Oct. 27, 2006
ATLANTA – Callie Miller tied a career high with 18 kills while helping Georgia Tech (12-10, 4-8 ACC) hand No. 25 Duke (18-3, 11-1 ACC) its first Atlantic Coast Conference loss of the season, a five-game thriller (23-30, 30-27, 15-30, 30-28, 24-22) Friday night at O’Keefe Gymnasium.
“This is really the pinnacle of our conference season,” said Georgia Tech head coach Bond Shymansky, “defeating a top-25 team in front of our home crowd like we did tonight. The girls played inspired against a tough Duke team, putting up 80 digs on our “Dig for the Cure” night, helping raise over $5,000 to fight the cause of breast cancer.”
Down 2-1 after the first three games, the Yellow Jackets came back from a 14-3 deficit in game four to win, 30-28, and then battled for a 24-22 victory in an exciting game five to shock 25th-ranked Duke. The Yellow Jackets rode the arm of Lindsey Gray, as the junior recorded five of her 10 kills in the final game.
“Our defense really played well tonight, recording more digs and more blocks against one of the top teams in the nation,” said Shymansky. “I was proud of the team in pulling through game four. They showed drive, desire and passion in the comeback, and then carried it over to game five. Our serving and passing was strong throughout the match, and that led to confidence in our sideout opportunities.”
Miller hit a game-high .412 and also recorded six blocks for the Yellow Jackets, while Ulrike Stegemann and Talisa Kellogg added 14 kills apiece. Georgia Tech’s back row was anchored by senior libero Abby Showers, who recorded a career-high 26 digs, while junior Nikki Kaminskas led the Jackets’ blocking efforts, with seven in the match.
Gray and setter Allie Niekamp each posted their eighth double-doubles of the season, as Gray finished the match with 10 kills and 16 digs while hitting .308, and Niekamp recorded 59 assists and 13 digs while posting three blocks against the Blue Devils.
Duke was off to a hot start when the match began, winning the first seven points, and played even the rest of the first game, winning 30-23. Carrie DeMange led the Duke offense, which hit .349 in the game, with eight of her 22 kills, while the Tech offense, which hit .150, was led by Miller and Stegemann, who had three kills apiece.
Tech responded with a strong finish in the second game, winning 11 of the last 15 points after falling behind 23-19. The Yellow Jackets hit .387 while recording five total blocks in the game, winning 30-27.
The Yellow Jacket offense was quiet in game three, with Tech recording only eight kills while hitting .028, but responded after falling behind by 11 points in the fourth game to earn its 12th victory of the season.
Georgia Tech will return to action Saturday evening, hosting Wake Forest at 8 p.m. at O’Keefe Gymnasium. Live video for the match will be available on ACC Select (gatech.playonsports.tv) or fans may listen to the match on WREK-Radio (91.1 FM in Atlanta/www.wrek.org). Livestats are available at www.ramblinwreck.com.