Volleyball sweeps home ACC matches

Tech’s volleyball team swept two ACC opponents over the weekend at O’Keefe Gymnasium. The first win came on Friday night against Virginia Tech, the ACC leader coming into the match. The following night, the Jackets over took the Cavaliers from Virginia. With the wins, Georgia Tech moves to 17-6 on the season and 8-4 in the ACC. The Jackets also moved into the No. 2 slot in the ACC, one game behind Clemson, the new ACC leader.

Senior outside hitter Talisa Kellogg anchored the Jackets’ offense in the first match with 15 kills. Senior middle hitter Callie Miller followed behind her with 13 kills. They were the only two players on either side of the net to pick up double digit kills.

“We got the leadership that we needed from our seniors tonight, and I’m really proud of the scrappy play that our back row provided…. Kellogg seemed unstoppable but was also very patient in her attacking discipline, and [senior middle hitter] Callie Miller was just on fire tonight,” said Head Coach Bond Shymansky in a press release.

Defensively, senior libero Michelle Kandell led the Jackets with 17 digs against the Hokies, followed by senior setter Allie Niekamp with 12. The Jackets’ major strength against the Hokies came in the form of blocks, as Georgia Tech picked up 13 team blocks to Virginia Tech’s three.

The first set was a hard fought back-and-forth battle between the Jackets and the Hokies. The match was tied 14 times, and seven lead changes took place. But the Jackets were able to pull through in the end and take the match 26-24. The second match was also close between the Techs as it also closed out 26-24, with the Jackets taking a two match lead. The third and final set came a little easier for the Jackets as they closed out the match with 25-19 win.

“Every match from here on out is equally important to us, but starting the second half of conference play with a 3-0 win over the league leader is a very good beginning,” Shymansky said.

In the second match of the weekend, the Jackets flew past the Cavaliers in their sixth sweep in their last seven matches. Junior outside hitter Chrissy DeMichelis led the Jackets with 11.5 points and 10 kills. The team had a total of 41 kills during the match.

Miller followed DeMichelis with nine kills against the Cavaliers. Freshman outside hitter Bailey Hunter had an impressive game with seven kills. Kellogg also had seven kills.

“We got off to a slow start tonight, but when our offense finally started clicking you could see the team that we’re working to be this season…. Callie Miller was a dominant force once again and Bailey Hunter has really added a new spark to our offensive options,” Shymansky said.

After coasting to a 25-19 win in the first set, the Cavaliers hung with the Jackets in the second set. The second match was tied 13 times, but the Jackets were able to take the set 25-22, before clinching the match in the third 25-16.

The Jackets have seven more matches, all in the ACC, before the end of the regular season. This weekend the Jackets travel up to N.C. to take on Wake Forest on Friday, and then over to Durham to take on Duke.

The Jackets do not return to O’Keefe until Nov. 21. The last regular season match of the season is on Nov. 28 against current ACC leader Clemson.

“Building our momentum at home was crucial as we get ready for back-to-back weekends on the road,” Shymansky said.