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Yellow Jacket Roundup: Historic!

Women’s Basketball comes away with their best win in years midweek in Tallahassee.

Tech vs. Virginia.
Georgia Tech Athletics/Danny Karnik

ATLANTA, GEORGIA - Well, for the first time this year, we had what could probably be called a Super Saturday or Sunday - one of those days where so many teams are at home it’s hard to get to all of them. Tennis, both the men and the women, kicked off their seasons at Ken Byers, meanwhile Track went up the road to Clemson as their women’s basketball team plays ours a visit. A busy week here at Yellow Jacket Roundup.

Women’s Basketball (Pregame RPI: 22)

Tech (12 - 3) upsets no. 11 Florida State (14 - 2), 67-52
Tech (13 - 3) hangs on against Clemson (5 - 11), 49-47

Well, to put it lightly, Tech rattled off their biggest upset in years, and the signature win of the nascent Nell Fortner Era™. For the first time since 2012, the Jackets got a win against a top-25 opponent on the road. This is their second upset of a ranked team in as many weeks. They came out of the gate strong, and indeed held a pretty consistent lead throughout the first half. Though Florida State was able to make up some of the deficit going into the break, strong defense, and capitalizing off of it, proved the difference with points consistently coming after the Seminoles turned the ball over. It’s rare to lead for all, or nearly all of a game, but the home team would pull within a possession, never tying or taking the lead, in the second half. Tech pulled away in the fourth as FSU’s free throw shot was inconsistent just as their own shots were starting to fall. In a game, and indeed sport, of runs, Tech again was the last team to go on a run, a 9-2 streak to push the margin to its final fifteen points. It was, on all sides of the ball, a solid win for the Jackets.

Sunday proved sketchier for Tech. Coming into the game, Clemson was just a hair inside the top 200 teams in RPI, while Tech was knocking on the top 20. A loss would have proved brutal, but neither team really seemed able to get anything going in the first half, as Tech shot below 30% but still lead the Tigers by 7. Clemson led late, with the score sitting at 41-40 in the fourth quarter. However, in the end, Tech was good enough to squeak by, despite seeing a four point lead get halved with just fractions of a second to play. In the end, a win is a win, and the Jackets got two - one incredibly impressive, and the other, the narrowest of narrow - and that’s what matters the most. It’s a good week.

Perhaps they’ll even be ranked for the first time in the existence of this feature come publishing time.

This week: Tech heads to Syracuse midweek and then Boston College comes to town for the Sunday matinee.

Swimming and Diving

Tech falls to no. 14/23 Auburn, (M: 166-134, M: 202-93)

In the first of back-to-back weekends against nearby SEC swimming foes, Tech hosted Auburn on Saturday. Interestingly, it seems they have just about as many meets against the SEC as their own conference, though we won’t rehash that the one in Athens is no longer an annual fixture. Anyways, the Jackets didn’t fare all that well against the men and women from Auburn, falling in a sweep. In 32 events, they won just seven and had 22 top-two finishes. However, the stars - Caio Pumputis, Christian Ferraro - took two apiece, and the depth on the men’s side was strong, with Corben Miles and Dylan Scott winning a sprint freestyle and distance freestyle event apiece, and the men’s 200 freestyle relay looked strong in their showing. The ladies were more out of luck. All in all, the top of the slate looked great, with the rest, as has been a theme the past few years, proving the balance. This weekend, though, it wasn’t quite in their favor.

This week: Swim and dive continues their SEC slate in Columbia against South Carolina

Men’s Tennis

Tech (2-0) sweeps Georgia Southern (0-2) twice in a doubleheader, 7-0 and 4-0

The Racket Jackets got off to a strong start on the men’s side this weekend as the Ken Byers Tennis Complex played host to two sets of doubleheaders. The men faced Georgia Southern, who really didn’t stand much of a chance against the young, new-look Yellow Jackets. They’ve been a team high on the list of sports to watch this year with the talent influx they’ve had, and the opportunity for a couple of the sophomores to take that next big step, so it is exciting they’re getting underway. They played one match indoors and the other outdoors on a beautiful Sunday on the Flats, and didn’t lose a single point in match play. With Carlos Divar not playing, despite starting most matches last year at the number one singles spot, Andres Martin, Pablo Schelcher, Cole Gromley, Marcus McDaniel, Chris Yun, Keshav Chopra all took singles wins in match one. Only Schelcher lost a set, and won a tiebreak to take the point. Tech lost a double pairing, but the other two were strong on the day. In match two, only the usual four points were played to, and Tech took the first one when they won two of the doubles pairings. They led in the third when play was suspended. In singles, Martin, McDaniel, and Freestone, on courts 1, 2, and 6, respectively, took wins to seal the second match for Tech.

This week: Tech faces stiff competition in the usual MLK Invitational Tournament at home at Ken Byers, but are looking strong with lots of great tennis available for free for spectators on this holiday weekend.

Women’s Tennis

Tech (2-0) sweeps Kennesaw State (0-2) twice in a doubleheader, 4-0 and 4-0

Only one match featured doubles play this weekend as the Jackets got underway with their team play season on the Flats. In the first match, Tech took the lead early by securing the doubles point in two efficient 6-1 victories. They got the rest of the way to a sweep by taking the matches on courts 1, 4, and 6, and led one set to none on the other three when play was suspended on them. Kenya Jones looked particularly impressive as she swept the best the Owls had to offer, 6-0, 6-0, in straight sets. Nami Otsuka and Rosie Garcia Gross took the other wins. In the second game, they started with singles, so Tech didn’t get a chance to play another set of doubles on the day. However, four Racket Jackets got the right to say they won a match in the first weekend, and since Jones was sitting, it was up to Victoria Flores, Gia Cohen, Monika Dedaj to bank their first singles wins of the season, while Garcia Gross netted her second. It was an extremely solid start for the Jackets.

This week: Tech gets two in Greenville this week as they continue their early season slate against Furman and Presbyterian.

Track and Field

Ty Brooks was the only event winner on the day in Clemson, but that doesn’t mean it was a poor showing for the Yellow Jackets at a crowded start to the indoor track and field season. Olivia Moore took second in the pole vault, Tech’s next highest finish of the day. Scattered further down the results there are many who placed in the top eight, and it was a good day against stiff competition, NCAA, unattached, and otherwise.

This week: As seems to be tradition, Tech splits the team this week, as some head to Clemson and some to Vanderbilt for some indoor track and field action.

In the Club House:

Tech club sports are back! This week, it was hockey holding down the fort, as they topped Kennesaw State 5-1 on Friday night. Good job, and, with the venerated tradition of the Thrasher Cup weekend in Savannah looming, it’s great that they’re playing excellent hockey.

If you’re looking to watch some of the finest club sports the nation has to offer, that list has to start and end with the 22nd annual showdown in Savannah. What a fun tradition.

For basketball coverage:

well, something happened in Chestnut Hill

This Week on the Flats:

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

Monday: OFF

Tuesday: OFF

Men’s Basketball vs. Notre Dame
8:30 PM, McCamish Pavilion, ACC Network and the IMG Georgia Tech Radio Network (680 AM / 93.7 FM in Atlanta)

Women’s Basketball at Syracuse
7:30 PM, Syracuse, NY, ACC Network Extra and WREK 91.1 FM

Track and Field at the Clemson Invitational
10:00 AM, Clemson, SC

Track and Field at the Vanderbilt Invitational
4:00 PM, Nashville, TN

Track and Field at the Clemson Invitational
10:00 AM, Clemson, SC

Men’s Tennis hosts the Martin Luther King Invitational Tournament
10:00 AM, Ken Byers Tennis Complex

Women’s Tennis at Furman
11:00 AM, Greenville, SC

Swimming and Diving at South Carolina
12:00 PM, Columbia, SC

Track and Field at the Vanderbilt Invitational
4:00 PM, Nashville, TN

Women’s Tennis vs. Presbyterian
4:00 PM, Greenville, SC

Men’s Basketball vs. Virginia
8:00 PM, McCamish Pavilion, ACC Network and the IMG Georgia Tech Radio Network (680 AM / 93.7 FM in Atlanta)

Men’s Tennis hosts the Martin Luther King Invitational Tournament
10:00 AM, Ken Byers Tennis Complex

Women’s Basketball vs. Boston College
2:00 PM, McCamish Pavilion, ACC Network Extra and WREK 91.1 FM