The Institute’s volleyball team is prepping to get back into action following a very successful season last year. Last season, the squad made it to the Elite Eight in the NCAA Tournament before they lost to the top seeded Louisville Cardinals. The Jackets enter the season ranked ninth in the nation.
Last season the Jackets tied their previous record of making it to the Elite Eight in postseason play. In the volleyball team’s 42 years of existence that was only their second time doing so. The Jackets were one of the best offensive teams of all time last season as they accumulated 1700 kills which ranked seventh all time for a team total throughout the duration of a season.
The Jackets will look to reload after their successful season to try and repeat that success with a whole new group of players, as the Institute lost five players to graduation after last season. Four of the five players had significant roles for the team and all five provided for Tech at some point during the season.
Offensively, the Jackets are returning key contributors senior Julia Bergmann and sophomore Bianca Bertolino. Bertolino was third on the team in kills with 286 throughout the season. Bergmann had 497 kills on the season which led the team last year as she earned AVCA First Team All-American honors.
Defensively for the Jackets, graduate senior Breland Morrisette led the team in blocks last season with 112 and she will be returning this season to hopefully maintain or improve upon her role for the team.
Paola Pimentel led the team in digs last season so her return will be cherished on the defensive side of the net for the Institute as well.
Tech’s volleyball team also acquired five new players to replace the five that graduated. Three new freshmen and two new transfers have been added for the upcoming season. The freshmen are Anna Boezi from Dayton, Ohio, Mikalya White from Leesburg, Georgia, and Cara Bianco from Milton, Georgia.
These freshmen were key contributors on their high school teams and will look to develop further as their collegiate career begins. The transfers are junior Tamara Otene from Illinois State, who was an All-American honorable mention and full time starter last season, and Tali Marmen, who was a standout player at UCF last season.
The Jackets will begin regular season play on Friday, Aug. 26 at Ole Miss in the Ole Miss Invitational. They will also have a match against Illinois at the invitational.
The Jackets’ first home game will be the following weekend, Friday, Sep. 2 against Dayton for those who would like to watch the Jackets in person at O’Keefe gymnasium. ACC play for the Jackets will begin on Friday, Sep. 23 at home against the Wake Forest Demon Deacons and the regular season will conclude after 27 games, the last being held on Saturday, Nov. 26 in Atlanta against the Florida State Seminoles.
Tech’s Volleyball team is set and ready for another deep postseason run this year and will look to improve upon their Elite Eight exit from last season. The volleyball team at the Institute is one of the most successful teams on campus and they plan to make their fellow Jackets proud this season, and they would love to see students and faculty in attendance at their games.