ATHENS – In the opening contest of rivalry weekend, the Georgia Tech volleyball team (25-7) defeated the Georgia Bulldogs (15-15) in three games Friday night, 15-8, 15-9, 15-9. The match marks the second straight victory Tech has notched over the Bulldogs in the school’s rivalry.
“I think this match accomplished our goal of carrying some momentum into the NCAA Tournament next week and also our goal of winning the rivalry over Georgia,” said head coach Shelton Collier. “It was also very rewarding the see our offense play so well, particularly with some of our key offensive players and that should carry over into next week.”
Offensively the Jackets were led by Maja Pachale who tallied 17 kills, followed by Eida Mabry who had 13 and Teryl Townsend who notched 10. The Jackets outhit the Bulldogs .356 to .205 and outdug them 45 to 35. Freshman Kele Eveland tallied 46 assists and six digs.
Tech opened the match in fine form, scoring the first three points of the match on kills from Pachale and Bell. The Bulldogs then sidedout and put together two points on a kill from Stacy Buerger and a hitting error from Kele Eveland to make the score 3-2. With the score tied at five, Tech went on a run scoring three straight points behind the serve of Eveland, a kill from Eida Mabry and a block by Mabry and Bell to take the lead 8-5. Georgia then scored on a kill from Jessica Leverette, but then the Jackets scored four straight points on a kill from Mabry, a dig from Eveland, a Bulldog error and a Mabry and Bell block to increase their lead to 12-6. Georgia scored two points on a bad pass from Bell and an error from Alexandria Preiss but that would be all that they would score as Tech went on to score the final three points of the game to win 15-8, on kills from Preiss, Teryl Townsend, and a stuff block from Townsend and Pachale.
Game two started much the same way, with the Jackets jumping out to a 6-0 lead on solid defense which led to three Georgia errors, and kills from Preiss and Pachale. The Bulldogs got on the board with points on hitting errors from Geeske Banck and Townsend and a kill from Luresa Forsythe to make the score 7-3. Tech then scored on a Bulldog error, a kill from Townsend and an ace from Preiss to increase its lead to 11-5. Georgia chipped away at Tech’s lead by siding out consistently and scoring on errors from Mabry and Preiss to make the score 11-7. But, the Jackets came right back and scored on another ace from Preiss and a kill from Pachale to take control of the game, 13-7. Tech then scored the final two points of the game on an ace from Pachale and solid defense that led to a stuff block from Bell and Eveland.
The Bulldogs took a 3-0 lead in game three, but Tech came back to take a 9-6 lead and put the match out of reach. The Jackets increased their lead to 12-6 on kills from Bell and Banck followed by a Bulldog error. With the score 13-9, Mabry went back and recorded two service aces to take the game, 15-9.
Georgia Tech now awaits the announcement of the NCAA bracket to determine who its next opponent will be Sunday night at 8 p.m.