The Men's and Women's Cross Country teams got their seasons kicked off this past week at the 2015 JSU/Struts Invitational in Oxford, Alabama. The Lady Jackets dominated their side, finishing first and having the top five finishers in Melissa Fairey, Hayley Keadey, Morgan Jackson, Mary Prouty and Sarah Bowles.
On the Men's side, the team finished in second place behind the strong running of Jeremy Greenwald who finished in first place for the fourth time since the beginning of last season. Alex Grady (eighth), Zane Coburn (ninth) and Patrick Fleming (tenth) also placed in the race.
Tech made quick work of last week's Georgia Challenge in Athens, sweeping the other three participating teams. The first match came against the Mercer Bears, and the only drama that came was in the second game. After losing the first game 25-8, Mercer had shown up for the second game, taking a 14-13 lead. The game worked its way to a 24-24 deuce, before Tech was able to pull away with a narrow 26-24 victory, and later on, the sweep.
Against Georgia Southern, all of the drama came in the first game. After taking a 10-5 lead, the Yellow Jackets nearly let things get out of control and ended up at an 18-18 tie. From there, things only got crazier with the game being constantly tied and even Tech nearly losing the game three times to the Eagles before the Yellow Jackets finally won 28-26. From there, the Jackets used that momentum to carry them through the next two games of the match for the sweep.
The three games against UGA were consistently the closest of all of the matches Tech played in the tournament. Tech won the match by a combined 11 points throughout the three games. Finishing the tournament, the Jackets were 6-1. And now, they have bragging rights over the rest of the state.
Following the tournament, the Jackets made their way back home to take on Auburn for the first time since 1996. The Yellow Jackets took the first two games pretty easily, with scores of 25-16 and 25-19, but in the third game of the match, the Tigers went up early and cruised to a 25-19 victory. In the fourth game of the match, Auburn was up 19-17 before Tech took a 4-1 run (making it 21-20) that gave them the momentum to finish the match with the victory (their sixth in a row).
After these four matches (three sweeps), junior outside hitter Teegan Van Gunst was named the ACC Co-Player of the Week. In the four matches that week, Van Gunst had 51 kills and was named MVP of the Georgia Challenge. The Yellow Jackets get back to action Friday and Saturday in Lincoln, Nebraska for the Nebraska Ameritas Players Challenge, where the Jackets will face USF, UC Davis and No. 4 Nebraska.
The Men's Golf team gets their season started this weekend at the Carpet Capital Challenge at the Farm Golf Club in Rocky Face, Georgia from September 11-13.
The Men's Tennis team gets their season started this weekend at the Southern Intercollegiate Championships in Athens, Georgia from September 11-14.
The Women's Tennis team gets their season started this weekend at the Fab Five tournament in Durham, North Carolina from September 11-13.