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Yellow Jacket Roundup: Bonus Basketball

It takes a lot to fell the new-ish look Yellow Jackets of women’s shootyhoops.

Swimming heads to you live from West Lafayette.
Georgia Tech Athletics/Danny Karnik

ATLANTA, GEORGIA - Welcome to the Monday? Morning? Backup Punter-inspired edition of the Yellow Jacket Roundup. With the life of a burgeoning engineer being busy in and out of the, ya know, engineering stuff, this weekend threw an exceptional wrench into the whole writing-the-news thing. Hopefully this is coming to you on Monday, preferably in the morning. Just like the doctor ordered. Fortunately for you all, though, there’s plenty to dive into this week on the Flats.

Women’s Basketball

Friday, November 9th: Georgia Tech (0 - 1) falls to —/RV Houston (1 - 1) in triple overtime, 95 - 89.

Sunday, November 11th: Georgia Tech (1 - 1) handles Appalachian State (0 - 0) in their home opener, 71 - 53.

In their season-opener on the road in Houston on Friday night, the Jackets built themselves quite the initial lead against a respectable Cougar team. However, in the second quarter, Tech gave it all right back as the home team suffocated the Jackets to the tune of a 24-6 quarter to enter the half up 36-23. Tech, not to be outdone, was able to outscore their hosts in the second half, leading by as many as three points late. However, the Cougars (ya woo Cougar basketball?) drained a shot from beyond the arc to force overtime. Once again, the Jackets led by a basket as time expired, but the Cougars were able to once again force another overtime. After being unable to slam the door the first two attempts, this third round would prove too much for the Jackets and they would ultimately fall in a game eerily reminiscent of the NIT Championship in 2017, where Tech was also unable to close out a long game against a strong opponent.

The weekend was not for naught, though, as the Jackets played familiar non-conference foe Appalachian State on Sunday. Once again, both the newcomers and the more familiar faces played well as Tech took a solid win on their home court to even their record at .500.

This week: The Jackets continue their homestand with games against Western Carolina and that most hated of rivals, the school in Athens.

No. 17/NR Swimming and Diving‘s Jon Cooper opens his feature on the no. 17-ranked men’s team saying, “There’s no point in trying to count how many laps or reps swimmers and divers do over days, weeks and months of training to get compete in meets – or practices to earn the right to even compete in meets.” This is somewhat of a misinformed opinion. As a swimmer by trade, and someone who spent many years doing exactly that, you learn it’s important to benchmark yourself, just like it is in every sport. Sure, you probably won’t catch many football players tallying their reps or pitchers recording each strike they throw in a bullpen session, but swimming is different. Every yard, and how you swim it, matters. The same thing applies to racing. Every time you get on the blocks, that swim counts. Practice doesn’t make perfect. Perfect practice makes perfect. Swimming against the very best of the best is how to best improve. And that’s why this weekend was important for Tech. Is it insulting to invite just four members of the seventeenth best team in the country to this season’s premier inter-conference showdown event when other teams get upwards of eight? Definitely. But did Tech make the most of this great opportunity they got to swim against Olympians, record holders, and national champions? Let’s take a look.

Starting with the women’s side, it’s honestly a little easier to tell. The ACC is comparatively much weaker than the Big Ten, whereas in men’s swimming, its much more competitive. The Tech women, unlike the ranked men, are comparatively much weaker than the rest of the conference. However, that said, the three swimmers that Tech sent to Purdue, seniors Laura Branton and Iris Wang, and junior Emily Ilgenfritz, generally can compete with the class of the conference. Ilgenfritz, already one of the two women in school history to break 10:00.00 in the 1000 Freestyle, is now the school record-holder. She broke her own record in the 500 Freestyle as well. Wang snagged one of the top conference times off of a few relay legs. These are good things - swimming against quality competition in big meets is good for the experience, as fun as it is to pulverize SCAD or Delta State. All three of the men earned B-cuts to this spring’s national championships (see sidebar). This meet was a definite success for the Jackets lucky enough to compete in it. Now it’s up to the team as a whole to turn the numerous, but undoubtedly countable, laps in the pool to success in the rest of this season’s meets.

This week: The eight nomadic Jackets return to their teammates to host the always-eclectic Georgia Tech Invitational in this week’s Non-Revenue Game of the Week.

No. 30/NR Cross Country

The women’s cross country team punched their tickets to Madison, Wisconsin this weekend courtesy of their excellent fourth place finish at this weekend’s NCAA Regional competition. The achievement marks their best finish in the event since 2001, when they won the region, and the selection committee rewarded them with one of 13 at-large bids to the championship. The men, though they were outdone, were only ever-so-slightly edged, finishing fifth in the competition, up from their undervalued twelfth seed. Coach Alan Drosky, who has earned himself much congratulations for the excellent season his teams, especially the women, have put together, put it best, summed it up his teams and reminded us the ever important idiom, “It was a great day to be a Yellow Jacket as both teams were outstanding out on the course today.” Well put, coach. Enjoy the week and good luck in Wisconsin, you all earned it.

This week: Mr. Drosky goes to Madison as well as the rest of the national championship-bound women’s cross country team.


Sunday, November 11th: Georgia Tech (16 - 12) falls to Syracuse (16 - 7), 29-27, 25-21, 25-18 (3 - 0).

In a game closer than the 3-0 sweep would imply, the Yellow Jackets got squeezed by Syracuse to close their home slate for this season. In the first set, timely blocks and kills kept the Jackets in the game late, clawing back to tie the game several times, and even allowing them to take set point at once, but that would be as close as the Jackets would come before falling to the Orange. The next two sets went more predictably, but the Jackets looked fairly decent and it was just tough volleyball. They close the season with three more conference games on the road through the next two weeks.

This week: The Jackets head to Charlottesville and Pittsburgh to take on the lowly Cavaliers and the vaunted Panthers.

Club Sports Update:

  • The nationally-competitive and regionally-excellent club crew team wrapped up their fall slate this weekend. It included trips to several regattas, including the famous Head of the Charles, described in literature glowingly, stating, “Regattas such as the Head of the Charles in Boston and the Head of the Schuylkill in Philadelphia are to the rowing world what the New York Marathonand the Boston Marathon are to running,” (Susan Saint Sing). According to Wikipedia, “It is the largest 2-day regatta in the world, with 11,000 athletes rowing in over 1,900 boats in 61 events.” To see Tech win an event and keep their entry in the Club 8+ is quite the feat. Also, the Jackets excelled at the Head of the Hooch and South regattas as well, where they were able to send more boats and entries, taking home vaunted trophies in each.

Head of the Charles
Men’s Club 8+: Top 50% (kept entry for next year)
Men’s Collegiate 4+: 1st Place

Head of the Hooch
ACC Points Trophy: 1st Place
Collegiate Points Trophy: 2nd Place

Head of the South
Collegiate Points Trophy: 1st Place

  • Rugby plays the Athenians at 7:30 PM at Roe Stamps Field.
  • Most importantly, cause it’s time sensitive: check out the limited-time-only sweet threads from Georgia Tech Hockey. The white, navy, and gold “Thrashers-inspired” thread are all available for purchase starting at $85 dollars now through Thanksgiving via Rebirth Sports, and would make a great gift for any Georgia Tech fan, any hockey fan, or anyone who looks good in navy, (of which yours truly is all three for what it’s worth). Your resident #AkshayEye opinion says “navy > white > gold for their three jerseys” but all three look great and all the proceeds go towards helping this club team fund its continued operation. For us hockey-starved Atlantans, that’s a noble cause indeed.

For Football Coverage:

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For Men’s Basketball Coverage:

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This Week on the Flats:

BOLD for home, REGULAR for away, ITALIC for time and location

Monday: OFF

Men’s Basketball @ no. 6/6 Tennessee
9:00 PM, Knowville, TN, ESPN2 and the Georgia Tech IMG Basketball Radio Network (WCNN 680 AM / 93.7 FM Atlanta)

Women’s Basketball vs. Western Carolina
7:00 PM, McCamish Pavilion, ACC Network Extra and WREK 91.1

No. 17/NR Swimming and Diving hosts Georgia Tech Invitational
All day, McAuley Aquatic Center

No. 17/NR Swimming and Diving hosts Georgia Tech Invitational
All day, McAuley Aquatic Center

Volleyball @ Virginia
7:00 PM, Charlottesville, VA, ACC Network Extra and WREK 91.1

Men’s Basketball vs. East Carolina
7:30 PM, McCamish Pavilion, ACC Network Extra and the Georgia Tech IMG Basketball Radio Network (WCNN 680 AM / 93.7 FM Atlanta)

Football vs. Virginia
3:30 PM, Bobby Dodd Stadium, Raycom Sports Network (Fox Sports South Atlanta) and the Georgia Tech IMG Football Radio Network (WCNN 680 AM / 93.7 FM Atlanta)

No. 17/NR Swimming and Diving hosts Georgia Tech Invitational
All day, McAuley Aquatic Center

Women’s Basketball vs. the School in Athens
2:00 PM, McCamish Pavilion, ACC Network Extra and WREK 91.1