After a two match losing streak, the Jackets have swept three straight conference matches and jumped back into fourth place in the ACC. Tech lost to Duke in a back and forth five set match in Atlanta before sweeping Wake Forest, Maryland and Boston College in consecutive matches.
Tech had not lost to Duke in Atlanta under Head Coach Bond Shymansky until two weeks ago. Senior outside hitter Talisa Kellogg led three Jackets in double figures with 19 kills. Senior middle hitter Callie Miller had 16 kills and Junior outside hitter Chrissy DeMichelis had 12. The Blue Devils one-upped the Jackets with four players in double figures in kills. Becci Burling had 18 kills, while Rachael Moss had 16, Sophia Dunworth had 15 and Jourdan Norman had 10. Senior libero Michelle Kandell led both teams with 36 digs.
The first set was rough for the Jackets after the teams were tied at 15. Tech allowed Duke to score six straight points and the Devils were able to hold on for a four point win, 25-21. The second set started with Tech taking a 12-9 before Duke ran with a 10-2 run for a 19-14 lead. The Jackets clawed their way back into the match trailing 21-20 before they won five straight points for the set. Duke won the third set with Tech taking the fourth. In the final set, Tech started with a 10-4 lead and seemed to be pulling away. However, the Devils won three straight points before tying the game at 14. Tech would win the next point, but eventually lost 18-16.
The Jackets looked to rebound against the Wake Forest Deamon Deacons the following night and did so with a sweep. Kellogg and DiMichelis both had double digits in kills with 15 and 12 kills respectively. Wake Forest’s Megan Thornberry had 13 digs and Kristen White had 11 digs for the Deacons.
Jackets picked up the first set with a 25-19 win. The second set was more difficult when the Deacons took an 18-12 lead and looked to close the frame up 23-18. The Jackets scored six straight points before Wake tied the game. Kellogg’s key kill along with the match point helped Tech win the second set 26-24. The final set went back and forth throughout the entire match, with the Jackets winning 25-20 for the match.
The following week, the Jackets traveled to College Park, Maryland to take on the Terrapins. Tech came through with their second straight sweep. The Jackets were led again by Kellogg, with 10 kills, and Junior right-side hitter Brittany Roderick with 11 kills. Maryland’s Maggie Schmelzle lead both teams in kills with 12 but was Maryland’s only double figure scorer. Senior setter for Tech Allie Niekamp let both teams with 40 assists and a career-high 18 digs. The Jackets and Terps went back and forth in the first set. With Maryland up 20-19, Tech scored three straight point and went back and forth before Tech claimed the set 25-22. Kellogg led the Jackets to their second set victory with eight kills on 15 attempts. The Terrapins got within one point before Tech won two straight points to go to 20-17. The Jackets kept the margin the same with the 25-22 victory in the second set. Streaks highlighted the third set. Tech used a 7-1 run to take a 23-16 lead before Maryland made it 23-21 with a five point streak. The Jackets were able take that match 25-22.
The Jackets traveled further north for their next game against Boston College in Chestnut Hill. The Jackets were again led by Kellogg’s 10 kills. Three other players, DiMichelis, Miller and Roderick, had eight kills each. For the second straight match, Niekamp led both teams with 11 digs and 35 assists.
The Jackets led the first set the entire way and won 25-22. The Jackets won the second set 25-16, but Tech had some trouble closing the match out and let the Eagles take a 25-24 lead. Tech won three straight points, one by error, culminating in freshman outside hitter Alison Campbell’s match clinching kill.