VERMILLION, S.D.—Georgia Tech jumped out to leads in all three sets and fought off South Dakota to score a 3-0 win in the championship match of the National Invitational Volleyball Tournament Tuesday before a record crowd of 2,431 inside the Sanford Coyote Sports Center. Scores went 25-23, 25-23 and 25-17.
The Yellow Jackets out of the ACC won five consecutive matches to take the crown and dropped just two sets in the process. Georgia Tech ended its season on a 10-game win streak to finish 26-8 overall.
South Dakota lost at home for the first time in 19 matches dating back to last season, ending the nation’s fourth-longest streak. The Coyotes finished with a 31-3 record, an undefeated Summit League title, and completed the program’s best season at any level.
Georgia Tech’s Mariana Brambilla and Julia Bergmann both posted double-doubles in the win. Brambilla had a match-high 16 kills to go with 12 digs while Bergmann finished 10 and 12. Mikaila Dowd added nine.
Coyote freshman Elizabeth Juhnke led South Dakota with 15 kills, all of which came in the first two sets. Sami Slaughter added nine and Elizabeth Loschen put down six.
South Dakota libero Anne Rasmussen finished with a match-high 13 digs, giving her 612 on the season, the second-most in program history and four shy of the record. She also finished 16 digs shy of the Coyotes’ career mark.
Georgia Tech, playing on the road for the first time all tournament, jumped out to leads of 6-1, 4-1 and 4-1 despite the raucous crowd. South Dakota’s first lead came on a Madison Jurgens’ ace in the first set that made it 12-11, and the Coyotes led 17-14 on a kill from Juhnke.
Four straight points from the Yellow Jackets, capped by a Brambilla spike, gave them a 22-20 advantage. USD climbed within a point twice at 23-22 and 24-23, but Brambilla finished the set with her seventh kill.
South Dakota fought back to take a 13-11 lead on back-to-back kills from Juhnke, who had 11 kills against one error in set two. But Georgia Tech swung momentum again and used a 6-3 run to take a 22-18 advantage. USD again closed to 23-22 and 24-23. Again, Brambilla from the back row sealed the deal.
There was no comeback in the third set. Juhnke was shut out on eight swings and a balanced attack clinched the title. Georgia Tech needed just 12 kills and forced eight errors and a negative hitting percentage to close out the match.
NIVC All-Tournament Team
Mariana Brambilla, MVP, Georgia Tech
Julia Bergmann, Georgia Tech
Matti McKissock, Georgia Tech
Elizabeth Juhnke, South Dakota
Anne Rasmussen, South Dakota
Katie Clark, TCU
Taylor Horsfall, Tulsa