech opened the frame on a 6-1 run and later used a 9-1 run to notch their first set win of the tournament, 25-15.
Georgia Tech evened the match at 2-2 with a 25-20 win in set four. Following a questioned call by the lead official that gave the Mustangs a three-point lead at 10-7, Georgia Tech used a 9-1 run to take back the set and then held off SMU for the five-point win. The Mustangs rallied late in the frame to pull within two points at 21-19, but Tech won four of the next five points, three off kills from Kellogg, to send the match to a fifth set.