ATLANTA, Ga. – Talisa Kellogg and Callie Miller each topped 20 kills to lead Georgia Tech to a 3-1 (30-24, 30-23, 27-30, 31-29) victory over the 14th-ranked Duke volleyball team Friday evening in O’Keefe Gym.
The duo’s efforts were enough to outpace the performance of Duke’s Carrie DeMange, who contributed 20 kills, and Rachael Moss, who picked up a double-double with 16 kills and 12 digs. Kellogg and Miller combined for a .468 hitting percentage and just five attack errors, as Kellogg contributed 21 kills, while Miller added 20.
Junior Jourdan Norman also reached double figures for the Blue Devils with 10 kills, while classmate Sue Carls added nine kills and setter Ali Hausfeld put down eight to go along with her 53 assists. Hausfeld led Duke with a .400 clip, while Moss turned in a .324 mark. Of Duke’s nine blocks, both Norman and Hausfeld were in on four.
Georgia Tech (18-9, 12-5 ACC) managed a .310 hitting percentage and 15 blocks against the Blue Devils, while Duke (20-5, 15-2 ACC) struggled to connect early and managed a .206 clip, despite hitting .371 in a 30-27 game three victory. The Blue Devils posted nine blocks and seven aces in the contest, four of which came from DeMange.
Duke struggled to find a groove offensively in the opener, as the Yellow Jackets held the Blue Devils to a .167 hitting percentage, while posting a .250 clip of their own in the 30-24 game one victory. DeMange paced Duke with four kills, while Miller connected on nine of her 13 attacks for Georgia Tech for a .615 hitting percentage in the game. The Yellow Jackets broke a 3-3 tie with a 7-2 run to take a five-point advantage, a lead that would dwindle to no less than four points for the remainder of the game. Duke managed to come within four at 25-21, but three consecutive points by Georgia Tech put to rest any comeback attempt.
Duke turned it up defensively in game two, but Georgia Tech did the same and held the Blue Devils to a .122 clip to claim a 30-23 game two victory and a 2-0 advantage. DeMange contributed six more kills for the Blue Devils, while Moss also added five, but 12 attack errors were Duke’s downfall in the second frame.
The Blue Devils limited their attack errors to five in game three and posted a .371 hitting percentage to claim a 30-27 win to shake off what would have been their first 3-0 loss since Sept. 7 at No. 1 Nebraska. DeMange and Moss came through again for Duke with five kills apiece, while Hausfeld knocked down three blocks and served up 14 assists. Duke led for the majority of the game, including a six-point lead at 17-11. Georgia Tech would rally from the deficit, however, to force a 22-22 tie before Duke broke it with back-to-back kills from Moss and Hausfeld. The teams traded points to 28-27 before Duke picked up a kill from DeMange to force game point, which Georgia Tech surrendered following a block from DeMange and Hausfeld.
Four Blue Devils chalked up at least four kills in game four, including a team-high five from DeMange, but it was not enough to overcome a slow start and an efficient .410 hitting percentage by the Yellow Jackets, who notched a 31-29 match-clinching victory. Georgia Tech took off to an 8-3 lead in game four and maintained a steady advantage until Duke rallied to within two points at 24-22. The Blue Devils fought back to tie the match at 28-28 after Carls contributed a pair of clutch kills. Kellogg temporarily regained the lead for Georgia Tech before DeMange knocked down her fifth kill of the match to knot the score again at 29-29. Kellogg came through once again for Georgia Tech, however, with another kill before a Blue Devil attacking error gave the Yellow Jackets match point.
“Georgia Tech played very well tonight, and we just couldn’t take them out of their rhythm,” head coach Jolene Nagel said. “We did some things much better as the match went on, but we probably needed to do a bit more a bit sooner. We had 12 hitting errors in game two, and we can’t afford to do that and be successful. We just never really got it rolling tonight.”
With the loss, Duke momentarily falls to second in the ACC standings, but will take on the conference’s first-place squad Friday evening, as the Blue Devils head to Clemson, S.C., to take on Clemson at 7 p.m.