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Yellow Jacket Roundup: The Return of the Racket Jackets

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I will put as much coal in this hype train as I can, considering the state of football and basketball - also, a look at club sports!

There is certainly a place for levity in sports. Of this I am sure.
Danny Karnik/Georgia Tech Athletics

CLEMSON, SOUTH CAROLINA - That’s right, I’m at Auburn with a Lake. For the second time in a month. And, after three years, I finally crossed the Esso Club off my list of places I need to eat. Suffice it to say - everything I hoped and dreamed. Great selection of food and drink, the Bird Dog (combining their chicken strips with my favorite form of food transportation, the sandwich) and fried pickles, the ideal bar appetizer, in my humble opinion (please find me @murphey_stephen on the Twitters if you disagree), were excellent, and all the games I wanted to watch and more were on television. 10/10 recommend. See? We’re not just a Cypress blog after all...oh, yes, I should probably get to non-revenue sports...


Men’s Tennis:

Yes, Men’s Tennis gets the coveted first spot in Yellow Jacket Roundup thanks to a great first weekend over in Athens. Marcus McDaniel and Pablo Schelcher taking singles draw wins on the weekend. With three of the four best teams in the country also in the rolling hills of north-ish, east-ish Georgia this weekend, that was no small feat. In the fall, it’s primarily about getting experience and competitions under the belt, and it is certain that Tech was able to do that this weekend. Meanwhile, Chris Yun drew the short straw, falling to Schelcher in the semifinals, while Andres Martin won the consolation in a third singles draw, and a doubles team made it through to a consolation as well. All in all, a solid weekend for Tech, undoubtedly.

This team is on the rise. Keep an eye on them. You heard it here first.

This week: Tech heads to Tulsa for the All-American. There, they’ll be in the hunt for some individual hardware and, hopefully, keep getting forged by good competition.

Volleyball:

Tech (8-4) squeezes Syracuse (3-5) 3-1 (25-17, 25-10, 17-25, 25-12)
Tech (8-5) rallied in vain against Boston College (-) 3-2 (31-29, 25-21, 21-25, 14-25, 15-11)

Tech was just 44 short of a 1,200 person sellout at O’Keefe Friday night against Syracuse. Let that sink in. I’ve seen great crowds in the old gym (yes, there’s an older Old Gym, but you get the point) before, but usually the packed house comes out with the red-and-black-wearing folk up the road in town. Whatever is marketing this team is working - hopefully my constant pro-O’Keefe propaganda in this space helps - and crowds like that are incredible, because they make people enjoy it, and, this is the kicker, want to go back.

Anyways, I spoke too soon on Friday night, when I noted on @FTRSBlog that Tech was on fire, dominating Syracuse in every phase of the game, including a ridiculous 10 serve streak from Kayla Kaiser that the Orange just had no answer for. In the third set, Tech came out flat-footed and really just never caught up. A couple balls didn’t bounce their way, including their 18th point being overturned on video review, ending the set, but that’s no excuse. And, to their credit, they came back out of the locker room with a chip on their shoulders, and destroyed Syracuse once more in the fourth set. Syracuse is an ACC school, but they looked not too different out there than Long Beach State. Other than an athlete or two, one of whom perplexed Tech particularly on the kills and serves, they don’t really have much. Tech was obviously, more so than any other major matchup I’ve ever seen them play in person, the better team. And the score absolutely reflects that. As should be expected, Tech played their best volleyball when they were feeding Mikaila Dowd, though the misdirection from Kodie Comby was some of the best she’s had in her time on the Flats. I, ordinarily, am an extremely vocal critic of the early return, or trying to get clever, but Comby had the deception working really well for Tech right at the net. Otherwise, just get it to Brambilla, Bergmann, or especially Dowd and get the kill. The second and fourth sets looked super clean. Granted, the competition level wasn’t really there, but if this is Tech’s potential, on a lineup high to underclassmen, well, this team should expect an NCAA berth by 2021.

That said, Boston College was a bit of a let down after Friday night. I have less comments since I wasn’t able to attend in person, but Tech let the first barely slip by, after forcing a tie all the way at 29, and spent the rest of the match trying to catch up. To their credit, they nearly did, despite dropping the second set as well. After storming back to take the third and fourth sets, and storming is a particularly accurate way to describe that fourth set, it was anyone’s game to win in the fifth. Unfortunately, that crucial win went to the visitors, as Tech’s attack wilted. Tech was slow off the blocks, fought to a tie twice, but never pulled ahead. And that was all she wrote.

This week: After their first homestand to open conference play since Michelle Collier took over, Tech heads back out to face Louisville and Notre Dame.

Swimming and Diving:

Since this is an intrasquad, I will not be noting “meet” records out of principle, but, top to bottom, it’s worth acknowledging the number of them because it means the team is coming out of the gate strong. So, immediately, that’s a good thing. Lots of swimmers were swimming lots of events, and, as the eyes in the stands were quick to notice, three guys dropping a 1:49 in the 200 Butterfly is a solid race. Also, unsurprisingly, one could probably drop Caio Pumputis in any race of any stroke and he’d win the event. That’s how transcendently talented the man is. But we have not yardstick to measure them against yet.

They also raised roughly $8,500 for charity Saturday morning out at Lake Lanier with Swim Across America, so it was a busy weekend for them.

This week: Tech rests until the women head to Houston to visit Rice.

Softball:

It’s deja vu all over again, because, at the time YJR went to press, the result was unknown.

This week: Tech hosts Jacksonville State Friday in perhaps the best fall matchup yet in my three years of covering their offseason.


In the Club House:

Baseball:

1-2 vs. Chattanooga in their most recent series.

Women’s Basketball:

The defending college club women’s basketball national champions are 5-0 on the season after exhibitions/scrimmages.

Cycling:

First in their division, sending four athletes to nationals.

Hockey:

Outscoring their opponents by 33 in the first five games, Tech is a 6-4 blemish against Auburn away from perfection. The wins include two bouts with an outclassed Alabama-Huntsville team and another with Lynn, but the 4-1 win over Athens is appreciated any day of the week and twice on Sundays. They’ve also got a girl named Eva Erickson donning Michael Jordan’s number, so obviously she’s on her way to becoming the Greatest of All Time. So much to love about this team, and they make it really easy to follow along here.

Sailing:

After four regattas, sailing sits at third in their division.

Men’s Soccer:

Halfway through their regular season, they’re sitting pretty with a win over the defending national champions and a tournament win already under their belts. Tech’s most recent result was a 0-0 draw at the hands of Georgia Southern.

Swimming:

The two time defending national champions beat Auburn on the road in the College Club Swimming’s Oldest Rivalry™ and, despite only swimming the first day of a two day invitational at Clemson this past weekend managed a second place finish with a the women’s side of the team still clear of the field by a country mile. Tech is firing on all cylinders, and appears to have not skipped a beat on the women’s side, despite losing three national champion caliber talents to graduation.

Women’s Volleyball:

Finished in first place in their inaugural tournament.

Men’s Volleyball:

Sent two teams to the semifinals in their most recent tournament.

Men’s Water Polo:

Went 4-0 in their home tournament.


For football coverage:

click here for a live look at the Edge

For basketball coverage:

click here for the latest


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:
Softball vs. Jacksonville State
6:00 PM, Mewborn Field

Volleyball at Louisville
7:00 PM, Louisville, KY, ACC Network Extra and maybe WREK 91.1

Saturday:
Men’s Tennis at ITA All-American Championships
All day, Tulsa, OK

Football vs. North Carolina
4:00 PM, Bobby Dodd Stadium, ACC Network and the IMG Georgia Tech Radio Network (680 AM / 93.7 FM)

Sunday:
Men’s Tennis at ITA All-American Championships
All day, Tulsa, OK

Volleyball at Notre Dame
1:00 PM, South Bend, IN, ACC Network Extra and maybe WREK 91.1

Monday Part II:
Men’s Tennis at ITA All-American Championships
All day, Tulsa, OK


Thoughts? Comments? Questions? Had a very nice one last week, which I appreciated, and I’m always here to take a look at what you all want to see in the world of non-revenue sports.