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Yellow Jacket Roundup: Goes Undefeated

In which we watched a lot of volleyball this weekend.

Gold and White scrimmage.
Georgia Tech Athletics/Danny Karnik

HAYESVILLE, NORTH CAROLINA - Greetings from the mountains! So, the thing is, I didn’t realize there would be no wireless and now I’m here for the night. So who knows when you’ll get this, but, when you do, well, let’s just say it was a good weekend for Tech non-revenue sports. In the meantime, time to write this the old fashioned way.


Volleyball

I only caught one game at O’Keefe this weekend, but it proved to be the one in which Tech saw its’ toughest test of the three opponents this weekend.

Tech (1-0) defeats Long Beach State (0-1) 3-1 (25-23, 25-20, 26-28, 30-28)

With a surprisingly full gym for a game against a school of rather pedestrian reputation, or more accurately, lack of one, amongst Tech fans, Georgia Tech was able to lock down a win in their first match this year over Long Beach State (sidenote: their baseball team is called the Dirtbags, as opposed to the rest of the program being called the 49ers). Tech drew just shy of 800 fans, many of them students, and the crowd was loud and rowdy on a Friday night. Tech jumped out to an early lead in the first set, but Long Beach State was able to keep themselves in the match, working to erase the deficit into the back half of the set. However, Tech held firm and locked down the last two points for the first set victory. In the second set, Tech again came out cruising, and, though the Jackets were stopped from getting completely getting out of hand with the score, they still eased to a comfortable five point win. In the third set, though, it was crunch time. Well, I had to go at 9:00pm, so a win would’ve been nice. However, Long Beach State had other ideas, but Tech tried their darnedest to win anyways, despite trailing 24-22 at set point. They rallied, putting the game to match point not once but twice, before ultimately falling 28-26. In the final set, which was again a nail biter at the very end, Tech had four straight chances to end the game, but Long Beach was able to capitalize and force more bonus volleyball, pushing the game to 24-24, then 28-28. Tech, though, rattled off two point for the 30-28 victory. This would be the best team Tech would see all weekend.

Tech (2-0) defeats Southern (0-2) 3-0 (25-10, 25-17, 25-15)

Seeing as I wasn’t at the game and there is no recap, there’s not much I can really tell you about this game other than the result. However, losing this game would have been, well, dire for the Jackets. Southern is, frankly, not a good team, but Tech got 13 players into the three sets, which is great for Michelle Collier’s team at least to get some game reps again a live opponent. More on the rotation later.

Tech (3-0) defeats UNC Asheville (1-2) 3-0 (25-17, 25-22, 25-21)

Tech was able to easily dispatch their second opponent of Saturday, as well, en route to a perfect 3-0 weekend. This was exactly what they needed to do - Tech should have been, and indeed was, better that all of their opponents. That’s the rationale behind these early season tournaments, after all - rack up wins.

Some personnel notes include: it’s good to see Sam Knapp back in the rotation in earnest this year, after injury and who knows what sidelined her most of last season. The combination of her and Maddie Tippett make an excellent defensive pairing. Additionally, newcomers Julia Bergmann and Erin Moss figure to be big parts of Collier’s rotation going forward, and I’m all here for it. They came out of the gates looking great and have seen significant playing time all weekend. We expected Bergmann to shake things up a bit, but Moss is another great complement to the team. As always, Mikaila Dowd had a great weekend, and it seems like Matti MicKissock has made some great strides after a full year in the program. Both saw a lot of action this weekend. One notable absence was that of Mariana Brambilla, the venerable second pillar of the Dowd-Brambilla tandem that proved so effective last year. With additional help from Bergmann, it wasn’t as dire in opening weekend, though it would be nice to get her back as soon as possible. A final note would be that of Kodie Comby, who played characteristically consistently. Another good sign.

Up Next: Tech heads to Kennesaw State on Tuesday for a rare midweek game before playing host to another tournament at home this weekend.

Cross Country

Tech’s women and men were ranked third and fifth in the region this year, both steps up from last year, and on the back of the women’s best season in almost two decades last year. They followed up that accolade with a trip out east to the Bulldog Invitational in Athens. Technically, the Tech men swept the top five scoring spots for the race, but 3 “unattached” runners snuck into the mix there as well. Fortunately, two are associated with Georgia Tech, including Andrew Kent, who ran a great race and finished in second. That’s definitely a name to keep an eye out for next year. Also shoutout to the Kennesaw State runner that finished in last, and by a decent amount, too, because his name - Spartacus Griffin - is All-Name Team worthy. On the women’s side, all five of the Tech scorers finished before the hosts’ third runner, with Nicole Fegans finishing as the top Yellow Jacket in second. All in all, a really strong meet for the Jackets and hopefully an omen of good things yet to come this year.

Up Next: Tech heads to Boston for the Coast to Coast Battle in Beantown, a name which is about as long as the race itself.


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This Week on the Flats:

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

Monday: OFF

Tuesday:
Volleyball at Kennesaw State
7:00 PM, Kennesaw, GA

Wednesday: OFF

Thursday:
Women’s Volleyball vs. Lipscomb (Hyatt Regency Invitational)
7:00 PM, O’Keefe Gymnasium, ACCNX and WREK 91.1

Friday:
Golf at the Carpet Capital Collegiate
All day, Rocky Face, GA (The Farm Golf Club)

Women’s Volleyball vs. IUPUI (Hyatt Regency Invitational)
7:00 PM, O’Keefe Gymnasium, ACCNX and WREK 91.1

Saturday:
Golf at the Carpet Capital Collegiate
All day, Rocky Face, GA (The Farm Golf Club)

Football vs. South Florida (Whiteout)
2:00 PM, Bobby Dodd Stadium, ACCN and the IMG Georgia Tech Radio Network (680 AM / 93.7 FM)

Sunday:
Golf at the Carpet Capital Collegiate
All day, Rocky Face, GA (The Farm Golf Club)