Tech volleyball stumbles in McCamish match

Senior Erin Moss (23) rises for a kill attempt against Pitt during Tech’s McCamish match. Moss recorded seven kills along with five blocks on the defensive side against the Panthers. // Photo by Tyler Parker Student Publications

Tech’s volleyball team entered the weekend with two games scheduled on Friday and Sunday, respectively. They played against the Virginia Cavaliers on Oct. 7 and faced the highly-ranked Pittsburgh Panthers on Oct. 9. The Jackets entered the weekend with a 10-3 record and finished off with a win against Virginia and a loss against Pittsburgh, ending the weekend with an 11-4 record and a national rank of 11. 

The Jackets swept the Cavaliers with a 3-0 finish on Friday night. With set scores of 27-25, 25-11 and 25-21, the Jackets took their sixth-straight win against the Cavaliers. The first set started off with the Jackets bouncing back later in the frame to pull the lead to 16-11. However, Virginia continued to push themselves to tie the game once again at 18. The Jackets and Cavaliers rallied back and forth, with 13 tied scores, but Tech captured the win by claiming three-straight points to complete the set 27-25. Continuing the streak, Tech entered the second set with a stronger start, claimed a double-digit lead ahead of Virginia and set the score at 16-5. The Jackets kept the lead and took the second set as well with a 25-11 finish. Tech swept the Cavaliers by finishing off the third set with a strong win. Although Virginia continued to retake the lead, the Jackets claimed the win by taking seven out of eight points to take the 25-21 win.  

Graduate senior Breland Morrissette and senior Erin Moss finished with six kills at a .500 clip. Senior Julia Bergmann landed a total of 12 kills and five digs, while junior Isabella D’Amico led the team with 38 assists. Junior Tamara Otene stood right under Bergmann with a total of 10 kills and five digs herself. Sophomore Bianca Bertolino led the team with 13 digs and five kills. The Jackets totaled eight blocks, double the amount of Virginia, and a total of 40 kills.  

On Sunday, the Jackets took over McCamish Pavilion to face the No. 9 Pittsburgh Panthers. The seats were full of white and gold, and the fans were on their feet to support the Jackets against their Top 10 opponent. The first set was full of rallies and continuous ties between the two teams. Both teams traded points with each other until they were tied at 17. Pittsburgh took a late three-point lead with continuous kills by junior Valeria Vázquez Gomez. Although the Jackets made it a close fight, Pittsburgh took the first set with a 25-20 score. 

The second set leaned in favor of Pittsburgh as they kicked it off with a three-point lead. However, the Jackets bounced back and took the lead. Once the teams hit 12, the two teams rallied back and forth with points. After forcing another set point, Pittsburgh stole the second set with a 27-25 finish. 

With the Panthers one set away from the win, the Jackets fired into the third set with a strong start. The Jackets kept the lead the entire set and won the set with a 25-22 finish to keep themselves in the game. 

Although the Jackets forced a fourth set, Pittsburgh was quick to grab the lead and run the score up to 10-1. Although the Jackets tried to come back, Pittsburgh won the set with a 25-16 finish and the overall match 3-1.

Even though the day ended with a loss, Bergmann played one of her strongest games of the season, leading the scoreboard with 25 kills, 15 digs and five blocks. Morrissette also established a season high with eight kills and a .615 clip. D’Amico finished the game with a total of 38 assists and 10 digs while Moss also finished with five blocks and seven kills. The Jackets finished the match with 51 kills and nine team blocks. 

The Jackets faced Clemson at O’Keefe Gymnasium on Oct. 12, winning 3-0, and will hit the road against Duke on Oct. 14 at 6:30 p.m. to finish off the week.