Welcome to Yellow Jacket Roundup! I am reviving a weekly look into the non-revenue sports, bringing the latest results from up and down Fowler Street - you know, that space between McCamish Pavilion and Bobby Dodd Stadium. It’ll definitely feature scores, but, especially if I can make it to games, as I do live on campus, you’ll get analysis, other news, and anecdotes if possible. So far, only volleyball is in action. So, I present Yellow Jacket Roundup: Volleyball Edition.
Women’s Volleyball (2-2 overall, 2-2 this week)
Friday, August 25th:
Auburn (1-0) defeats Georgia Tech (0-1) 25-18, 25-13, 25-13 (3-0)
From the stands, it didn’t look great. Tech, especially in the second set, looked listless. The first set began with slim leads and close plays. Early, Tech led by three, but, following Auburn’s seizure of the lead at 11-10, they did not look back and took set number one. In the second, the Jackets weren’t close and didn’t give Auburn much chase while falling by a dozen. The third, similar to the first, was tied at 11-11. The Jackets kept it close for a while, trailing by two late in the set, but ultimately fell 25-18 yet again, giving Auburn the sweep.
Saturday, August 26th:
Furman (1-1) edges Georgia Tech (0-2) 15-25, 25-20, 25-23, 25-27, 22-20 (3-2)
The Yellow Jackets snatched defeat from the jaws of victory several times over the course of this match. Tech and the visiting Paladins traded wins in the first two sets, though Tech mounted a comeback late in the second. Despite leading 23-18 in the third set, they lost, and found themselves in an unfortunate 2-1 hole. They narrowly squeaked out a win in the fourth to tie the match at 2-2. In the tiebreaker set, which featured numerous ties, Furman was able to put two points together after the 15th point to seal their victory.
Georgia Tech (1-2) upsets #17 Michigan State (2-1) 25-22, 25-23, 14-25, 25-21 (3-1)
I’m going to be honest: even up 2-0, I didn’t know if we would win this one; Michigan State looked great even while losing. Tech, unlike the Auburn game, capitalized on Spartan mistakes often. The critical 3-0 run to end the first put the Jackets in the driver’s seat the rest of the way and they made the most of it. In the second, another nail-biter, which featured a nerve-wracking late push from the Spartans, the Jackets again took a close, well-played set. It seemed Tech saved their misplays for the third set. Michigan State steamrolled the Jackets, but, only in this set. If there was a right time to make mistakes, it was when they were down by a lot. Tech came back with another exciting win in the fourth to take the match and set from Michigan State, their biggest upset in eight years. This was the win this team needed.
Sunday, August 27th:
Georgia Tech (2-2) swarmed North Dakota (4-1) 25-15, 25-20, 25-23 (3-0)
Like Auburn, the first set was close early, up until the teams hit double digits. From there, Tech stepped on the gas and cruised to a commanding 10 point win in the first set. The next set started similarly: back-and-forth with a lot of lead changes. In the third, North Dakota came closest to winning a set. After trailing late, and only leading by one at match point, Tech was able to close out a sweep of the Fighting Hawks.
This weekend, the team went from getting swept to doing the sweeping, finishing 2-2. There will undoubtably be growing pains for this younger team, especially after losing the integral Van Gunst twins to graduation. However, as they’ve already shown, they could surprise teams, too, and that will be plenty of fun to watch. I didn’t have much exposure to the sport before coming to Tech. However, when the intimate O’Keefe Gymnasium (located behind the softball field and south of McCamish Pavilion at the end of Techwood Drive) is packed, the place is electric. It is the most underrated activity on campus. The games this year have been as thrilling as ever, even the losses. If you can make a game, I would highly recommend it.
This Week: The Jackets head to #22 San Diego for an invitational also featuring Texas and Villanova.
Right Now, Actually: Tech Tennis star and two time ACC Player of the Year Chris Eubanks heads to the US Open to start the Round of 128 on Court 6 in Queens. Watch live on ESPN3.
Coming up this fall: cross country, football, swimming and diving, and plenty more volleyball before basketball starts in November.
What would you like from the roundup this year? Recaps? Just the scores? Something else? Let me know!