Sept. 3, 2011
HOUSTON – Junior Monique Mead had her third straight double-double with 21 kills and 14 digs to pace three double-figure scorers but the Georgia Tech Volleyball team (4-2) fell to Rice (3-2), 3-2 (25-21, 23-25, 25-19, 15-25, 11-15) Saturday night at the Rice Invitational.
Mead had her 21 kills on .136 hitting to go along with her 14 digs, two service aces and five total blocks. Sophomore Jennifer Percy had a season-high 13 kills while junior Alexis Woodson tied a career-high with 10 and also added six total blocks. Freshman Courtney Felinski added nine kills and senior Asia Stawicka added eight with six total blocks.
The first set was a wild one that saw five ties but the Jackets never trailed. Tied at 13 apiece, Tech reeled off four straight points to go up 17-13. Rice answered with three points in a row but never got closer than that the rest of the way as Georgia Tech went on to win 25-21. The Jackets hit .297 and were led by Mead who had six kills. Stawicka and Percy added three apiece.
The second set was also similar as it featured 13 ties and two lead changes. Rice led by four early but Tech came back and the teams traded several points. The Jackets took their first lead of the set at 17-16 and looked like they were going to pull away late again by building the edge up to three points at 20-17. After a timeout, Rice came back and scored three quick ones to tie it up at 20. It was 23-all when the Owls scored the final two points to take the set 25-23 and even the match at one. Felinski led the Jackets with five kills and hit .833 in the second stanza. Rice hit .419 to help in evening the match.
In the third set, the Yellow Jackets used a 6-0 run to overcome an early deficit and never looked back en route to a 25-19 win. The Jackets led 23-12 before a late surge by Rice made things interesting. With the Owls having won seven of eight points, an emphatic finish by Mead put the set away and gave Tech a 2-1 lead for the match. Percy led Tech with six kills as it hit .186 but used seven blocks to control play.
Rice took a 5-1 lead in the fourth set and cruised to a 25-15 win forcing a fifth and deciding set. The Owls led by as many as 10 points and Tech never mustered a run to get back in it.
Rice broke open a 6-6 tie in the fifth set with a 6-1 run and went on to win the fifth set 15-11 to take the match. The Yellow Jackets, down 14-9, scored two in a row and forced Rice to call timeout but the Owls were able to put the match away.
The Yellow Jackets now return home to host the Regency Suites Invitational next weekend at O’Keefe Gym. Tech will face Georgia on Friday, Sept. 9 at 7 p.m. and then Mercer (12:30 p.m.) and Samford (7 p.m.) the next day. Live video and audio for all Yellow Jacket home matches are available through Georgia Tech All-Access and WREK, 91.1 FM in Atlanta.