Volleyball wins tenth straight game

Freshman Bianca Bertolino prepares to go for a kill on senior night, the ninth win in Tech’s current ten-game win streak. // Photo by Caitlin Aycock/Student Publications

The Tech volleyball team won its ninth and tenth consecutive games on Nov. 5 and 7, improving to 21-3 overall, a record that puts the team tied for second in the ACC. The pair of wins came over divisional rivals Miami and Florida State, securing Tech’s tenth ACC win in a row, their longest conference winning streak since 2016.

Tech started off its senior night game against Miami blazing hot, racing to a 12-8 lead in an electric O’Keefe Gymnasium. The Hurricanes never got within striking distance, falling to Tech 25-18 after a kill by senior Mariana Brambilla to close the first set.

The next set started off just as well for Tech, taking a 10-7 lead before a comeback from Miami tied the game up at 21-21. The Jackets would seal the set in dramatic fashion, winning four of the final five points, the last on being on an ace by junior Paola Pimentel.

A quick to start the third set by Miami put the Jackets down 13-8, a deficit from which Tech came back, eventually tying the set 24-24. Tech came close to winning multiple times throughout the set, the Hurricanes were able to survive and end the set at 32-30.

The fourth set began with a quick start from Tech, who did not look back until a kill by Brambilla secured the 25-19 set win and a 3-1 win over a rival team contending for the conference championship. Included in the win was a remarkable stat by Brambilla, who became the fifth Tech volleyball player in school history to record 1000 career digs and 1000 career kills.

Tech would go on to start off their match against Florida State just as fast two days later. The Jackets turned an 11-3 lead into a 25-14 first set win. A few back and forth rallies to start off the second set put both teams at 12-12. From there on out, Tech never gave up the lead. A kill by Brambilla gave the Jackets a 25-22 win.

Like the match against Miami, Tech struggled in the third set relative to their previous dominance, giving up the third set in a 25-23 loss. Luckily for the Jackets the fourth set followed a similar route to the fourth set against Miami, with the Jackets dominating from start to finish. An ace by senior Matti McKissock gave the Jackets a 25-16 win, maintaining their streak of dominance.

As the regular season edges towards a close, Tech is set to play the only team that stands ahead of them in the ACC when the 14th-ranked Jackets take on top-ranked Louisville in what promises to be an exciting rematch for the Jackets, who were shut out 3-0 by the Cardinals when they met at the beginning of October. Tech will face Pittsburgh, the only team currently tied with them for second place, the following week. Both games are pivotal for the Jackets, who are in the midst of chasing their first ACC title since 2002. Since the ACC title is determined by regular season competition, the Jackets final games against their opponents will decide the final standings in the conference, where Tech is still in play for first.

Tech’s matchup against Louisville will be broadcast Friday, Nov. 12 at 7 p.m. on ACC Sports Extra while their game against Pittsburgh will be Friday, Nov. 19 in O’Keefe Gymnasium.