Sept. 11, 2010
ATHENS, Ga. – Sophomore Monique Mead had a career-high 26 kills as the Georgia Tech Volleyball team (5-4) erased a 2-1 deficit to come back and beat Georgia (7-3) in front of 2,276 fans at the Ramsey Center Saturday night. The win for the Yellow Jackets was their fifth straight against UGA and 12th in the last 13 matches.
“This was a great win for our program and our fans,” said head coach Tonya Johnson. “We knew this was going to be a battle to the end and I’m glad we came out on top. I was really proud of how we kept our composure when giving up that lead in the third set and then to come back like that says a lot about our character. I also want to thank all of our fans who drove over for the match and really made it loud. Now it’s time to get ready for another tough tournament next weekend at Clemson.”
Mead led the Yellow Jackets with her career-high 26 kills on .364 hitting. It was her third 20-plus kill match of the season. She also added 15 digs for her first double-double of the season. Senior Mary Ashley Tippins posted her career-high fifth double-double of the season as she had 60 assists and 20 digs. Senior Jordan McCullers had 22 digs and six assists as well for Georgia Tech.
Junior Bailey Hunter just missed tying her career-high as she had 19 kills on .372 hitting. Junior Asia Stawicka added 10 kills ad nine total blocks, while freshman Jennifer Percy had a career-best eight kills. The Yellow Jackets hit .299 as a team and had 16.0 total blocks.
The first set belonged to the Bulldogs as they won 25-21 to take the first advantage in the match. Georgia jumped out to an early 7-3 lead and the Yellow Jackets were never able to get the deficit under three. UGA led by as many as six points on a couple of occasions but Tech kept coming back to get within three points and stay within striking distance. UGA hit .325 in the first set compared to Tech’s .314 percentage. Hunter led the Jackets with six kills.
It was all Tech in the second set as a 7-1 run gave it a 12-5 lead and Georgia was never able to recover. The Bulldogs cut their deficit to four points at 15-11, but after a timeout Tech answered with a 10-3 spurt to run away with the set and even the match at one apiece. Mead led the Jackets with seven kills in the set as they hit .424 as a team.
Georgia Tech kept its momentum and scored the first five points of the third set to gain the early edge. Georgia tried to chip away, but was forced to use a timeout when the Yellow Jackets built up a six-point lead at 18-12. The Bulldogs responded and reeled off five straight points to get within a point at 18-17. Tech came back with two straight, but a quick 3-0 run by UGA tied the set for the first time at 20-all. That set off a wild flurry as both teams looked to take the edge in the match. The two teams combined for nine lead changes and eight ties before Georgia scored the final three points to win 30-28.
The fourth set was another wild back and forth one. UGA scored four straight points to break open a 12-12 tie and forced Tech into a timeout. The Jackets came back to eventually tie it up at 17 and the teams then spent the next several minutes trading blows. After matching Georgia point for point until it was tied at 22, the Yellow Jackets won the final three points to take the fourth set and send the match to a fifth and deciding set.
Georgia Tech scored four straight points in the fifth set to go up 9-5. Georgia battled back and would not go down without a fight but the Jackets did not give up the lead. Tech had match point at 14-12 and saw the Bulldogs get one point back, but Mead’s 26th kill of the night gave the win.
The Yellow Jackets will play in their final tournament of the regular season when they participate in next weekend’s Clemson Classic. Georgia Tech will face the host-Tigers in the ACC opener on Friday, Sept. 17 at 7 p.m. The following day, the Yellow Jackets will take on Florida A&M (10 a.m.) and Georgia State (4 p.m.) before returning home the next weekend to resume ACC play. Follow all of next weekend’s action with live stats at RamblinWreck.com.