Jackets Drop First Match of the Season, 3-1, to Pepperdine
Aug. 25, 2007
FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. - Julia Rubenstein posted 19 kills and 11 digs and Kiah Fiers added nine kills, 47 assists and seven digs to lead Pepperdine (2-0) to a 3-1 (23-30, 30-16, 30-16, 30-26) victory over Georgia Tech (2-1) Saturday afternoon at the Arkansas Clarion Inn Invitational.
"We came out on fire and executed well, anchored by perfect passing from our backrow players," head coach Bond Shymansky said. "Like things tend to do on the first weekend of play, however, our passing broke down and the Pepperdine block was too big for us to handle.
"Allie did a great job of directing our offense and Nikki (Kaminskas) contributed in our middle hitter spot, which is crucial for us to be successful.
"Now we return home and get two weeks to really focus on better passing techniques. We are extremely excited about the direction of our team."
Kellogg led the Jackets with 13 kills against the Waves, while Lindsey Gray added 10 kills, six digs and four assists on the day. Niekamp posted her first double-double of the season, recording 33 assists and 10 digs to go along with five kills and a solo block.
Tech took advantage of 12 attack errors, three serving errors and three receiving errors by Pepperdine to take the first game, 30-23. Kellogg and Gray led the Yellow Jacket offense with 10 kills between the two of them, while Ulrike Stegemann and Nikki Kaminskas posted three blocks apiece. Stegemann finished the contest with four block assists, while Kaminskas had a solo block in addition to three block assists.
The Waves responded by hitting .600 in the second game, posting 18 kills and just three errors on 25 attempts, and recorded a quick 30-16 win to tie the match at 1-1. Pepperdine had two separate runs of six or more unanswered points while the Jackets struggled offensively, posting back-to-back points on just four occasions in the game.
Pepperdine continued its stellar hitting in the third game with a .545 clip while the Jackets continued to be hampered by errors. The Waves rode the arm of Rubenstein, who had four kills, three digs, a block assist and a service ace in the 30-16 game win to push Pepperdine's lead to 2-1 in the match.
By winning seven of the first 10 points of the game, the Waves looked to take control of the fourth frame, but Georgia Tech eventually tied the game at 17-17 by using a late, 7-1, run. Pepperdine responded with a 5-0 run of its own and held on to win, 30-26.
The Jackets will take next weekend off before returning to action in their home tournament Sept. 14-15 at O'Keefe Gym. Play begins that Friday morning when Tech takes on Western Carolina at 10 a.m. in the opening match of the Regency Suites/Georgia Tech Classic. Also participating in the tournament are Arizona, Kentucky and Georgia.