The Sports Inquirer spoke with Georgia Tech volleyball head coach Michelle Collier following her team’s practice Sept. 21. Topics included the team entering match week, the expectations of junior outside hitter Mariana Brambilla and sophomore outside hitter Julia Bergmann, adjusting to the new recruiting calendar and the Yellow Jackets preparing to visit Miami for its regular season and ACC opener Sept. 24.
Tag: miami volleyball
Release from Georgia Tech Athletics:
The Georgia Tech volleyball team (12-18, 5-12 ACC) fell 3-1 (25-21, 12-25, 17-25, 23-25) to the Miami Hurricanes (21-7, 14-3) Wednesday night.
Senior Courtney Felinski led the Yellow Jackets with 12 kills and Annika Van Gunst chipped in 10. Teegan Van Gunst had 12 digs to anchor the back row, while London Ackermann put up 10 digs.
The Yellow Jackets served aggressively with six aces to Miami’s three. Sophomore Lauren Pitz recorded a career-best two aces and Rebecca Martin also served a pair.
“I’m proud of how we kept fighting, but we need to execute better at crucial moments,” head coach Michelle Collier said. “We lacked consistency, but it was great to see that when we are playing our best volleyball we can compete with a great team like Miami. We’ve got one last match at home, and we will fight hard to get a win against Clemson.”
The Jackets were fast out the gate to a 5-1 lead and never let up. Annika Van Gunst led all players with six kills and with the Yellow Jackets poised at set point 24-21, a block by Sydney Wilson and Teegan Van Gunst punctuated the first-set victory.
The tide turned in game two as the Hurricanes jumped out to an 8-1 lead. Miami’s aggressive serving in the set kept Georgia Tech out of system and the Hurricanes made adjustments to keep the Yellow Jackets at bay.
Miami kept its momentum in the third set. The Hurricanes used three-straight points to go up 14-9 and clung to the lead for the remainder of the game, winning 25-17.
The Yellow Jackets fought back from a 7-3 deficit to get within one, 10-9, in game four. The Jackets tied it 13-13 on a solo block by Martin and went ahead 14-13 on a key kill from Martin to cap off a marathon rally.
The Jackets led 16-13, but Miami went to work and knotted the score 16-16. The score was tied three additional times before Miami went up 23-20 and again 24-21. The Jackets held on, pulling within 24-23, but Miami managed to put the set away 25-23.
Release from Georgia Tech Athletics:
CORAL GABLES, Fla. – The Georgia Tech volleyball team (9-12, 2-6 ACC) fell in straight sets (16-25, 22-25, 20-25) at Miami (13-6, 6-2) Sunday afternoon in the Knight Sports Complex.
Senior Courtney Felinski, and sophomores Annika Van Gunst and Teegan Van Gunst tallied nine kills apiece, while Teegan Van Gunst (11 digs) and Annika Olsen (10) anchored Tech’s defense.
“We did the things we needed to do, but it goes back to our unforced errors,” head coach Michelle Collier said. “At key moments we didn’t execute, and to beat good teams like Miami you can’t let those opportunities go.
“We need to learn from that, and really take advantage when we’re having momentum and doing good things to finish teams, and we didn’t do that today. Miami is a good team, so they’re going to come back at you and use that to close matches. We need to learn from that, and get in the gym and keep working.”
Down 8-4 in the opening set, Tech rattled off three-straight to pull within one, 8-7. It was Miami’s turn to go on a 6-2 run to stretch the lead 14-9. The momentum stayed with the Hurricanes for the remainder of the set and Miami won the first game, 25-16.
The Hurricanes jumped out to a 5-1 lead in set two. The Jackets went to work after trailing 14-8 they pulled within two, 15-13, thanks to three kills from Felinski and one by Gabriela Stavnetchei.
The Hurricanes notched four in a row for a 19-13 lead behind the serving of Kelsie Groot. Each time Miami started to pull away, the Jackets fought back. The Hurricanes had set point, 24-20, but the Jackets wouldn’t back down scoring two in a row to make it 24-22, before Miami escaped with the set 25-22.
Ashtaan Horton had a huge solo block to start set three for Georgia Tech. The Yellow Jackets and Hurricanes stayed with each other until Miami broke a 6-6 tie with five straight points thanks to a pair of big blocks to take a 11-6 lead.
Miami extended that margin to 17-13, and the Yellow Jackets battled to pull within two, 19-17, capped off by a block from Felinski and Lauren Pitz, and then got within one point, 21-20. Miami strung together the next four points to win the set, 25-20, and the match 3-0.
By E. Marcel Pourtout, Editor
Midway through Atlantic Coast Conference play, the Georgia Tech volleyball team has continued to find its level of play under first-year head coach Michelle Collier. The Yellow Jackets (9-10, 2-4) have won two out of their last three contests after going through a four-match losing streak earlier this season. Georgia Tech hosts Pittsburgh (15-2, 3-1) in a home contest this Friday before heading to Miami (11-6, 4-2) on Sunday.
“Our team is still in the beginning stages of developing,” Collier said. “We’re learning more about the game and the players are starting to understand their roles. We have so much more to go.”
Georgia Tech’s last home match was a successful one as it defeated North Carolina State 3-1 (25-16, 28-26, 26-28, 29-27) on Oct. 10. The Yellow Jackets had a balanced offense with three players posting double-digit kills; Annika Van Gunst (18), Courtney Felinski (13) and Teegan Van Gunst (11).
“Our pin hitters are doing a good job and carrying a heavy load,” Collier said.
Georgia Tech also had a strong defensive effort led by Sydney Wilson and Teegan Van Gunst who had seven and six block assists respectively. London Ackermann had a career-high 27 digs in the victory.
“We definitely did what we wanted to do with our game plan,” Collier said of the NC State contest. “They run a quick offense so we wanted to be disciplined with our hands and force their outsides to swing around a solid double block. We served and passed well which kept pressure on their offense and set up our defense.”
Felinski added, “We stuck with it at the end of the last three sets which all were close and went past 25 points. We kept control in those situations, maintaining positive momentum and energy.”
The Yellow Jackets dropped their last contest to Clemson 3-1 (13-25, 15-25, 25-21, 22-25) on Oct. 12.
“We came out flat,” Collier said about the Clemson match. “We weren’t executing our defense at the level we did against North Carolina State. Clemson put pressure on our offense, played great defense and blocked us well. It was good to see the team refocus and put a good third set together.”
Georgia Tech welcomes in Pittsburgh who have won 10 of its last 11 matches. The Panthers own conference wins over Boston College, Notre Dame and Syracuse.
“We’re working on digging and executing transition plays,” Felinski said. “Even if we don’t have a perfect pass or dig, we can still put pressure on the other team.”
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