ATLANTA, GEORGIA - This summer, as we did last summer, Yellow Jacket Roundup will be taking a ten week hiatus as the summer sports break splits spring from fall and the academic year begins anew. Pretty much the same premise, expect this year, we have a better, and more alliterative name. Women’s tennis is on the docket for today, and at the risk of spoiling what’s to come, they didn’t have near the darling run they did in 2017, but, to some extent, regression was expected. Now, it’s time to put it into a little perspective.
When We Last Saw ‘Em:
Tech knew the loss of the excellent Paige Hourigan was inevitable going into this season, but less expected was the departure of Ida Jarlskog, who transferred to Florida for her sophomore campaign. However, with Tech netting the country’s no. 6 overall recruiting class, the thought was that Tech’s slide from their Final Four appearance would be lessened somewhat by an infusion of young talent in the form of Valeriya Deminova, Baijing Lin and Dalila Said. They would be joined for the spring semester by Gia Cohen.
Tech opened the season at a respectable fourteenth rank in the country. Though they would have a poor start at the Michigan Invite and at the ITA Indoor Championship regional they hosted, including a sweep at the hands of Ohio State and a close loss to Auburn. Tech would creep up the rankings, though, to thirteen, before getting upset by no. 20 Texas Tech that, in hindsight, didn’t seem like as much of an upset. Tech would get their best win of the season a short while later when they took down no. 11 Northwestern at home, winning by a 5-2 margin.
Tech would slide from there, falling to the school in Athens and Duke, both top-5 teams, but also top-25 Wake Forest and Florida State teams, but picking up wins against Syracuse, Pittsburgh, and Louisville. Tech would finish the ACC season in eighth, where they would fall 4-3 to a Syracuse team they had previously beaten. Tech’s postseason hopes looked grim, but the now-no. 41 Jackets were one of the last teams into the NCAA bracket, and were sent to the Vanderbilt regional in their 20th straight tournament appearance.
In Nashville, Tech would get their revenge on the now-no. 25 Buckeyes. Though Ohio State raced out a 2-0 lead, thanks to their doubles win, Tech was able to play their way back into the match, winning three straight singles matches. The score was knotted 3-3 when Nami Otsuka walked off the Buckeyes in the third set tiebreak, winning, 5-7, 6-4, 7-6 (7-4).
The next match, the Yellow Jackets’ season ended with a loss to the host, Vanderbilt.
Various and Sundry:
- Tech gets one more season of All-American Kenya Jones.
- Only one of the recruits of the two listed as per TennisRecruiting.net, has signed a grant-in-aid and been announced by ramblinwreck.com. That one, though, is Rosie Garcia Gross, the blue chipper.
- Tech had one top-15 win, against Northwestern, though they came a point from knocking off no. 9 Texas Tech, as well.
- Tech is going to need to take a step forward again next year if they don’t want to lose the twenty year postseason streak.
Future Schedule Highlights:
Hopefully they get an ITA look, as that would mean a lot of early experience against some good teams. Look for more North Alabama-type schedule adds, to pad the schedule and rack up some more match experience. Other than that, we’ll wait and see, outside of the usual ACC suspects.
Hold: They don’t lose anyone, but their regression was sharp and they don’t seem like they’ll make significant movement up. However, they pretty much hit their floor, so look for about the same. There’ll be an upset or two to pull, but Tech is a solid team, not quite the seemingly-unstoppable juggernaut they were in 2017. And until recruiting picks up a little, they’ll stay right in this good-to-outside contender range.
June 10th - Track and Field June 17th - Men’s Golf June 24th - Women’s Tennis
July 1st - Men’s Tennis
July 8th - Softball
July 15th - State of the Program
July 22nd - Women’s Basketball
July 29th - Cross Country
August 5th - Swimming and Diving
August 12th - Volleyball
If you have any insight you’d like to share on this, or any other program at Tech, leave a comment below. Be sure to tune in next week for the other team that calls the Ken Byers Tennis Complex home.