Georgia Tech volleyball team set for high-level matchup with Pitt

Georgia Tech outside hitters Biana Bertolino (arms raised) and Mikaila Dowd celebrate during Georgia Tech's 3-2 win over No. 2 Pittsburgh Oct. 10, 2021 in Pittsburgh's Fitgerald Field House. (Matt Hawley/University of Pittsburgh)
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Georgia Tech outside hitters Biana Bertolino (arms raised) and Mikaila Dowd celebrate during Georgia Tech's 3-2 win over No. 2 Pittsburgh Oct. 10, 2021 in Pittsburgh's Fitgerald Field House. (Matt Hawley/University of Pittsburgh)

Another season-shaping moment has arrived for Georgia Tech’s volleyball team. The Yellow Jackets, ranked 13th in the country, will play No. 3 Pittsburgh Friday at O’Keefe Gymnasium. The 4 p.m. match is sold out and will be broadcast on ACC Network.

Tech’s faint hopes to win a share of its first ACC championship since 2002 will require the Jackets to surmount the Panthers for the second time this season. Tech (21-4 overall, 12-3 ACC) is tied for third with Miami, behind No. 1 Louisville at 15-0 (25-0 overall) and Pitt at 13-2 (24-2). Tech would need to win its remaining three matches, including Friday’s, and have Louisville lose its remaining three. While one of the Cardinals’ final three regular-season matches is against Pitt, it would seem a highly unlikely outcome. The Cardinals can clinch a share of the championship and eliminate the Jackets from the race Friday at home against Duke.

Regardless, a season sweep of the Panthers, whom Tech upset on the road Oct. 10, would be a noteworthy accomplishment for coach Michelle Collier’s team. The Panthers have been the conference standard bearers since 2017, winning or sharing three ACC championships (won by regular-season record) in the past four seasons. Over that span, Pitt is 80-9 in ACC play and has been swept once.

Friday’s game could also boost the Jackets’ NCAA Tournament seeding. Tech is sixth in RPI and Pittsburgh is second, behind Louisville.

The match will be Tech’s only competition this weekend. The Jackets are coming off a road loss at Louisville last Friday.

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