On Friday, Oct. 29 the team made its way to Winston-Salem, N.C. to face Wake Forest. Tech avenged its loss to the Demon Deacons from late September by sweeping the match 3-0. On Saturday, the Jackets then headed east to Durham where they lost 3-0 to the Blue Devils. The loss ended Tech’s five game road winning streak.
The Demon Deacons opened up Friday night’s game with a 6-2 lead in the first set. The set would then switch leads continuously, being tied only at 8-8 and 15-15. Tech soon pulled away at 23-17. The Jackets called a time out before returning to the set and winning 25-20.
“We’ve been talking about coming out and setting the tone and putting the pressure on them early,” said Head Coach Tonya Johnson, courtesy of ramblinwreck.com.
In the second set, both teams had long point streaks at 10-3 each. Wake Forest was only able to come as close as 19-18 to taking the lead. The Jackets were able to make the match 2-0 by ending the set 25-21.
The third set showed strong fight from both teams. Tech began by leading the set 10-7, but Wake Forest fought back, making the set 13-11. A quick exchange of points led to Wake Forest leading at 23-20. Tech was able to fight back and win the set 26-24, forcing a sweep of the Demon Deacons.
Tech as a team hit .268 on the night, a key factor in the game compared to Wake Forest’s .149.
Junior outside hitter Bailey Hunter led the team in kills with a total of 13 along with four digs and three blocks. Senior libero Jordan McCullers led the team on digs however with a total of 13.
The Blue Devils began Saturday’s game with a 4-0 lead in the first set. This forced the Jackets to attempt the comeback. Tech could only come within five points of the lead during the set, though never falling below seven points behind. Tech lost the set 25-19 only hitting .235 compared to Duke’s .333.
The Jackets came into the second and opened up with an 11-5 lead. Duke did not take this punishment long as they came back to tie the game at 13. The teams then tied up on the next several points before Duke took the lead at 22-19. Tech fought back, however, and took a lead at 24-23. Unable to capitalize on the set point, Tech lost the set 26-24. The Blue Devils now led the match at 2-0.
Repeating the opening from the previous set, Tech opened the third set with a 4-0 lead. Duke answered this by taking a 16-11 lead. Tech came back up to tie the score at 17. Duke then made a four-point streak before fighting off Tech to win 25-23.
Tech came just shy of their hitting percentage of the night before, hitting only .252.
Hunter was able to match her numbers from the night before by leading the team with 13 kills on top of three digs. Sophomore outside hitter Alexis Woodson made eight kills while hitting an impressive .615.
Junior middle blocker Asia Stawicka had five total blocks, four kills and three digs, and sophomore outside hitter Susan Carlson supplied nine digs of Tech’s total of 51 for the match.
Career milestones were also made on the night. McCullers had 11 digs, which moved her into eighth place on the all-time Tech charts with 1336 in her career. Sophomore libero Nicki Meyer had a career-high eight digs as well.
Senior setter Mary Ashley Tippins led the offense on both nights with 77 assists in all. Junior middle blocker Asia Stawicka had 10 kills for the weekend as well.
Both games were the last in Duke and Wake Forest’s season series against Tech.
Tech will be hosting Florida State and Miami on Nov. 5 and Nov. 6, respectively.