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Yellow Jacket Roundup: The Tech Tennis Special

On a rainy Saturday in Midtown, it was time to head inside to check out Men’s Tennis.

Tech vs. Georgia Southern last weekend.
Georgia Tech Athletics/Danny Karnik

ATLANTA, GEORGIA - Georgia Tech hosted a trio of top ranked tennis teams this weekend at the Ken Byers Tennis Complex, so consider this your Saturday report from the non-revenue place to be this week.

Men’s Tennis

Tech hosts no. 13 Illinois (2-2 doubles, 2-5 singles)
Tech hosts no. 19 Columbia (3-0 doubles, 0-6 singles)
Tech will host no. 16 South Carolina Monday at 1PM (check back for updates)

Tech saw a bevy of solid competition in exhibition play on the long weekend. After opening the season against Georgia Southern, a solid doubleheader, double sweep, the Racket Jackets led off the weekend with the best competition of the weekend in the form of the Fighting Illini. They started off strong, and it looked like they had a good shot to go 3-1 in doubles, but Carlos Divar and Cole Gromley just got edged to give the Illini a 2-1 edge. In a normal match, that ends play, but we were left with a riveting set in progress on court one. It was good, though, that Marcus McDaniel and Pablo Schelcher got to keep playing, despite being down 4-5. Schelcher held serve on match point to knot the set at 5-5, then Tech broke to make it 6-5 before McDaniel put the match away 7-5 at the center of the entire building’s attention. The feisty home crowd at a crowded Ken Byers Tennis Complex loudly affirmed them. It was a successful 2-2 draw against the thirteenth best team in the country. In singles play, the man of the match had to have been Andres Martin. Staring down an already-agitated Alex Brown, who had already lost said feisty doubles finale, and who came into the weekend ranked #11 nationally. Their drawn-out battle went three sets, and it was tough for either of them to break serve throughout. The first set went to tiebreak, where the rules are win by two, and Martin locked down a first set victory 7-6 (7-5). The second set went in the favor of Brown, 6-3, before Martin broke once to coast to a 6-4 third set victory. McDaniel got close to another upset of a ranked opponent, falling in three sets. Pablo Schelcher was the only other Yellow Jacket to pick up a win on Saturday, though in particular freshman Keshav Chopra on Court One played closer than the score would suggest. Divar, Tech’s senior leader and best player, was absent from the singles lineup.

On Sunday, it was a tale of two styles as Tech faced Columbia, who entered the weekend ranked no. 19 in the country. In doubles, Tech was excellent. Senior Chris Yun and Carlos Divar took a win, while the other two winners from the day before reprised their roles and took home wins. However, on the singles side, the story was mostly flipped. So, it’s on to South Carolina on Monday.

This week: Tech plays into Monday at home, when they host South Carolina to close out the MLK Weekend exhibition. Later in the week, Tech heads to the ITA Kickoff Weekend at College Station, TX.

Women’s Tennis

Tech narrowly edges Furman, 4-3
Tech sweeps Presbyterian, 4-0

The Yellow Jackets got dangerously close to being upset by a Furman Paladins team that, though stronger than the typical mid-major tennis squad, would not be a great loss to take early in the season. After taking the doubles point 2-1, it came down to the third set on court six to take the decisive fourth point. Gia Cohen, Nami Otsuka, and Nadia Gizdova were the three winners on the singles side. In the second match of the day, it was all Tech, as they raced through the doubles before sweeping the singles. Victoria Flores, Monika Dedaj, and Cohen took care of business for the singles side of things.

This week: Tech heads to the ITA Kickoff Weekend over in South Carolina.

Women’s Basketball

Tech (14 - 3) squeezed Syracuse (8 - 8), 82-64
Tech (14 - 4) got bumped by Boston College (10 - 8), 55-48

For the first time ever, Tech was victorious in a trip to the Carrier Dome in Syracuse, New York. The Jackets were efficient offensively, as all five starters wound up in double figures. Jasmine Carson, truly the breakout player of the year up to this point, led the way with 18, and Lotta-Maj Lahtinen came close to matching her, though all 17 of her points came in just the first half. Carson, though, for her part, got 13 of her 18 in the third quarter. It was a game of streaks for the Jackets. Tech led nearly the entire game, with a seven point margin at the half, and once they came out of halftime, they never really looked back. The win could’ve been even greater, but the 29 point maximum lead had been chiseled into by the time the clock hit 0:00 at the end of the fourth.

As seems to be a theme for the Jackets, they followed up a tremendous midweek offensive onslaught by a quieter weekend performance. This time, however, they came up short, rather than the slight edging they had pulled off the week before against Clemson. Against Boston College, they fell behind early and never quite were able to recover. To be exact, Tech allowed a bucket four second into the game. The lead never changed again after that. It was the first Tech home loss of the season. Tech got close in the second half, trailing by two in the third and four in the fourth, but it was never quite enough. Attendance is up around 2,600 for the Jackets, a positive sign, even if the result on the court wasn’t quite what the crowd would have hoped for.

This week: Tech gets both ends of the North Carolina-Chapel Hill/Duke rivalry this week as the Tar Heels head to Atlanta midweek and the Jackets pay the return to the Blue Devils on Sunday in Durham.

Swimming and Diving

Tech splits the dual meet against South Carolina, 157-143 (M) & 103-197 (W)

The Jackets took the trip to a rather odd pool this weekend as they ventured over to Columbia. Allowing myself to editorialize, the large garage doors in the walls are odd, but the Everest-like steepness of the stands, replete with steel bars in every row, make for an interesting meet watching experience. But no matter. The men got back in the win column, as they were able to use another strong weekend at the top to fend off the Gamecocks. The women, though led by their two stars taking home two events apiece, Camryn Hidalgo in the 1m and 3m diving events, and Emily Ilgenfritz in the 500 and 1000 freestyle, weren’t quite so lucky. As always, props to the swimmers that had to do the double of the distance events in a short afternoon of racing. That is one of the unsung feats in all of college athletics. Dylan Scott joined her not only in swimming both events, but winning them both, too. The freshman has proven to be one of Tech’s breakout athletes. The Jackets swept both the backstroke and butterfly events, with Kyle Barone having a nice meet for himself in the former, and Christian Ferraro putting in his typical work in the latter. Ferraro is perhaps one of the quieter critical pieces of this team. Caio Pumputis, always one for a great swim when called on, also won two events, though surprisingly, neither was a breaststroke race. The junior took both the 200 IM and 200 Breast, two events he is inclined to swim when not dabbling in the 100 and 200 breaststroke, while Albert Zhi won the 100 freestyle. Zhi, Pumputis, Ferraro, and Daniel Lim took what is perhaps the best event in the sport, the 400 freestyle relay, to close out the meet with a bang.

This week: Swimming and Diving rests after their two week SEC swing.

Track and Field

It was a dabbling of interesting finishes in Nashville for the Jackets this weekend, as they headed up to Tennessee to compete in their second meet of the year. In terms of relays and the like, the men and women both stood out in the distance medley relay. Since only one leg of that race is a sprint, and three are middle distance races, it makes sense that Tech, coming off of a recent upswing in its Cross Country fortunes, especially on the women’s side, would do well in that format. Thus, the next news should make a lot of sense. On the second day of competition, Tech’s Nicole Fegans and Andrew Kent rattled off great times in the 3000m distance event, netting themselves first and second places, respectively, on the women’s and men’s side. Thus, it’s a bit of Cross Country news in disguise for the Jackets as their distance races shown at Vanderbilt this weekend.

This week: Third time’s the charm for the Jackets, as they head back to Clemson for the third time in three weeks for the Bob Pollack Invitational.

In the Club House:

Georgia Tech Hockey played in their marquee regular season event this weekend, as they headed on down to Savannah to defend the Thrasher Cup. From the Rumble Seat’s very own @MagnaCarterGT was on the scene for the loss to Florida State on Friday, and Tech took on the school in Athens on Saturday. The game on Friday started out incredibly strong for the Yellow Jackets, with a solid 3-0 lead growing steadily to a 5-2 margin. However, down the stretch, Tech couldn’t hang on, as 5-2 became 5-4 and then 5-5. Tech missed a penalty shot late, before the game went To single, then double overtime. In the 3-on-3 second overtime, Florida State pushed one past to take it, 6-5. With the loss, Tech’s hopes of retaining the cup are for everyone to go 1-1 and hope that FSU and UF go to a shootout while they pitch a shutout.

In the second game of the weekend, Tech once again found themselves in the lurch with a narrow loss. It’s a bitter pill to swallow to lose the Thrasher Cup, but it’s another to lose it to the school in Athens. Once again, Tech led a lead slip away, this time a 3-1 margin. They went to not one, but two overtimes, but the game was decided in a shootout once more. And that’s all she wrote. On to rematches against Clemson and Florida State next week.

This week: Tech’s club sports are getting back into the swing of things, with hockey back on the ice while swim club looks to retain the rivalry belt against Auburn in College Club Swimming’s Oldest Rivalry.

For basketball coverage:

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This Week on the Flats:

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

Men’s Tennis hosts South Carolina (Martin Luther King Invitational, exhibition)
1:00 PM, Ken Byers Tennis Complex

Women’s Tennis hosts Mercer (doubleheader)
4:00 PM, Ken Byers Tennis Complex

Men’s Basketball at Louisville
7:00 PM, Louisville, KY, Regional Sports Networks (Fox Sports South/Southeast in Atlanta) and the IMG Georgia Tech Radio Network (680 AM / 93.7 FM in Atlanta)

Women’s Basketball vs. North Carolina
6:00 PM, McCamish Pavilion, Regional Sports Networks (Fox Sports South/Southeast in Atlanta) and WREK 91.1 FM

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

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

Tennis at the ITA Kick-Off Weekend
10:00 AM, College Station, TX (Men)
10:00 AM, Columbia, SC (Women)

Men’s Basketball vs. North Carolina State
4:00 PM, McCamish Pavilion, Regional Sports Networks (Fox Sports South/Southeast in Atlanta) and the IMG Georgia Tech Radio Network (680 AM / 93.7 FM in Atlanta)

Tennis at the ITA Kick-Off Weekend
10:00 AM, College Station, TX (Men)
10:00 AM, Columbia, SC (Women)

Women’s Basketball at Duke
2:00 PM, Durham, NC, ACC Network Extra and WREK 91.1 FM