Jackets sweep their ACC openers in O’Keefe

Junior Tamara Otene, graduate senior Breland Morrissette and senior Julia Bergmann combine for a block against Virginia Tech on Sept. 25. Tech swept the Hokies, securing their second ACC win. // Photo by Caitlin Aycock Student Publications

Tech volleyball is off to a perfect start in conference play after their wins in straight sets over the Wake Forest Demon Deacons and  Virginia Tech Hokies.

Tech started off their weekend in conference with their match up against the Demon Deacons. In a packed gym, the Jackets propelled themselves to a 9-4 lead, and after an ace by senior Julia Bergmann, the Deacons decided to call their first timeout of the game in order to try and slow the momentum of Tech. 

However, directly after the timeout, Bergmann earned an ace against Wake Forest again. After the ace, Wake Forest soon rallied to make it a one point set with the score at 13-12. The Jackets soon pulled away once again and would eventually win the first set 25-17. The set was capped off by one more ace by Bergmann to make it three in the set. 

After a back and forth first set, the rest of the game was dominated by Tech, as they won the last two sets 25-11 and 25-15.

After their game on Friday against Wake Forest, the Jackets had Virginia Tech in another full house on Sunday, and Tech continued right where they left off. 

The first set of the game was  close, but the Jackets eventually pulled through to take the first set 25-21. The set was finished off with a four point run which was highlighted by blocks by graduate senior Breland Morrissette and sophomore Laura Fischer. 

In the second set, the Jackets continued their hot run from the first to get to an early 13-5 lead, highlighted by an ace by senior Paolo Pimentel. The second set would later be closed out 25-15, with the latter part of the set once again being dominated by Morrissette, who recorded two more blocks. 

The third started off as a tightly fought affair with the score being tied at 11. The Jackets dominated the rest of the set, pulling away to win it 25-15. The two wins this past weekend were the 299th and 300th wins in O’Keefe and have helped cement the Jackets as a top team in college volleyball.

After their dominant start, the Jackets are one of four teams that are 2-0 in conference play, alongside Syracuse, Louisville and Pitt. 

The Jackets were ranked No. 13 in the AVCA polls going into last week, but after their domination of the Demon Deacons and Hokies, they moved up two places to No. 11. This past week is the Jackets’ 44th straight week in the top 25 polls in a streak stretching all the way back to Sept. 30, 2020. This upcoming week is one of the biggest weeks in Tech’s season with them facing off against Notre Dame on Sept. 30 in South Bend, which can be streamed on ACC Network Extra. Two days after their matchup with the Fighting Irish, the Jackets head to Louisville where they will take on the No. 2 Cardinals. The game in Louisville will be broadcasted on ESPN, which is Tech’s first appearance on ESPN’s main channel in program history.