Georgia Tech in NCAA volleyball tournament for first time since 2009

Georgia Tech outside hitter Julia Bergmann. (Danny Karnik/Georgia Tech Athletics)
Georgia Tech outside hitter Julia Bergmann. (Danny Karnik/Georgia Tech Athletics)

Credit: Danny Karnik

Credit: Danny Karnik

Last in the NCAA Tournament in 2009, Georgia Tech’s volleyball team has earned its way back. The Yellow Jackets received an at-large bid Sunday afternoon, a landmark accomplishment for coach Michelle Collier and her team.

Tech will play Lipscomb on April 14 in the first round of the 48-team tournament, to be played entirely in Omaha, Neb. The winner will play No. 3 national seed Minnesota on the 15th. Tech and Lipscomb are two of 32 teams that will play in the first round for 16 spots in the second round, where the 16 national seeds will await.

It has been a lengthy wait for the Jackets return to the tournament for their 10th all-time appearance. Ten other ACC teams had been in the tournament more recently. Tech was on the bubble in 2019 after finishing second in the ACC but was denied. The Jackets accepted a spot in the NIVC field and won five matches for the championship and finished the season at 26-8 as Collier was named ACC coach of the year, Matti McKissock was named conference setter of the year and outside hitter Julia Bergmann was selected ACC freshman of the year.

This season, split into fall and spring seasons, the Jackets completed the regular season at 13-4, fourth in the ACC. (They would finished second had they finished 14-3.) Without the automatic bid, Tech had to wait for the Sunday afternoon selection show to learn its fate. Tech earned one of four bids for ACC schools, along with league champion Louisville, Notre Dame and Pittsburgh.

Hired prior to the 2014 season, Collier has now led Tech to three consecutive winning seasons.

Lipscomb, located in Nashville, Tenn., won the ASUN (formerly Atlantic Sun) championship and is 17-2. Minnesota finished second in the Big Ten at 15-2. The Golden Gophers have made three Final Fours in the past five seasons.

In Other News