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VOLLEYBALL: BC Struggles To Overcome Yellow Jackets, Tigers On Roadtrip

For The Heights

Published: Monday, September 24, 2012

Updated: Wednesday, January 9, 2013 19:01

It was another busy weekend for the Boston College volleyball team as it ventured south for road matches against Georgia Tech and Clemson. Friday night and Saturday found the Eagles in hostile gyms against their ACC foes, but despite strong individual performances, they were unable to capitalize on either match, dropping both 3-0.

The first match of the weekend was against the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets in their own O’Keefe Gymnasium on Friday night in Atlanta. The first set had a rocky start, with the Eagles down 10-4 at one point, but with strong defense and improved hitting, they were able to push their way back. Libero Lauren Fields had seven digs, and setter Cagla Sen came away with 23 assists, six digs, three kills, and two block assists. The Eagles eventually tied the game 17-17, then traded points until Georgia Tech was finally able to win two in a row and close out the set 25-23.

BC came out fighting in the second set, fresh off of its very near miss and determined to improve on its strong performance from the end of the first set. They held a steady lead until the 14-11 point, but despite five kills from freshman Katty Workman and seven assists from Sen, the Yellow Jackets took the following six points to build a 17-14 lead. The set ended with a 14-5 run from Georgia Tech.

After a disappointing end to the second set, the Eagles were able to test Georgia Tech once again in the beginning of the third, sticking close behind the Yellow Jackets, trailing only by three at 14-11. They were not able to hold on as their opponents took a 7-0 run, however, setting up Georgia Tech’s 25-14 victory in the third and final set.

The Eagles’ weekend was not over after the tough loss to the ACC’s second-ranked (as of Sept. 22) volleyball program, Georgia Tech. The next day, the team found itself in Clemson’s Jervey Gymnasium facing yet another conference battle against a foe ranked second in the ACC preseason poll.

Fourteen ties and four lead changes in the first set echoed the previous night’s strong performance early on. Workman once again put in a strong showing, posting six of her career-high 17 kills, and Lauren Fields had seven digs. Once again the Eagles were unable to hold onto their 20-18 lead. The Tigers closed the set by winning seven of the last eight points.

BC came out swinging in the second set, staying with Clemson and trading the lead until the Tigers took control at 12-11 and managed to hold on through the end of the set, despite a close call when the Eagles squeezed their lead to only two at 20-18. Sen pulled her total assists up to 22, and Workman had six more kills.

There was no loss of heart in the third set as the Eagles didn’t let Clemson run ahead, putting in a steady effort that found them trailing by just one at 16-15. Sophomore Courtney Castle registered four of her eight kills, but a 5-0 run by Clemson started a statement that ended with the Tigers taking nine of the last 11 points in the third and final set, with the Eagles losing 25-17.

Despite strong early-set performances in both matches, the Eagles left their southern adventure with a pair of losses, dropping their ACC standing to ninth, and causing their record to dip just below .500 (7-8, 1-2 ACC).

A long weekend of travel and two disappointing matches leave the Eagles with a week of practice to fine-tune their play before they hold their first home matches since the BC Invitational Tournament in August this coming weekend. Thursday night, at 7 p.m., the University of Virginia comes to town for more conference play, and Sunday at 12 p.m., the Virginia Tech Hokies will test the Eagles once again. The team will look to get back above .500 and regain some ground in the conference.

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