To conclude spending three weekends away from home, #11 Georgia Tech Volleyball swept the Florida A&M Rattlers 25-15, 25-20, 25-15 to move to 7-0 on the season. With the win, Tech beats the 6-0 record they set to begin the 2022 season. Tech won six straight games twice last year. In Michelle Collier’s tenure at the Institute, Tech has won 10 straight games in three different seasons (2016, 2019, 2021).
In general for this past weekend, we saw the most amount players come in for Tech as we will likely see all season.
“Our goal is to get everybody experienced as much as possible and we felt like it was the right time to get those players in. We had three matches this weekend so we could rest people’s legs and give more experience,” said Head Coach Michelle Collier.
Tech came out looking a little sluggish compared to yesterday against Stetson, going down 5-3 during a great serving run by Florida A&M’s libero. The lead expanded to 9-6 in the Rattlers favor, at which Tech then found their footing and became unstoppable. The Jackets went on a seven point run to go up 13-9 largely via FAMU attack errors. The run expanded to 15-3 with Tech up 21-12, allowing for Michelle Collier to put in freshman Heloise Soares and fifth year Smiley Manyang to finish out the set with plenty of wiggle room. A Liv Mogridge kill won the set 25-15.
The second set played super close with both teams alternating points until it was 7-7. Tech then went on a three point run with two Tamara Otene kills. A five point run later make the lead 15-9, in which Bertolino nailed one of her best aces of the season. FAMU kept themselves around though with multiple three point runs to stay within five points, and nearly tying it at 19 before a Larissa Mendes kill put a stop to that momentum. Mendes also hit the set winning kill for a 25-20 win.
Tech grew a lead much earlier in the third set, going up 3-1 via kills by Mogridge and Otene. Mendes and Bertolino powered a three point run to go up 7-3, forcing a Rattler timeout. In that stretch, Anna Boezi came in for some points in place of Mogridge where Tech won three of the next four points. Florida A&M then called their second timeout down 10-4, trying to step whatever bleeding they could before the set, and therefore the match, really got out of hand. The timeout did at least net the Rattlers two points to start a back and forth stretch. But, down 16-10, Tech had built more than enough of a gap on top of them to win. Anna Boezi hit three kills to put Tech up 20-12 as a final nail in the coffin. Mendes again hit the winning point to give Tech the 20-15 set win.
Mendes was Tech’s offensive leader, hitting .500% with 16 kills. Bianca Bertolino was the closest to a double double with eight kills and 11 digs. Liv Mogridge only had 10 attacks (she was given a bunch of points off to allow Boezi and Manyang to play) but still hit seven kills and an ace.
In terms of where the team can improve, Collier sees opportunities in nearly all facets: “I feel like defensively from a digs standpoint we’re putting a lot of pressure on our opponents so we’re doing a good job there. I think that are serving are blocking needs to improve in order to continue to compete at a high level in the ACC or you know any other match that we play. Those are areas that I feel like we have a lot of room for a growth.
And then the same thing offensively I think that we gotta continue to find ways to our middles or back row, getting ourselves out of certain situations so when we’re not passing as well but being efficient still,” said Coller.
Instead of my usual three thoughts conclusion, I invite y’all to listen to me and Akshay’s conversation on tomorrow’s Scions of the Southland where we will dive much deeper into the analytics and eye tests through seven games.
This story has been updated with quotes.
Jack Purdy is a non-revenue sports writer and co-host of Scions of the Southland for From the Rumble Seat. He previously served as The Technique’s assistant sports editor before graduating Georgia Tech in 2022. Follow Jack on Twitter @JackNicolaus
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