No. 18 Georgia Tech volleyball handed No. 2 Pitt its first loss of the season in five sets (21-25, 25-23, 25-23, 18-25, 15-9) on Sunday afternoon in Pittsburgh, Pa., earning the highest ranked win in Yellow Jacket history. In a slugfest between a pair of the best the ACC has to offer, the Yellow Jackets prevailed using a six-point run to close out the paramount final set. Tech now owns two top-five wins in program history, with the other coming at No. 5 Nebraska in 2003, also in five sets.
Georgia Tech’s offensive firepower pushed the Jackets (13-3, 4-2 ACC) over the top to defeat Pitt (15-1, 5-1), holding the match advantage in kills (69-61), hitting percentage (.286-.271) and assists (65-60).
Junior outside hitter Julia Bergmann once again led the vaunted Jacket attack, piling up 24 kills at a solid .386 clip, including a pair of aces along with six digs and four total blocks (one solo, three assisted). Senior right-side hitter Mariana Brambilla reinforced Bergmann’s strong outing to form a one-two punch, tallying 19 kills with an ace, four digs and three total blocks. Senior setter Matti McKissock orchestrated the attack with a season-high 58 assists.
On the defensive end, senior middle blocker Breland Morrissete and junior libero Paola Pimentel anchored Tech as Morrissette led the squad with five total blocks while Pimentel earned a season-high 19 digs.
The Yellow Jackets are now a perfect 6-0 in true road matches and 4-0 away from The Flats in ACC play. Georgia Tech has won 45 of its last 54 matches dating back to 2019.
How it Happened
Pitt started off hot from the jump, taking the first five points of the set. The Jackets rallied after the initial Panther burst, using a three-point run shortly after cut the Panther lead to 11-7. Tech continued to chip away throughout the set, drawing within one behind another three straight points and later tied the match at 18 all and again at 19 apiece. The Jackets remained in striking distance up to a 22-21 Pitt lead after an ace by Brambilla, but the Panthers took the final three points to win the first set, 24-21.
Georgia Tech bounced back in a second set where neither side managed to separate by more than three points, going up 6-4 early. Pitt took the lead behind a short rally to go up 8-7, but Tech responded with a three-point run to take back a lead of 11-9. From there, the two sides traded blows resulting in six lead changes and eight tie score lines up to a 23 all deadlock. The Jackets then closed out the set with kills from Brambilla and Bergmann for a 25-23 victory to even the match.
In another highly contested set, Pitt got going early building up a 10-5 lead. The Panthers maintained the advantage up to a seven-point lead at 19-12, but the Jackets caught fire to mount a comeback, taking eight of the next nine points to even the tally at 20 all. The match was tied once more at 21 apiece and 22 all before Bergmann helped the Jackets take the final three points for a 25-23 third set win, including two kills of her own.
Neither side could separate by more than two points in the fourth set until Georgia Tech got on a roll taking five straight points up to a 14-11 lead. Pitt rallied back with seven straight points up to a 20-15 lead and hung on from there, advancing to a 25-18 fourth set victory to set up the winner-take-all fifth set.
The Jackets took the first two points of the final set and avoided trailing throughout the set’s entirety. As the Jackets pushed on up to a 6-4 lead, Pitt evened the tally three times up to an eventual 9 all deadlock. Georgia Tech snatched the match from the Panthers at that point, winning the final six points for a 15-9 final set win and 3-2 historic match win.
Georgia Tech will make a short trip to Clemson for a midweek matchup on Wednesday at 7 p.m. in Clemson, S.C. before returning home to host Duke next Sunday at 2 p.m. in O’Keefe Gymnasium