Sept. 8, 2017
THE FLATS — Georgia Tech volleyball (4-5) used a balanced attack and stingy defense to sweep North Florida (4-5), 25-23, 25-20, 25-11, in the second match of the Georgia Tech Invitational on Friday afternoon in O’Keefe Gymnasium.
Offensively, Gabriela Stavnetchei and Ashley Askin led all hitters with game-highs of 13 and 12 kills, respectively, while Sydney Wilson also finished with seven kills on a blistering, career-best .636 attack percentage.
Defensively, the Yellow Jackets brought the Wall south to Atlanta, combining for 12 blocks as a team. Kodie Comby finished with a game- and career-high six assisted blocks while five individual Jackets tallied solo blocks on the match.
Head coach Michelle Collier says:
“I think our outsides played really well and very consistent. They get a ton of attempts and it’s not always in the easiest situations — they had double blocks on them a lot of times — and I thought Ashley [Askin] played really smart and she was able to make some hard shots and some soft shots and the same with Gabby [Stavnetchei], tooling the block and being able to move the ball around well.
“I felt like our middles blocked really well. I thought Sydney played really well offensively, hitting .636 — I mean, that’s a huge match for her. But it was all good. It was good to see our growth throughout the match and as we got into it, understanding more what worked well for them and eliminating some of those options. And then I felt like we finished really putting pressure on them and making them really uncomfortable with our serve and our defense. Now, we’ll have to carry that over into tonight as we face a really good team in Kansas State.”
How it happened:
Georgia Tech volleyball jumped to an early 4-1 lead, as Askin was able to find the gaps in North Florida’s defense from the start, going on to have eight first-set kills.
The Ospreys fought back, however, pushing the game to a 6-6 tie and staying within three points the entire set. The Jackets were able to keep UNF at an arm’s length for most of the set, but North Florida strung together a 5-1 run to retake the lead late, 20-19. Two more kills from Askin and the final two from Cori Clifton would be all it would take for Tech to pull away and take the 1-0 lead.
The second set would see the opposite start for Tech as it found itself trailing North Florida 4-1 at the beginning. The Jackets weathered the storm, however, and finally found their time to strike, going on a 5-1 run to get within one thanks to two kills from Askin and just the third kill of the match by Stavnetchei.
This time it was the Ospreys trying to keep the Jackets at an arm’s length, not allowing Tech to take a lead until Stavnetchei caught fire, getting four-straight kills to give them a 19-18 lead.
Timely attacks from Grace Rigsbee and Wilson were all the White and Gold would need to finish set two on a 9-2 run to win 25-20.
Just two ties and one lead change awaited both teams in what had been a back-and-forth affair despite the 2-0 lead for Georgia Tech.
The Yellow Jackets could smell the finish line and kept the pedal down, combining for a 6-0 run before erupting for a 16-2 run to leap ahead 22-9 in the third. Six blocks in the final set also helped eliminate any rhythm from the UNF offense, keeping Tech in control to win the match.
The two undefeated teams in the Georgia Tech Invitational square off tonight when the Yellow Jackets take on Kansas State (4-4) at 8 p.m. in O’Keefe Gymnasium.
- Kodie Comby finished with a career-high six block assists (prev. five vs. Furman);
- Sydney Wilson set a new career-high attack percentage on her seven kills (.636)
- Freshman Nicole Alford finished with her second-highest assist total of her career with 17 — one shy of the new career-high she set on Thursday, Sept. 7;
- Ashley Askin finished two kills shy of a career record (12);
- The Yellow Jackets finished with multiple individuals with double-digit kill numbers for the second time this season (Gabriela Stavnetchei — 13, Ashley Askin — 12)
- For the fourth time this season, Tech finished with two players with double-digit assists (Nicole Alford — 17, Gabby Benda — 16)
- Tech improves to 4-2 in O’Keefe Gymnasium