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Yellow Jacket Roundup: And We’re Back

Women’s basketball won two they absolutely needed to win.

I had another image here, but no, athletics already used it on a recap. So I defer.
Georgia Tech Athletics/Danny Karnik

COLUMBIA, SOUTH CAROLINA - This is it, the busy season. While it’s always nice to be able to welcome softball and golf back to the scene, they still don’t overshadow the women’s basketball team getting themselves solidly back on track.

No. 2 Men’s Golf

The Jackets started the weekend in fourth, before falling to seventh, and later eighth by the end of the weekend. Luke Schneiderjans was the best performer on the weekend, finishing eighteenth in the field. Tech failed to capitalize on high-par holes, but conversely were outstanding on low-par holes. This is positive, or at least, not discouraging. The good news is that, despite the slow starting weekend, the Jackets can shake it off quickly as they head out to Puerto Rico this weekend.

This week: Golf sure does go to nice places, this time to an American island in the easterly direction.

Women’s Basketball

Thursday, February 7th: Georgia Tech (14 - 9) gets back on track against Pittsburgh (9 - 15), 67-55.

Sunday, February 10th: Georgia Tech (15 - 9) gets one on the road at Wake Forest (10 - 14), 60-46.

Apparently yours truly and head coach MaChelle Joseph were on the same wavelength Thursday, because my immediate takeaway was that Tech looked rusty, only to see that was also in her lead quote in the recap. That said, a win is a win, and Tech needed to take care of business against lowly Pittsburgh. It took longer than one would hope for Tech to pull away from the visitors on Thursday, but Tech put four scorers in double figures, led by Elizabeth Dixon with 22. Pitt was able to hang with Tech early thanks to solid three-point shooting, though Tech found its way to the rim deftly, despite some early critical misses. In the end, Tech edged in front to stay and was able to lock down the win, as it should.

In the weekend edition, Tech set out to a contest with a downward-trending Wake Forest team. It was not a high scoring contest, but Tech pulled away to ultimately win by 14. The score wasn’t quite representative of the game, though, as the Demon Deacons scored all of the last 11 points to nearly halve their final deficit. Uncharacteristically, Tech did not out-rebound the home team.

This week, Tech played two of the weaker teams in the conference, and got the job done. While obviously both allowing 11 unanswered points to one of them is bad, and so is letting another hang around surprisingly late in the game, Georgia Tech did what it needed to do - win both games. With now just five conference games to play, Tech finds themselves firmly on the tournament bubble. Thanks to a few tough losses earlier in the year, they’ve more or less burnt their margin for error - the time to win is now. Tech must go at least 3-2 in the next five games. The next three - home against VPISU and Clemson, and a visit to Virginia - would be very nice to win. They then get a Miami team that upset Notre Dame, despite being decent at best last year, on the road, before closing out against a fringe-top 25 Florida State team. The time to win is now. Shake off the rust and let’s get to work.

This week: The Jackets get a weekday bye again before returning home for another Sunday tilt.

No. 19/NR Swimming and Diving

I don’t usually lead with surprising or notable swims from the women’s team, but with a secondary lineup in, Tech showed a surprising amount of depth. That said, it wasn’t Tech’s stars that shone in Auburn this weekend. With trips to Greensboro coming for the men and women within the month, and most key players’ swims set, any last chances to change minds for the final lineup came and went in Auburn, and I can’t see much that’ll shift what Tech trots out in a couple weeks. In order for the men to get close to the conference crown, the odds of which are incredibly long, and to solidify any cuts for NCAAs, this workout regimen into their taper had better be effective.

This week: Tech is rapidly closing in on the conference championship taper, with the women first up in Greensboro in two weeks.


Friday, February 8th: Georgia Tech (0 - 1) falls in extras to Providence (1 - 0), 4-3 (8).

Saturday, February 9th: Georgia Tech (0 - 2) drops a second to Providence (2 - 0), 4-3.

Saturday, February 9th: Georgia Tech (1 - 2) gets the elusive first win against UMass-Lowell (2 - 1), 9-8 (8).

Sunday, February 10th: Georgia Tech (2 - 2) gets to .500 against Jacksonville ( - ), 13-9.

Tech got down 3-0 to the Friars in the fourth and fifth, but was able to claw their way back and force extras before falling in extras to Providence.

Same score, different story as Tech gives up four in the final frame, losing on a walk-off home run. Tricia Awald, though, knocked Tech’s first home run of the year in the loss.

Tech got their first win in the most nerve-wracking way possible on Saturday, as they jumped out two an 8-0 lead by the end of the second, but allowed UMass-Lowell to chisel away at the lead, including allowing five runs in the top of the seventh, ultimately sending the game to extras. Tech, though, was able to score last as Katie Krzus knocked in the final run and Tech won 9-8 in eight.

Tech finally found their bats for real in a win against the hosts on Sunday. Tech needed to wake up at the plate, though the mound seems a bit questionable still, with Tech giving up 17 runs in the last 15 innings of play.

That said, without ACC Network Extra or having seen them in person yet, it’s hard to draw any conclusions, especially this early in the season. With five games at home in the next seven days, it’ll be enlightening not only to take a look at the bats in person, but, I’d argue more critically it’ll be nice to see the defense and pitching in person. And, therefore, I’ll have more solid opinions with you next week.

This week: Tech opens up at home with the crosstown Georgia State Panthers, and gets four this weekend against Illinois and Michigan State in the ACC-Big Ten Challenge.

Men’s Tennis

Tech remains undefeated in regular season play at home after taking back-to-back matchups against Kennesaw State and Georgia State this weekend. Though they’re playing well, and indeed have three singles players in the top 100 - Carlos Divar (no. 38), Cole Gromley (no. 69), Andrew Li (no. 81) - but mid-major tennis isn’t quite the level that the big boys play, so they’ll have a nice test in Columbia, South Carolina later this week.

This week: back to play within the...Southeastern...conference.

Track and Field

They were everywhere, in two timezones and three states, this weekend. Jeanine Williams continued to excel in the hurdles, and has already been named ACC Track Performer of the Month and Week at least once this season. Meanwhile, the usual suspects - Avery Bartlett and Nahom Solomon - continued to be good at distance, and set themselves up nicely for potential NCAA qualifying. Interestingly, it seems most of the notable runs came from the distance events, so it will be interesting to see how that translates back into cross country next year, especially with the women having a nice little season this year.

This week: A week of rest before the conference championships.

Club Sports Update

No. 1 Swimming: On the road at South Carolina, defeated the school in Athens, among others, never finishing below 2nd in a relay in the win.
No. 6 Men’s Hockey: 1-1 this weekend against FAU, move to 13-5-0-2 on the season.
No. 8 Men’s Lacrosse: They might be good - beat Ole Miss 21-3 to open the season.
Men’s Volleyball: A 5-0 weekend in Clemson wins them the tournament.
Men’s Rugby: Demolished Georgia State last weekend but to be honest, I wasn’t really sure how the points worked until the end and there was no scoreboard, anyways.

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This Week on the Flats:

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

Monday: OFF

Tuesday: OFF

Softball vs. Georgia State
5:00 PM, Mewborn Field, ACC Network Extra and WREK 91.1

Men’s Basketball at VPISU
8:00 PM, Blacksburg, VA, Raycom Sports, and the Georgia Tech IMG Basketball Radio Network (WCNN 680 AM / 93.7 FM Atlanta)

Thursday: OFF

Softball vs. Illinois (ACC-Big Ten Challenge)
4:00 PM, Mewborn Field, ACC Network Extra

Baseball vs. Illinois-Chicago
4:00 PM, Russ Chandler Stadium, ACC Network Extra and WREK 91.1

Women’s Tennis vs. Georgia State
4:00 PM, Ken Byers Tennis Complex

Baseball vs. Richmond
1:00 PM, Russ Chandler Stadium, ACC Network Extra and WREK 91.1

Men’s Basketball vs. Florida State
2:00 PM, McCamish Pavilion, Raycom Sports, and the Georgia Tech IMG Basketball Radio Network (WCNN 680 AM / 93.7 FM Atlanta)

Softball vs. Illinois (ACC-Big Ten Challenge)
3:00 PM, Mewborn Field, ACC Network Extra

Softball vs. Michigan State (ACC-Big Ten Challenge)
5:30 PM, Mewborn Field, ACC Network Extra

Men’s Golf at the Puerto Rico Classic
All day, Rio Grande, Puerto Rico

Men’s Tennis at South Carolina
12:00 PM, Columbia, SC

Softball vs. Michigan State (ACC-Big Ten Challenge)
12:30 PM, Mewborn Field, ACC Network Extra

Women’s Basketball vs. VPISU
1:00 PM, Winston-Salem, NC, ACC Network Extra

Baseball vs. West Virginia
1:00 PM, Russ Chandler Stadium, ACC Network Extra and WREK 91.1