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Yellow Jackets Tackle Tigers in Exhibition

THE FLATS — No. 20 Georgia Tech volleyball cruised by Auburn (RV) for a 4-1 victory over its first opponent of the season in an exhibition match on Saturday in O’Keefe Gymnasium. The Yellow Jackets swept the match to secure the triumph, 3-0, before splitting the two extra sets.

The Yellow Jackets were dominant from the service line through three sets, sniping 11 aces in contrast to just two for the Tigers. Tech also held a stark, three-set advantage in kills, 38-28.

Senior outside hitter Tamara Otene was the primary finisher for the White and Gold as she led the squad with 14 kills along with six digs in three sets. Fellow pin hitter Bianca Bertolino put in a solid day of work all around, leading the unit defensively with 16 digs on top of seven kills to clinch the win. New addition DeAndra Pierce was another defensive anchor, tallying four blocks through three sets. Senior Bella D’Amico and freshman Heloise Soares split time running the point as the upperclassman tallied 18 assists while the newcomer added 12 assists up to the clinch, respectively.

How it Happened

Georgia Tech burst out of the gate for five straight points to open the match. The Tigers attempted to claw back, but the Yellow Jackets never surrendered the lead as three straight kills from freshman outside hitter Larissa Mendes fueled a four-point run to put the set out of reach, 21-12. Tech rolled on to an eventual 25-18 triumph in the first set.

Auburn roared back in the second set, winning the first eight points. The White and Gold wasted no time climbing back, using a five-point stretch to cut the lead to 9-7. The two sides continued to battle as the Tigers clung to their lead until a three-point burst gave the Jackets their first advantage of the set, 16-14. Georgia Tech then managed to stay in front until Auburn knotted the tally at 21 all, setting up six tie score lines and four lead changes before a Bertolino kill clinched the second set for the White and Gold, 29-27.

The theme of early runs continued into the third set as the Yellow Jackets strung together six straight, including a pair of Soares aces, to move up to an 8-3 lead. A flurry of five soon after further bolstered Tech’s stronghold for a 14-6 advantage. Auburn would draw as close as within three to trail 16-13, but an eight-point blitz by the White and Gold secured the set, priming a 25-14 third set win with a final point soon after.

With the sweep secured in favor of the Yellow Jackets, the two sides played a pair of extra sets. Georgia Tech came out on top in the fourth, 25-19, before Auburn managed to pick up a set on the way out, 16-14.

Up Next

Georgia Tech will open the regular season with three straight road trips, beginning with the Road 2 Tampa Bay Invitational as the White and Gold square off against host South Florida (Aug. 25) and No. 8 Penn State (Aug. 26).

The Jackets will later make their official home debut, hosting the Georgia Tech Classic. They’ll begin home competition with Clean, Old-Fashioned Hate against Georgia in McCamish Pavilion, presented by Delta (Sept. 15), then take on Howard (Sept. 16) and San Diego (Sept. 17) in O’Keefe Gymnasium.


Alexander-Tharpe Fund

The Alexander-Tharpe Fund is the fundraising arm of Georgia Tech athletics, providing scholarship, operations and facilities support for Georgia Tech’s 400-plus student-athletes. Be a part of developing Georgia Tech’s Everyday Champions and helping the Yellow Jackets compete for championships at the highest levels of college athletics by supporting the Annual Athletic Scholarship Fund, which directly provides scholarships for Georgia Tech student-athletes. To learn more about supporting the Yellow Jackets, visit   

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