ATLANTA, GEORGIA - For the first time since Wade Bailey put a healthy dent in the side of the Brock Indoor Football Facility with two outs in the bottom of the ninth inning on baseball’s Senior Day, there was meaningful sports happening along Fowler Street as volleyball hosted the Hyatt Regency Invitational.
Some time on Wednesday, the seeds of future Yellow Jacket Roundups were sown with a massive drop of fall non-revenue sport calendars. Softball, men’s golf, women’s tennis, and swimming and diving join the cross country teams with complete fall lineups available.
The hot takes about the upcoming schedules will have to wait for a later date, however - perhaps in a brief season preview next week as more teams get back into the swing of things. In the meantime, volleyball started its season in earnest this weekend with the Hyatt Regency Invitational. Oh, and, yes, in the week-at-a-glance schedule, any ACC Network Extra links will take you directly to that specific game, if you want to catch a Tech volleyball (or a softball, baseball and women’s basketball later on) game from the comfort of home.
Friday, August 24th: Georgia Tech (1 - 0) defeats Idaho State (0 - 1), 25-19, 25-16, 23-25, 25-22 (3 - 1).
Friday, August 24th: Georgia Tech (2 - 0) sweeps Winthrop (0 - 2), 25-21, 25-12, 29-27 (3 - 0).
Saturday, August 25th: Georgia Tech (3 - 0) handles Abilene Christian (2 - 1), 25-16, 25-23, 25-15 (3 - 0).
Saturday, August 25th: Georgia Tech (4 - 0) clinches the title against Georgetown (2 - 2), 27-25, 25-22, 25-19 (3 - 0).
Tech began regular season this weekend in the hospitable confines of the intimate O’Keefe Gymnasium. From the first serve at noon on Friday, the Jackets looked solid, taking command early in the first set against Idaho State. Though Idaho State hung around for a while, despite solid play by the Jackets, Tech’s defense tightened up ahead just 21-19 to put away the first set with four straight points, three of which were kills by freshman Mikaila Dowd. In the second set, Tech jumped out to an early lead and looked good doing it. They coasted to a 9-point margin of victory and their team attack was easily the highest of the match - confirmed by the eye test - and the fluid, seemingly seamless volleyball they played was refreshing and necessary the rest of the season once the tougher parts of the schedule roll around. The Jackets led nearly the entire third set, which turned out to be the only one they would drop all weekend. Unfortunately, the time when they trailed happened to be after a slightly suspect call with the score knotted at 23, not that the game should have been that close to begin with. Everything worked out, though, in the end, and Tech, powered by double-doubles freshmen Dowd and Mariana Brambilla, and nearly a third from junior Katie Comby, won their season opener againts Idaho State.
Tech’s second game, a nightcap against Winthrop, honestly had a similar feel to it. Tech seized the lead early in the first set and never looked back. Tech cruised through the second set as well, with Winthrop going quietly and quickly after trailing by five early. In the third set, they didn’t go down without a fight, taking Tech into extras after trading leads the whole match. Facing set point at 27-26, Tech took three in a row, two off kills from Comby, to take their second game. In what is becoming a theme, Dowd again added a double-double and senior Lauren Frerking attacked at a .583 clip to put Winthrop away.
With another game of strong play from Brambilla, who had a double-double, as well as Dowd, and Kendall Wilson, things were once again smooth sailing for the Yellow Jackets. Though the score was tied as late as 12-12, Tech scored 13 of the last 17 points to take the first set. The second set was much more a back-and-forth affair, this time tied as late as 23-23 in the waning part of the set. Not surprisingly, Tech also had a notably lower overall team attack in this set. A tremendous block by Wilson and an error by the opposition were all it took to break the tie and take the set, though. The third set was much more similar to the first. The game wound up over in a speedy 72 minutes, and Tech won by ten in a vanilla affair.
The final game of the tournament was perhaps the closest one the Jackets played all weekend. Despite holding a low team attack of .118 across the first set, which came down to several set points yet again, Tech didn’t trail and was only tied. Though sophomore Cori Clifton had a great match, as did Dowd and Comby, once again Brambilla was excellent, netting yet another double-double on her way to tournament MVP honors. In the meantime, though, Tech was able to take the last two sets thanks to an impressive six point streak in the second set featuring great serving from redshirt junior Coral Kazaroff and solid play in front in the third. All in all, a solid weekend for the Jackets and they’ll look to take the Hyatt Regency Tournament, not to be confused with this past weekend’s invitational, on Thursday and Friday once again at O’Keefe.
This weekend: Tech hosts the Hyatt Regency Tournament, featuring games against Alabama State, Wofford, South Alabama, and former SEC rival Tulane.
This Week on the Flats:
BOLD for home, REGULAR for away, ITALIC for time and location
Football vs. Alcorn State
12:30 PM, Bobby Dodd Stadium at Historic Grant Field, Regional Sports Network and Georgia Tech Football Radio Network