Volleyball Kicks Off Conference Play At Courtyard Classic

Sept. 12, 2012

Friday Gametracker | Watch  | ListenTournament Notes

THE FLATS –
The Georgia Tech volleyball team welcomes ACC Conference rival Clemson and cross-town opponent Georgia State to O’Keefe Gym this weekend for the Courtyard Classic. The Yellow Jackets meet the Tigers in their first league action of the season on Friday at 7 p.m., followed by a Sunday contest against the Panthers beginning at 1 p.m.

Clemson and Georgia State will open the tournament on Thursday with a match at 7 p.m.

Live Coverage
All the matches will be available on Gametracker via www.RamblinWreck.com. All-Access subscribers can watch the Georgia Tech matches live by clicking the link above. Fans can listen to the Tech games on WREK 91.1 FM in Atlanta. Veteran Kurt Hoyt will be on the call joined by former Yellow Jacket Brittany Roderick.

Georgia Tech (7-2)
Georgia Tech went 2-1 this past weekend, sweeping Louisiana and Jacksonville before falling to No. 15 Florida in four sets at the Florida Active Ankle Challenge. Monique Mead and Bailey Hunter were named to the All-Tournament team as the pair combined for half of Tech’s total points on the weekend and tallied more than 30 kills apiece at the tourney.

As a team, Tech is ranked 16th in the nation with a .289 hitting percentage. A large part of that is thanks to Mead and Hunter. Mead is third in the ACC with 3.79 kills per game and 37th in the country with 4.77 points per set. Hunter is sixth in the ACC, averaging 3.64 kills per set.

Not to be left out of the equation are three Yellow Jackets hitting over .300 (min. 10 kills) in Annie Czarnecki (.443; 45a-6e-88ta), Quinn Evans (.345; 53-15-110) and Kaleigh Colson (.329; 34-11-70).

Although Tech is out-digging the competition 11.97 digs per set to 9.79, the Yellow Jackets are 12th in the ACC in that category. The squad will need to step up defensively to hold off the Clemson attacking force.

Clemson (8-2)
The Tigers got off to a perfect 6-0 start in 2012, including five sweeps, before suffering their first loss at Furman. Clemson was the runner up at the Carolina Clash this past weekend, going 2-1 in the tournament with wins over Winthrop and UAB, and a loss to host South Carolina.

Offensive powerhouses Moneshia Simmons and Sandra Adeleye were named to the All-Tournament team. Simmons leads the ACC with a 3.84 kills per set average.

As a team, the tigers are No. 4 in the nation averaging 1.97 service aces per set. Kristin Faust leads the team and the ACC with 17 services aces and a 0.53 per set average.

Natalie Patzin leads the Tiger back line with 4.56 digs per set, good for third in the league. Clemson is also third in the ACC in team digs with a 16.12 digs per set average.

Clemson owns the all-time series against Georgia Tech, 31-23.

Georgia State (2-8)
The panthers are off to a rocky start in 2012, dropping eight of their first 10 games including five sweeps. A bright spot for Georgia State is Emily Averbeck, who has 193 digs and an impressive 5.51 digs per set average – good for 14th in the nation.

Leading the Panthers on offense is Jamiee Freeman with 82 kills and a 2.14 kills per set average. Eliza Zachary is also a key player with nine solo blocks and 32 blocks assists for a team-best 1.17 blocks per set average.

Tech is 34-3 all-time against Georgia State. The Yellow Jackets swept the Panthers during the two teams’ last meeting on Sept. 18, 2010 at the Clemson Classic.

Acing the Competition
It will be a battle of the serve when Tech takes on the Tigers. The Yellow Jackets rank third nationally as a team and lead the ACC with a 2.06 service ace per game average. Junior setter Kaleigh Colson is No. 27 in the nation with a team-high 17 aces and an average of 0.52 per game.

Three Yellow Jackets join Colson on the ACC’s top 10 list for service aces/set this season, including Monique Mead (3rd; 0.45), Susan Carlson (7th; 0.39) and Bailey Hunter (8th; 0.36).

Conference Openers
–          Tech is 11-18 in all-time conference openers, dating back to its first year in the ACC.
–          The Yellow Jackets are an even 3-3 against Clemson in conference openers.
–          Head coach Tonya Johnson is 1-2 in conference openers at Tech.
–          Tech has opened the last four conference slates against the Tigers, going 2-2.
–          Johnson’s all-time record (while at Tech) against Clemson is 3-3.

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