Volleyball goes north, wins pair of ACC matches

Senior Liz Patterson readies for volleyball’s game against Syracuse. Patterson and the Jackets would go on to sweep the Orange in a showing that rallied Tech into the nation’s top 10 rankings. // Photo courtesy of GTAA

Tech Volleyball topped both the Boston College Eagles and Syracuse Orange this week, earning them their ninth and 10th ACC victories of the season and tying them at fourth for the most season wins in program history.

On Friday, Oct. 27, the Jackets took on the Eagles in a five set game. Tech took the lead in the end, ultimately taking three sets in the match to Boston’s two.

The Eagles took an early charge of the first set, leaving Tech lagging behind 4-0. They continued to hold their own throughout the set, making several runs that left them on top of the Jackets. Boston finished the first set 25-20, taking a quick 1-0 lead in the match.

Tech evened the playing field in the second set, with senior outside hitter Tamara Otene and sophomore right side-hitter/middle blocker Anna Boezi bringing them to a three point lead. Boston soon fought back, bringing the score up to 4-4, but the tie barely held before a timely Jackets run.

With the help of senior setter/ defensive specialist Liz Patterson’s strong serves, the Jackets earned the next consecutive four points, bringing them back into the lead. The Eagles then fought themselves into a two point lead, which was soon extinguished after freshman setter Heloise Soares was subbed in and led a strong offense, putting Tech up by five points. Ultimately, the Jackets took the set in a 25-19 victory and evened it up.

The third set started with strong momentum from Boston as they shot up to a 7-4 lead. Their momentum was soon halted as the Jackets went on an 11-3 scoring run, putting them into a slim lead. Tech’s offense held strong, with Soares, Otene, junior outside hitter Bianca Bertolino and freshman outside hitter Larissa Mendes played critical roles in the 25-18 win to claim the decisive third set.

The Eagles took a strong 9-3 lead in the beginning of the fourth set. Even with Otene’s six kills, the Jackets were unable to make up the difference, leaving Tech and Boston tied with two sets each and forcing a fifth set.

The fifth set was a back-and- forth affair with each team trad- ing points and bringing them- selves into the lead; however, Tech eventually took charge to win the set 15-9, taking the set and match The Jackets set many records during this faceoff with the Ea- gles. Otene earned her 1,000th career kill in the third set, earned a new season record with 24 kills in one game and achieved 10 digs, bringing her to a season total of 257 — more than any other hitter in any of the Power 5. Tech is now 4-1 in five set wins on the season: the most in the last five years of a program with plenty of success under head coach Michelle Col- lier’s impressive tenure.

On Sunday, Oct. 29, afternoon Tech took on the Syracuse Orange, snagging their 10th conference victory in a three set sweep.

The first set began with a scoring run that set Tech up 5-0. Syracuse fought to shrink Tech’s lead with very limited success. The set included nine digs from fifth year defensive specialist/libero Paola Pimentel, two kills from Boezi and six kills from Bertolino. By the end of the set, Tech won by nine points at 25-16, giving the Jackets the early 1-0 edge.

During the second set, Tech didn’t let their momentum slow down. Soares fought hard on a seven serve run. Pimentel continued to add to the team’s success with five digs. Throughout the set, the Jackets dominated, ending in an eight point triumph at 25-17.

The Jackets continued to leave it all on the court in the third set, opening with a 12-4 scoring run. Finishing up a strong three set run, the Jackets finished 11 points up at 25-14, securing the match win against a familar ACC foe.

The team captured their 10th ACC victory of the season and put them at 10-1 in away games on the season, the most single-season away wins under Collier.

With two consecutive wins on the table, volleyball returns home for a weekend of matches against No. 3 Louisville and Notre Dame.