GAINESVILLE, Fla. – The Georgia Tech volleyball team (7-2) fell to No. 15 Florida (6-2) in four sets (25-22, 15-25, 21-25, 22-25) in the final match of the Active Ankle Challenge Saturday night at the Steven C. O’Connell Center in Gainesville, Fla.
Seniors Monique Mead and Bailey Hunter were named to the All-Tournament team. Mead averaged 3.70 kills per set and hit at a .275 clip throughout the tournament, while Hunter averaged 3.20 kills per game and a .244 hitting percentage.
Ziva Recek led the Gators with 23 kills in the match and was named MVP of the tournament.
Tech trailed, 4-2, early in the first set. The Yellow Jackets rallied and went on a 6-0 run to take the lead, 8-4, behind the serve of Monique Mead and key blocks by Quinn Evans and Kaleigh Colson. In the rally, Tech blocked a dump by Florida setter Taylor Brauneis to tie the game, and a tip by Colson gave Tech the lead. Mead served the next point and the ball never made it to the Jackets’ side of the court as Evans and Colson put up three consecutive blocks to give Tech a two-point cushion and the lead for the rest of the set.
The Gators tied the match 1-1, after winning the second set behind offensive powerhouse Recek, who hit 7-for-10 with one error (.600). Tech was held to just 15 points, the lowest for the Yellow Jackets all season.
The third set was full of ups and downs as the score was knotted eight times and the lead was traded four times. The Gators’ balanced offensive attack was too much as four players hit .500 or above in the stanza.
The Gators used the momentum from the second and third games to win the fourth and final set. Florida took a 9-6 lead and Tech eventually pulled within one point, 13-12, to force a Gator timeout. Florida then went on a 7-2 run to take the lead 20-14. A four-point Tech rally put the Jackets with in three, but the Gators prevailed and ended the match on a kill by Recek.
The Yellow Jackets are back in action on Friday, Sept. 14 when they open conference play against Clemson as part of the Georgia Tech Courtyard Classic. Game time is set for 7 p.m. at O’Keefe Gym.