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Yellow Jacket Roundup: Looks For A Subtitle

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And still hasn’t found one.

Brambilla: Tech on Thursday. Collier: Tech on Friday.
Danny Karnik/Georgia Tech Athletics

ATLANTA-BUT-NOT-ON-CAMPUS, GEORGIA - There’s a lot to see and do in Atlanta, and yet, it somehow seems empty, with a second bye week in a row in football, or so I’m told. Golf is in Chicago. Cross Country in Boston. Volleyball is stuck somewhere in rural East Georgia. Wherever that is. And the city is understandably quiet. Ish. So out into the wilds of Midtown we go.


No. 3 Golf

And, it was a tie.

Tech headed up to Olympia Fields, Illinois, for a stacked weekend tournament featuring, among no. 1 Texas, among other schools. We learned this weekend, however, that Texas is not, in fact, back in golf, either, and the Jackets split the title with no. 20 Baylor, their second win in as many attempts this fall. Alabama, Baylor, California, Florida State, Florida, Illinois, North Carolina, Oklahoma State, Pepperdine, Texas, and Texas A&M were all ranked in the top 30 going into the weekend, which makes this stacked slate some of the best competition Tech will run into before the national championship run in the spring. Getting this kind of exposure with these kinds of stakes is vital. Andy Ogletree and Noah Norton tied for ninth to pace the Jackets on the weekend. An excellent showing, to say the least.

This week: The swingy bois are off this coming weekend.

No. 29/NR Cross Country

Tech finished fifth of 22 on the women’s side in Boston, while the men finished ninth of 21. Of note, the host women finished second and the men finished second to last, which was a stark gap. As for the Jackets, Nicole Fegans finished a superlative fifth overall. Mary-Claire Solomon was the next highest finisher for the women, at 23rd, while Avery Bartlett led the Tech men with a 17th place finish. Tech was able to beat out Dartmouth on the women’s side and Arkansas from the men, ranked no. 25 and no. 21, respectively, in a solid-but-not-amazing set of races.

This week: Cross Country rests until the Penn State Invitational.

Volleyball

Tech (7-3) sweeps Arkansas (5-6) 3-0 (25-16, 25-16, 25-17)
Tech (7-4) falls to some Athenians (8-3) 3-1 (25-15, 25-22, 17-25, 25-18)

Arkansas ain’t good this year, chief. But, a Power Five win is a Power Five win, and Tech got one. So we’ll take it. Tech only played seven in the three sets, but the girls that did see time - Kodie Comby, Maddie Tippett, Mariana Brambilla, Julia Bergmann, Matti McKissock, Mikaila Dowd, Kayla Kaiser - are the usual suspects. Something tells me Michelle Collier is going to live and die by her starting seven this year. With how Bergmann has debuted, McKissock and Brambilla have developed, and how Dowd and Tippett have pretty much always been, I see no issue with playing the best seven. They got the job done on Thursday, making quick work of Arkansas in their most convincing win yet. Whether it was the foreign atmosphere for both teams, or the lack of the “this is our Super Bowl” low-major vibes from a couple of the home games, Tech got the job done. Their close to .700 attack percentage in the second set is the most impressive stat to take away from the win. Like I said, I’m not sure in the Razorbacks are all that great, but they’re almost definitely the best team Tech has beaten so far this year, at least by pedigree. We’ll take it.

The next night, though, wasn’t quite as kind to the Yellow Jackets. They started off slow - a recurring issue for Tech - but were able to close the deficit in the second set and taking the third. This was made all the more impressive that 3,480 fans were in the crowd, the vast majority like Tech just about as much as yours truly likes the dentist. The Jackets probably should have been more of a factor in the game than they were, but, just judging off the scores alone, three of the four sets weren’t particularly close. The ultimate determinant was the close set, which went in favor of the home crowd. I certainly believe atmosphere can turn a game like that - we saw as much last year at home against the girls in red and black. Tech’s best set on the attack was the second. More players were involved. This was just a close match that slipped away. I choose to believe, had this been played at home, the outcome would’ve been different. With the hardest atmosphere behind them, though harder teams left on the schedule - looking at you, Pittsburgh - Tech should be able to call themselves ready for the gauntlet of the ACC schedule. Expectations should at the least be a return to the postseason invitational. That brings me to my final, and most important point:

Tech and the school in Athens should play an annual home-and-home. It’s by far both schools’ best attended game. It isn’t cost-prohibitive in the slightest. It gets fans interested and in the door. It isn’t that hard to do. Annual early season contests against the most intriguing rival make students into fans. Instead of a lull and bounce back with the freshmen-turned-sophomores, kids get hooked every year. Make it happen.

This week: ACC play starts up and the Jackets return home after five games away from their favorite haunt, the old, creaky, and lovable O’Keefe Gymnasium.

Women’s Tennis

Kenya Jones and Victoria Flores seem to have established themselves as the early fall frontrunners for Tech’s no. 1 double pairing. Of course, with Jones easily the star of the team going into her senior year, this wasn’t entirely surprising. However, upending the nation’s no. 41 pairing, of the noted tennis stronghold Duke, was. This is a good step for the Jackets. Flores never lost in Greenville, winning her draw on the singles side as well. Another great step, in a tournament that saw a couple notable teams and individuals. Jones, a top ten singles player in her own right, came close to a draw win of her own, up against the fourth best player in the country, out of North Carolina-Chapel Hill. Nami Otsuka and freshman Sophia Sassoli live to play another match in the consolation finals, which conclude after this article went final on Sunday afternoon.

This week:

Softball

At the time YJR went to press, the result was unknown.

This week: Tech gets a home tuneup in on Friday at twilight.


In the Club House:

I lied. Updates to come next week. Have to wait until my Big Presidential Meeting to find out what the rest of the teams have been up to. In the meantime, I’ll leave you with Tech Hockey’s 4-1 rout of the school from a place called Athens in their home opener at the Atlanta Ice House. That should suffice for now.

Today I learned how to embed tweets. Hooray.


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This Week on the Flats:

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

Monday: OFF

Tuesday: OFF

Wednesday: OFF

Thursday: OFF

Friday:
Men’s Tennis at the School Located in Clarke County Invitational
8:00 AM, Athens, GA

Swimming and Diving vs. *checks notes* Swimming and Diving
2:00 PM, McAuley Aquatic Center

Softball vs. Shorter
5:30 PM, Mewborn Field

Volleyball vs. Syracuse
7:00 PM, O’Keefe Gymnasium, ACC Network Extra and maybe WREK 91.1

Saturday:
Swimming and Diving vs. the entire nation of America (Swim Across America Charity Open Water Swim)
All day, Lake Lanier, GA

Men’s Tennis at the School Located in Clarke County Invitational
8:00 AM, Athens, GA

Football at Temple
3:30 PM, Philadelphia, PA, CBS Sports Network and the IMG Georgia Tech Radio Network (680 AM / 93.7 FM)

Sunday:
Men’s Tennis at the School Located in Clarke County Invitational
8:00 AM, Athens, GA

Volleyball vs. Boston College
12:00 PM, O’Keefe Gymnasium, ACC Network Extra and maybe WREK 91.1