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Yellow Jacket Roundup: And the Clock Strikes...

A mixed postseason bag for the Jackets.

Two last home wins for the Yellow Jackets.
Danny Karnik/Georgia Tech Athletics

METZ, FRANCE - The school year may be over but spring sports are not! Here is your slightly delayed look (travel will do that) at the world of Yellow Jacket athletics.


No. 4 Women’s Tennis

Tech took care of business yet again, knocking off both Eastern Kentucky and Winthrop in the comforts of the Ken Byers Tennis Complex this weekend. In the opener Friday, the Jackets took the lead early, securing the doubles point in impressive fashion, with no. 1 national seed Paige Hourigan/Kenya Jones and Johnnise Renaud/Nami Otsuka throttling their guests in 6-0, 6-0 wins. Not to be outdone, no. 48 Ida Jarlskog/Victoria Flores were leading 5-0 at the time play was called. A dominating doubles sweep to start play. The narrative continued into singles, with no. 14 Hourigan, no. 125 Jarlskog, and Otsuka taking wins. No Jacket was trailing when play was suspended. With that, Tech swept Eastern Kentucky 4-0.

In the second round, the Jackets faced a Winthrop team fresh off of an upset of no. 20 Auburn. Winthrop proved slightly more challenging for the Jackets, with Jarlskog/Flores and Renaud/Otsuka’s doubles wins coming in 6-1 margins, as opposed to the previous days sweeps. In singles play, Renaud, Jarlskog, and Otsuka secured wins in the Jackets second sweep of the weekend, knocking off upstart Winthrop 4-0. The no. 4 Yellow Jackets now head to Winston-Salem for the Sweet Sixteen, their third in a row and tenth in program history, riding a pair of very solid victories. They sit just four more away from a national title.

This Week: Tech is headed for a rematch with no. 12 Pepperdine, who defeated them indoors in the ITA Indoor National Championship. The Jackets will play Thursday at 7:00 PM at the Wake Forest Tennis Complex.

No. 4 Men’s Golf

When this blurb was first written somewhere out over the Atlantic Ocean, it was quite optimistic. Fast forward two days later to when it was finally finished, the situation is quite different. The NCAA Raleigh regional was, quite frankly, a disaster for heavily favored no. 4 Georgia Tech and no. 9 California. For the third straight season, Tech fails to advance out of the regional final, falling by a single stroke for the second year in a row. Though the third-seeded no. 16 Texas Longhorns were a surprise themselves, Augusta played absurdly well, including a -14 on the third day of competition, to land them in the top five. These two teams will be joined by hometown Duke and North Carolina State, as well as no. 21 Arizona State, in the championships. This was an ignominious end for the acclaimed ACC champions, and with that, the season is done earlier than expected for the Jackets.

This week: Tech is off until their fall tune-up.

Softball

Thursday, May 10th: North Carolina (30-25) eliminates Georgia Tech (28-26), 6-1.

The Jackets couldn’t muster up the same magic that served them so well in the home series against the Tar Heels, falling 6-1 to North Carolina in the quarterfinals of the ACC tournament, their first appearance since 2014. Though they jumped out to an early lead, the Jackets couldn’t hold on to their slim 1-0 margin. In the top of the third, the Jackets, who were the visitors thanks to being the higher seed, tacked on a run when Katie Krzus knocked in Draven Sonnen with a single. The Heels took the lead in the bottom of the same inning, scoring two. The score stood there until North Carolina managed four insurance runs in the bottom of the sixth, thus sealing the Jackets’ fate.

With only two ACC teams advancing to the NCAA regional this year, the Jackets, who finished 111th in RPI, are not one of them. This, however, is a marked improvement from their 155th finish last season. With improvements from top to bottom, starting from the inspired hire of alumna Aileen Morales as the head coach, in one recruiting class the Jackets improved by 9 wins. This does not even reflect the narrow losses that befuddled the Jackets on a seemingly weekly basis. With more consistency at the plate, or even getting their runners the last ninety feet, they could have taken an even bigger stride.

The 2018 team played a slate that included 10 games against tournament-bound teams, going 2-8 in those games. However, two losses came in extras, three by one run, and several more by only a pair of runs. This team was in games until the very end. The Jackets will lose some key parts, like pitcher Emily Anderson and lineup regulars like Draven Sonnen and Kelsey Chisholm, but it will be exciting to see how the 2019 team grows after a taste of the postseason and a full offseason with Morales. The future is bright for Tech softball.

This Week: Tech is off until their fall tune-up.

Track and Field

Tech sported two ACC individual champions after their trip to Miami this past weekend. Jeanine Williams and Avery Bartlett, in the 100m hurdles and the 800m, respectively, started their postseasons off right with stellar performances in their events, earning them first team all-conference. Meanwhile, five other athletes garnered All-ACC second team honors, with Benjamin Jean and Daniel Pietsch earning it in the 400m, Andres Littig joining Bartlett in the 800m, Preston Smith in the triple jump, and Hailey Gollnick in the 3000m steeplechase. Williams, now the reigning ACC champion hurdler inside and outside, is ranked fourth in the East Regional and eighth nationwide.

This Week: NCAA East Preliminaries will take place May 24th-26th.

Men’s Tennis

Same as last week: Carlos Divar heads to the NCAA singles bracket, and will be joined by his doubles partner Michael Kay in the doubles draw. They will begin play at the Wake Forest Tennis Complex May 23rd.

Baseball

For baseball coverage: Tech falls to u[sic]ga for the third time this year, loses series at Virginia, but wins their final midweek game against Southeast Missouri.

This weekend: Tech hosts Duke in the final homestand of the season this weekend at the Rusty C to wrap up ACC play.


This Week on the Flats:

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

Thursday:
Women’s Tennis: No. 4 Georgia Tech vs. No. 12 Pepperdine
7:00 PM, Winston-Salem, NC
Baseball vs. Duke
7:00 PM, The Rusty C, ACC Network Extra and WREK 91.1

Friday:
Baseball vs. Duke
6:00 PM, The Rusty C, ACC Network Extra and WREK 91.1

Saturday:
Baseball vs. Duke (Senior Day)
1:00 PM, The Rusty C, ACC Network Extra and WREK 91.1

Sunday: OFF