Sept. 3, 2009
ATLANTA – The Georgia Tech Volleyball team (3-0) hits the road for the first time this season as it travels up to Murfreesboro, Tenn., for the Middle Tennessee Blue Raider Bash. The Yellow Jackets will face Middle Tennessee State on Friday at 8 p.m. ET and then Ohio (3 p.m.) and Northern Illinois (8 p.m.) on Saturday.
“We had a good week of practice and everyone is ready for our first road trip,” head coach Tonya Johnson said. “These are three outstanding teams we will be facing this weekend and everyone is looking forward to some great matches. I was very pleased with how we played last weekend. We have stressed to our team all week that the level of competition is going to be tough and that we will have to be ready to compete both mentally and physically throughout the entire weekend.”
Georgia Tech opened up the 2009 campaign by winning the Regency Suites Invitational at O’Keefe Gym last weekend. Tech beat Georgia, 3-2, in the season opener and then swept Austin Peay and Mercer to close out the weekend. The match vs. UGA was the fourth straight win for Tech against its arch-rivals and 11th out of the last 12 meetings. It was also played before a capacity crowd of 2,000 fans, the third sell-out in the history of the program and gave Johnson her first career win.
Freshman Monique Mead was named ACC Player of the Week for her opening weekend efforts. The MVP of the Regency Suites Invitational led Tech with 37 kills and 30 digs on the weekend. She recorded double-doubles in each of her first two career matches against UGA and Austin Peay, while posting double-figures in digs for all three matches.
Both Ohio and Middle Tennessee State are receiving votes in this week’s AVCA top 25 poll. The Blue Raiders are 3-0 on the young season and coming off a win in their home tournament last weekend. Mead’s older sister, Ashley, is a senior on the Blue Raiders. She began the year with 33 kills, a .324 hitting percentage and seven digs.
Ohio (3-0) won the InnTowner Invitational last weekend and one of the wins for the Bobcats came against ACC preseason favorite Duke. Northern Illinois, meanwhile, comes in with a record of 4-1.
Georgia Tech is 2-0 all-time vs. Middle Tennessee State with the last win coming in 2004. The Yellow Jackets have never faced Ohio or Northen Illinois before.
Sophomore Asia Stawicka leads the ACC currently with a .618 hitting percentage, while Mead is fifth in kills (3.36/set). Junior Mary Ashley Tippins is second in the league with 0.64 service aces a set, as well as third in assists (10.18/set). Stawicka is also third in blocks (1.36/set). As a team, Tech leads the league hitting .315 and is fifth in opponent hitting percentage (.161). The Yellow Jackets are also tied for second in assists (12.27), second in kills (13.55), fifth in blocks (2.45), second in service aces (1.82) and ninth in digs (11.91).
Check back to ramblinwreck.com throughout the weekend for match recaps and updated stats. Live stats and audio will be available for Friday night’s match vs. Middle Tennessee State and those links can be found as ramblinwreck.com as well.