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Yellow Jacket Roundup: Something Happened in South Dakota

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GT Volleyball comes back from Vermillion with a trophy.

This is a tremendous photo by Danny Karnik. A shoutout to him for all his work covering Tech sports.
Danny Karnik/Georgia Tech Athletics

CHICAGO, ILLINOIS - It might as well be Puerto Rico up here in the frozen wastelands of the Upper Midwest, because today it was hardly even coat weather. Fittingly, though, since it was a pretty solid week for what few Yellow Jacket sports teams were in action all across this massive country.


Volleyball

Tech (26-8) sweeps South Dakota (27-3) 3-0 (25-23, 25-23, 25-17)

Akshay and I wrote plenty in the aftermath of Tuesday night’s win up in Vermillion, but for those that missed it, here’s a quick recap. The first two sets were tight, despite Tech’s helpful proclivity to jump out to early leads. The back-and-forth nature of the sets was a testament to the quality of the opponent, who was by far the best of the tournament and probably, like Tech, should have been in the Big Dance. Once they were up two on the home team, who were yet to lose in their own building, the Jackets didn’t look back, and cruised to a straight set sweep.

For a more detailed breakdown of the game and a recap of how they got there, check out this postgame article from Wednesday morning:

Since we’re coming up on the lightest month of the year in the non-revenue world, we’ll probably take a look at some stats and such from the season for volleyball and some others from the fall either in this space, something like the recap, or the podcast coming into January. Gotta keep the lights on to keep women’s basketball company until swimming, tennis, and softball get back underway.

This week: Tech is at rest until spring season gives them a chance to loosen up, and won’t play games that count for the record until August of 2020.

Women’s Basketball

Tech (8-2) falls to no. 11/12 Texas A&M (10-1) 60-48
Tech (9-2) edges Rice (5-6) 54-52

It briefly looked like the Jackets were going to run away with the first game of the Coqui Classic this weekend in Puerto Rico. Tech played strong defense in the first quarter, and closed it with a nice four point lead against a strong team. The second quarter, though, was a sign of an Aggie team that took control. Tech trailed by ten at halftime, and they wouldn’t regain a lead in the second half. Throughout, the Aggies played a remarkably clean game, and Tech took just one shot from the charity stripe, while their opponents went 13-17, quite literally the difference in the game. Though they would cut into the lead, trailing back into the single digits several times in the half, it wasn’t enough to truly threaten, and they eventually lost by a dozen.

The second game of the weekend ended much better for the Yellow Jackets. The competition wasn’t as strong, of course, with Rice a middling Conference USA team, but a win is a win, regardless. There wasn’t much doing for the Jackets off the bench, with just three points from Jasmine Carson in 14 minutes of play, while Lorela Cubaj, Lotta-Maj Lahtinen, Francesca Pan, and Kierra Fletcher all logged more than 35 minutes of play, while Lahtinen and Pan went the distance. Pan and Fletcher led the offense, pouring in 20 and 15 points, respectively, as the pillars of the offense. Tech found themselves in a deep hole early, trailing 23-11, but, despite the lock-down defense in the low scoring affair, were able to slowly climb back out of the self-imposed pit. They trailed by four at the half, but came out of the break hot, leading 31-28 almost immediately. The second half was tight, and neither team seemed able to take control. Tech was ahead by two, Tech dropped behind be three, Tech adds two more to lead by five. With a 52-47 edge, the Jackets coughed up five straight points to knot the game once more. It seems fitting, though, that a pillar of the offense, Fletcher, was the one to rattle in the game winner on the last possession. It would ultimately be rebounds that decided the game, in actuality, but in spirit, it was the home court advantage. How, you may ask, given that only 100 people were recorded as attending the game in Puerto Rice, per the box score? Well, that’s a nice story, in and of itself. Tech’s Jackets Without Borders program has helped build houses in a Puerto Rican town, and a bunch of them were in attendance for the game. Talk about great, unbreakable connections built on something important. That’s what being a Yellow Jacket is all about.

This week: Tech has the week off, with no games until ACC play opens next weekend against the Virginia Cavaliers.


For basketball coverage:

click here for the good news from Hawaii


This Week on the Flats:

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

Monday:
Men’s Basketball vs. Houston (Diamond Head Classic - Semifinals)
7:00 PM, Honolulu, HI, ESPN2 and the IMG Georgia Tech Radio Network (680 AM / 93.7 FM in Atlanta)

Tuesday: OFF

Wednesday:
Men’s Basketball vs. TBD (Diamond Head Classic - Final Round)
TBD, Honolulu, HI, ESPN2 or ESPNU and the IMG Georgia Tech Radio Network (680 AM / 93.7 FM in Atlanta)

Thursday: OFF

Friday: OFF

Saturday: OFF

Sunday:
Women’s Basketball vs. Virginia
2:00 PM, McCamish Pavilion, ACC Network Extra and WREK 91.1 FM