Dec. 13, 2003
With 11 kills, 52 assists and 12 digs, Kele Eveland recorded only the second triple-double in school history to lead the No. 11 Georgia Tech volleyball team to a 3-1 (30-25, 20-30, 30-24, 30-23) win over No. 8 California in the NCAA Regional Semifinal.
Georgia Tech (34-3) reaches the NCAA Elite Eight for the first time in school history, becoming the first team from the Atlantic Coast Conference to advance to a regional final. The Jackets, the No. 7 seed, will now No. 2 seed Hawaii Saturday night at 12 midnight ET with the winner advancing to the Final Four in Dallas, Texas. Hawaii swept Illinois to advance.
The Tech-Hawaii match can be heard on the internet at kkea1420am.com and will also be televised on a tape-delayed basis in the Atlanta area on Comcast Sports Southeast (CSS) on Sunday, Dec. 14 at 10 p.m. ET. Fans may visit ncaasports.com for more information regarding the ESPN Regional television coverage.
“What can I say except we are really excited,” said head coach Bond Shymansky, who is now 4-1 in NCAA Tournament competition. “I can’t say enough about how excited we are as a staff, as a program and for Georgia Tech. Our team is very proud of this accomplishment and what we have yet to accomplish, and we are excited for the opportunity to advance to the Final Four. I think regardless of tomorrow’s result, I will have a smile on my face until I get back to the Mainland. Tonight we came in knowing we had to contain Mia Jerkov, and at times we did that. Our blocking and defense tonight was huge and was the difference in the match. I thought that Kele did a phenomenal job of running our offense and did a great job off of transition tonight. In game two, our passing struggled, but I was very proud of the way we came right back out in game three and four and executed our offense.”
Tech’s defense was the difference in the match as the team recorded a season-high 16.5 blocks against California, while the Bears only had four. Alexandra Preiss led the way with 9 total blocks, while Eveland added seven and Jayme Gergen posted six. As a team, the Jackets had 76 digs in the match while the Bears recorded only 67. Marisa Aston recorded a match-high 24 digs while Lynnette Moster had 16, Jennifer Randall had 13 and Eveland posted 12.
Offensively, the Jackets had 69 kills and hit .295 while California (25-7) had 66 kills and hit .200. Lauren Sauer recorded a team-high 17 kills (.256) while Preiss posted 16 (.448) and Moster also added 16 (.256).
The Bears were led by Mia Jerkov who had 32 kills while Jillian Davis had a team-high 16 digs.
The Jackets jumped out to a 11-4 lead on kills from Preiss, Gergen and Eveland, stuff blocks from Preiss/Eveland and Sauer and Preiss, along with several Cal hitting errors. The Jackets played solid defense and blocked well, posting a total of seven blocks in the game and 23 digs. The Jackets led by as many as eight before the Bears made a run, scoring on five straight kills from Jerkov. With the score 24-22, Jerkov hit an attack out of bounds by nearly 10 feet, and Preiss and Eveland combined for another block to give Tech a 26-22 lead. Cal closed it to 25-26 on a kill from Abernathy, but after a kill from Moster and a solo block from Preiss, Tech took a 29-25 lead. Eveland finished off the game with a service ace to win, 30-25. In the game, the Jackets hit .205 and held the Bears to a .109 hitting percentage. Moster led the way with four kills and Aston led the defense with six digs. At the net, Preiss recorded five blocks while Gergen had three.
In the second game, the momentum swung to Cal’s side as they scored the first five points of the game on kills from Jerkov, Turner and a service ace from Powers. The Jackets closed the gap to 4-6, but it would be as close as Tech would get in the game as the Jackets’ offense was never able to find a rhythm. Tech fell behind by as many as 10 points on a reception error from Aston but the Jackets made a mini-run to narrow the score to 18-25, but it was as close as Tech would get as the game’s final point was scored on a kill from Brown. The Jackets were aced four times in the game, and hit only .234 while the Bears hit .324. Sauer and Preiss each recorded four kills in the game to lead Tech while Aston notched five digs in the game.
The Jackets regrouped in the third game and passed much better which allowed them to run their offense at an efficient level. Tech hit .310 in the game while the Bears hit only .216. Moster led the way with seven kills while Preiss added four. The Jackets built a 18-13 lead in the game on two stuff blocks from Preiss and Moster and Preiss and Eveland as well as a kill from Sauer. After a Cal timeout, Tech answered with three kills from Moster to build a 22-15 lead. It would be all the Jackets would need as Moster recorded the final point of the game on a two set off the block to give Tech the game, 30-24.
Tech continued to execute its offense in game four as the team built a 18-10 lead on four kills from Sauer and Preiss, a triple block from Sauer, Preiss and Eveland, and two kills from Moster. Cal fought back on three Jacket hitting errors and kills from Gabrielle Abernathy, Jerkov, Samantha Carter and Ashley Powers to cut Tech’s lead to 20-18. After a Yellow Jacket timeout, Sauer responed with a kill off the hands of Abernathy, and then a down-the-line shot from Moster and a three set from Preiss put Tech ahead 23-19. The Jackets then built a 27-21 lead on a kill from Preiss and Moster and a stuff-block from Kuhn and Gergen. After a Cal timeout, Sauer recorded her eighth kill of the game and Eveland and Gergen combined for a stuff block giving Tech a 29-22 lead. The final point of the match was scored on a kill from Eveland into the middle of the floor.