ATLANTA (September 27) – After garnering its first conference win of the season last week over NC State (5-8, 0-2), the Georgia Tech (10-4, 1-1) volleyball team returns home to host two matches this weekend. The Jackets will entertain Virginia (6-7, 2-1) at 7 p.m. on Friday., followed by a contest with Maryland (9-5, 1-2) at 7 p.m. on Saturday.
“Although we split our matches last weekend,” said head coach Shelton Collier, “there were several things with which I was pleased. For one, I was encouraged that we went up 2-0 on a good North Carolina team on their home court. It shows that we can play at a high level in an opponents’ gym, and that will be important if we are going to be a factor in the conference race. And, after losing a five-game match to Carolina, I was happy that we were able to bounce back the following night and play a strong match against NC State. Finally, we had several players raise their level of play over the weekend with strong performances, and that was enouraging to see.”
Although Collier sees conference road wins as important, he has stressed conference home matches as equally important.
“I believe that for Georgia Tech to win the league this season, it is imperative that we win our conference matches at home,” said Collier.
The Jackets face the Cavaliers on Friday in a match that will be televised on a tape-delayed basis on Fox Sports Net South on October 6th at 7:30 p.m. The two teams split the series last season, which each team winning on its home court.
“Virginia was an NCAA team last season and had one of the best recruiting classes in the country,” said Collier. “I am sure that they will be a strong team again this season and our match will be competitive.”
Saturday night, the Terrapins will come to O’Keefe and take on the Jackets. Tech and Maryland split their matches last season, which each team winning at home.
“Maryland is a much improved team from last season,” said Collier. “They are always a tough match for us, and I expect the same this season.”
The Jackets top player this season has been Kyleen Bell (Rocklin, Calif.) who leads the team in kills (194) and blocks per game (1.06) and is fourth on the team in digs (90). Tech has benefitted from the rise of Eida Mabry (Divjake, Albania) who over the weekend tallied 36 kills, including a season-high 22, and a career-high eight block assists against NC State. The offense continues to be run by Kele Eveland (Grand Rapids, Mich.) who leads the conference in set assists per game (12.60).
“I have been pleased with the play of several of our players this season. Our team defense is still a concern of mine, and we will work on that this week in practice and take the improvements we make into this weekend,” said Collier.
“Our players are excited about playing at home with conference matches this weekend and we look to be playing high-level volleyball in front of our fans.”