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Yellow Jacket Roundup: Toes in the Water, Feet on the Court

Cancun was kind to the Jackets in this lighter week.

Last Sunday at McCamish.
Georgia Tech Athletics/Danny Karnik

ATLANTA, GEORGIA - Will volleyball go to the National Invitational Volleyball Championships? No, really, I’m asking because I don’t know. The NCAA Selection Show is yet to happen at the time I’m trying to write this, let alone the NIVC (think NIT but volleyball) so tonight is an interesting look into the progression of time as one of these gets written. The current local time is 5:15 PM.


RV/NR Women’s Basketball

Thursday, November 22nd: Georgia Tech (4 - 1) dispatches George Washington (1 - 4), 70-55.

Friday, November 23rd: Georgia Tech (5 - 1) knocks off Idaho State (2 - 4), 74-51.

In Tech’s first game of the Cancun Challenge, they faced an opponent who was decidedly outmatched by the Jackets. Though the game was decently close, after comparing the season records and the final score, the Jackets came out of the gate slow, though it picked up as the game progressed. They entered the locker room up 38-24 at the middle point. They kept widening the gap, which hit as many as 25 points, but as the result appeared more and more likely, more players and lineup combinations got into the mix. The Jackets put nine players in for double-digit minutes and both freshmen Elizabeths, Dixon and Balogun, joined Francesca Pan in double digit points. The Jackets out-rebounded George Washington and forced almost twice as many turnovers as their opponents and raked in 14 steals, all while shooting much better than they did against the school in Athens the previous game.

For an obscure Idaho school, it is somewhat notable that this is the second time that a Tech team has faced off against Idaho State in the past three months. Anyways, Tech again put nine players in double-digit minutes and three players had double-digit points, though Chanin Scott was the third, joining Dixon and Pan. Their defense wasn’t as aggressive in terms of amassing tallies in the final stats, but they passed the eye test after shooting out to a 12 point lead by the half, even though the two teams traded leads at the beginning. Tech’s biggest lead of the afternoon would come again at 25 points but were able to keep the door slammed firmly shut. Pan eclipsed the 1,000 point margin, the 31st to do so.

Though the Jackets were playing decidedly less well-regarded teams than their top-25 opponent from Athens the previous weekend, they did exactly what they needed to - win, and play their game. They did both, and come home from their exotic tournament with a solid 5-1 record.

This week: Tech heads to daunting former conference No. 7/10 Maryland for the 2018 edition of the ACC/Big Ten Challenge, but gets to follow that up with a trip back to Atlanta...for a road game at Georgia State on Sunday.

Volleyball

Wednesday, November 21st: Georgia Tech (17 - 13) is swept by no. 10 Pittsburgh (29 - 1), 25-19, 25-18, 25-10 (3 - 0).

Friday, November 23rd: Georgia Tech (17 - 14) falls to Louisville (21 - 8), 25-18, 28-26, 25-21 (3 - 0).

Tech looked okay on the road against Pittsburgh. Their first set was their strongest set, but this season has really been a tale of two teams, and Wednesday, the ordinary Yellow Jackets showed up. They played great when they were keeping it close in the first, but didn’t have enough to keep pace with one of the country’s best teams. It wasn’t a bad showing, but a sweep nonetheless.

The Jackets looked a lot better in Louisville in the regular season finale. They still got swept, but played two really tight sets against a well-regarded Louisville team, and were in the third set basically until the very end. With the loss, they wrap the season at 17-14 overall and 6-12 in conference, both decent steps up from last year but ultimately disappointing, considering the hot start. That said, they were granted the opportunity to keep playing into the postseason for the first time since 2009 on Sunday with the announcement that they were selected to host the first two rounds of the National Invitational Volleyball Championships this Thursday and Friday at O’Keefe Gymnasium.

This week: Tech lives to play South Florida Thursday at 7:00 PM in the friendly confines of home one more time.


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This Week on the Flats:

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

Monday: OFF

Tuesday: OFF

Wednesday:
No. 20/NR Swimming and Diving at USA Swimming Winter Nationals
6:00 PM, 800 Freestyle Prelims, Greensboro, NC, usaswimming.org

Men’s Basketball @ Northwestern
9:15 PM, Evanston, IL, ESPNU and the Georgia Tech IMG Basketball Radio Network (WCNN 680 AM / 93.7 FM Atlanta)

Thursday:
No. 20/NR Swimming and Diving at USA Swimming Winter Nationals
9:00 AM, Day 2 Prelims, Greensboro, NC, usaswimming.org
5:00 PM, Day 2 Finals, Greensboro, NC, Olympic Channel and nbcsports.com

RV/NR Women’s Basketball @ No. 7/10 Maryland (ACC/Big Ten Challenge)
6:30 PM, College Park, MD, Big Ten Network and WREK 91.1

Volleyball hosts South Florida in the NIVC First Round
7:00 PM, O’Keefe Gymnasium

Friday:
No. 20/NR Swimming and Diving at USA Swimming Winter Nationals
9:00 AM, Day 2 Prelims, Greensboro, NC, usaswimming.org
5:00 PM, Day 2 Finals, Greensboro, NC, Olympic Channel and nbcsports.com

Volleyball hosts St. John’s or College of Charleston in the NIVC Second Round (with a win Thursday)
7:00 PM, O’Keefe Gymnasium

Saturday:
No. 20/NR Swimming and Diving at USA Swimming Winter Nationals
9:00 AM, Day 2 Prelims, Greensboro, NC, usaswimming.org
5:00 PM, Day 2 Finals, Greensboro, NC, usaswimming.org
Condensed Finals Re-Air: NBC Sports Network 12/2 at 10:00 PM, NBC 12/16 at 3:00 PM

Men’s Basketball vs. St. John’s (Hoophall Miami Invitational)
12:00 PM, Miami, FL, ESPNU and the Georgia Tech IMG Basketball Radio Network (WCNN 680 AM / 93.7 FM Atlanta)

Sunday:
RV/NR Women’s Basketball @ Georgia State
6:30 PM, Atlanta, GA, WREK 91.1