Michelle Collier reflects on Yellow Jackets' 18-win campaign
THE FLATS – With one of the youngest rosters in the Atlantic Coast Conference, Georgia Tech volleyball closed its fifth season under head coach Michelle Collier with an 18-15 record.
The Jackets finished above .500 for the 27th time in program history and for the third time in the Collier era. Kicking off the season with a 9-0 start, Tech saw its best start since 2003 when the Jackets started the season 23-0 on their way to a regular-season ACC title and an NCAA regional final.
Taking advantage of one of the best atmospheres in collegiate volleyball in O’Keefe Gymnasium, the White and Gold posted a 15-6 record at home this season, the most wins since 2002. The Jackets won all three of their non-conference tournaments in O’Keefe, taking the titles at the Hyatt Regency Invitational, Hyatt Regency Tournament and Georgia Tech Classic.
The Yellow Jackets returned to the postseason for the first time since 2009, hosting the first and second rounds of the NIVC. With a thrilling 3-2 comeback victory over South Florida in the opening round, Georgia Tech recorded its first postseason win since 2004.
With the youngest team in the conference – the Tech roster had 12 underclassmen on the 18-person roster – the Yellow Jackets took ACC wins over North Carolina, NC State, Clemson and Virginia. Two of the freshmen, outside hitters Mikaila Dowd and Mariana Brambilla earned all-conference recognition. Dowd was tabbed to the all-ACC second team and the all-freshman team. Brambilla joined her on the all-freshman squad. The tandem is the first freshman duo from Tech to be recognized by the conference since 2005, when Talisa Kellogg and Callie Miller were tabbed to the all-freshman team.