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Yellow Jacket Roundup: Back on Track

Women’s basketball leads this week after righting the ship with two wins.

Women’s basketball in action.
Georgia Tech Athletics/Danny Karnik

ATLANTA, GEORGIA - The Jackets were in action from the Flats to College Station to Hawaii this weekend as Yellow Jacket Roundup went coast to coast. It’s springtime, so buckle up for a bunch of updates.


No. 3 Men’s Golf

As we saw a couple times last year, Tech put up a solid show in the front half of the weekend in Hawaii, only to fade down the stretch. Luke Schneiderjans had a solid final round, but with Tech leading by five going into the final day of competition, it seemed more like their competition to lose, or at least like they were firmly in the driver’s seat. Texas, Arizona State, Oklahoma State and Pepperdine all had more to give on the last day, and that’s all there really is to say about it. Three Tech men were in the top ten going into the final day of competition, but, in the end, only Andy Ogletree remained in the hunt for the podium, finishing in a tie for third. So not all bad news for the Jackets, who have another chance to get a trophy next week outside of sunny San Juan.

This week: It’s hard to feel bad for a team that bookends a week of class with trips to Hawaii and Puerto Rico. It’s another week in the sun for the Jackets.

Women’s Basketball

Tech (15 - 8) breaks the skid against Pittsburgh (4 - 18), 77-48
Tech (16 - 8) gets another versus Wake Forest (12 - 12), 62-52

In what is a fortunate turn of events, Tech’s women’s team got back on the winning side of the ball in two games this week. After a skid to end the last calendar month, it was looking a little rough for the Jackets, but Pittsburgh and Wake Forest didn’t stand much of a chance as Tech’s offense came back to life, a big part in their struggle lately. Against the Panthers, Francesca Pan, Kierra Fletcher, Jasmine Carson, and Nerea Hermosa all wound up eclipsing ten points, outscoring the Panthers by six on their own. They still dominated the glass, improved from the line and three point range, and played lock-down defense. A solid win in Pittsburgh, all things considered, even though the Panthers aren’t all that great this year. As for Sunday, the Demon Deacons returned the trip to Atlanta, and Tech was able to settle the score thanks to twin exceptional performances from Pan and Lorela Cubaj. They were the only two scorers in double figures, but they both eclipsed twenty - good stuff. Three point shooting was down again, but Tech played a more disciplined game, and their trips to the free throw line made up in volume for what they missed in accuracy. All in all, it was another double digit win for the Jackets.

This week: Two games again this week - in Blacksburg and Raleigh for a tough two game road swing.

Softball

Tech (0 - 1) drops a chilly one to UAB (1 - 0), 9-3
Tech (0 - 2) lets one get away late against no. 1 Washington ( - ), 11-6
Tech (0 - 3) narrowly falls to no. 1 Washington ( - ), 2-1
Tech (1 - 3) gets a win against Ohio ( - ), 5-3

Since this article will likely go well over 2,000 words, here’s the brief takeaways from each game this weekend:

  • The defense got the season off to a slow start, and the bats couldn’t keep up.
  • Tech was within a swing of taking a one run lead in the bottom of the fifth. That’s pretty good. But there wasn’t enough to get over the top.
  • Kept them close enough to win, but it’s near impossible to go up against one of the best pitchers in the country and see success.
  • A win! Close, but I’ll take it. Enough to get the bats alive, for sure.
  • With inclement weather plaguing the Southeast all weekend, the Furman game was postponed for a later date.

This week: Another home tournament for the Jackets, where they see two softball teams from the Best of the Middle West, the Big Ten Conference, roll down I-75 out of the frozen wastelands of the Great White North.

Women’s Tennis

No. 22 Tech upsets no. 12 Ohio State 4-1
No. 22 Tech falls to no. 1 Stanford, 4-1
No. 22 Tech drops a close one to no. 9

The Jackets, after their upset of South Carolina last week, were granted a chance to play some of the finest teams in the country up in Chicago this weekend. They took the most of that opportunity, too, going 1-2, which, despite the losing record, is great, considering they definitely entered the field as underdogs. The Jackets weren’t necessarily outclassed, but they did have their work cut out for them. Against Ohio State, a team they were riding a one match win streak against, after a strong outing last spring in the NCAA tournament, they proved up to the challenge. They fought through a slugfest in the doubles point, and were quickly aided by an efficient two set win on court 1 from Kenya Jones over the nation’s no. 8 singles player. Ohio State would inch back with a quick point of their own on court 4, but Nadia Gizdova and Victoria Flores slammed the door shut on the Buckeyes from there.

In the second and third matches, both losses, the news wasn’t quite as strong for the Jackets. To be fair, of course, Tech was playing two top ten teams in Stanford and Florida State. Against the Cardinal, the doubles point came down to a tiebreak, so Tech really had them at the brink. Even a lot of the singles matches were played close, with Jones managing another top-10 upset on court 1. She is truly playing some great tennis. Against the Seminoles, the Jackets were in the match the whole time, taking the doubles point and once again being led by a Jones win on court 1. The lower courts, though, proved to be Tech’s downfall, as the Seminoles rattled off four straight points on courts 3-6, and, despite Victoria Flores having a lead when play was suspended, it was just two points for the Jackets.

The short version: excellent work by Jones and Flores. Doubles looked solid. Another top-25 victory. Played another top-10 team close. For a team that has played six straight top-20 teams, well, 2-4 isn’t the worst thing in the world.

This week: Women’s Tennis has a busy weekend split between Atlanta and heading back to Chicago. Oh, huh. That’s not so bad, in my opinion. Perhaps they’ll bring me back an Italian Beef.

Men’s Tennis

Tech storms back to beat State, 4-1
Tech dispatches Auburn, 4-1
Tech storms The Citadel, 7-0

I try not to let my emotions from watching a match live take control of my writing when I talk about these games. This is an instance where that is difficult. Tech dropped the doubles point to the Panthers on Friday, and, while that isn’t great, their quick work in singles more than alleviated my concerns from that. But, man if it wasn’t irritating to watch Georgia State play sometimes, then, well, I don’t know what it was. Perhaps I think of this sport as too much of a gentlemen’s game, but, as much as a non-contact sport can be chippy, well, this was. It was like the guests played with a grudge. But, in the end, it was irrelevant, as Tech went for four straight points thanks to Andres Martin, Pablo Schelcher, Marcus McDaniel, and Keshav Chopra.

It came down to the third court in the morning edition for the Jackets to get back to their winning ways with respect to doubles. In singles, Cole Gromley joined Martin, Schelcher, and McDaniel on the winning side, as Tech made slight work of the Tigers. In the afternoon edition, it was all Jackets, as Tech blanked the Bulldogs. All three doubles pairings were victorious, and Martin, McDaniel, Chopra, Freestone, Schelcher, and Divar all nabbed wins in singles.

This week: They grab some much needed rest. You earned it, boys, with a full load of matches the past few weeks.

Track and Field

It was another solid outing for the distance medley relay this weekend in College Station, who, through one day of competition, looked like they had the track headline of the week firmly in their grasp, thanks to their second podium finish of the indoor season on day one. It was a firm re-emphasis of the event that has given the men their bread and butter showing so far this weekend. The Jackets improved nearly a half of a minute from their season best. The women, not to be outdone, narrowly edged Vanderbilt for their own title. The Jackets, lead by Nicole Fegans in the mile, won by two seconds after trailing the first three legs. Much like the 400 medley relay and 400 IM in swimming are exciting for their changes of stroke and pace, leading to a lot of lead changes, the distance medley provides the same thrill to watch, even more so when they’re doing well, which was definitely the case this weekend.

Fegans led the way on day two, and, for the second time this year she broke her own record in the indoor mile. I would say more, but for it to not fall for a quarter century, then bite the dust twice in a month speaks to the historical high this team seems to be hitting, at least on the individual level. Excellent work.

This week: Three meets, three cities, three states, two days. Oh boy.


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This Week on the Flats:

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

Monday:
Women’s Tennis at the ITA Indoor National Championships
TBD, XS Tennis Center, Chicago, IL

Tuesday: OFF

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

Thursday:
Women’s Basketball at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University
7:00 PM, Blacksburg, VA, ACC Network Extra and WREK 91.1 FM

Friday:
Swimming and Diving hosts the Yellow Jacket Invitational
All day, McAuley Aquatic Center, ACC Network Extra

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

Track and Field at Iowa State Classic
10:00 AM, Ames, IA

Women’s Tennis vs. Miami
3:00 PM, Ken Byers Tennis Complex

Track and Field at Music City Invitational
4:00 PM, Nashville, TN

Baseball vs. St. Peter’s (Atlanta Challenge)
4:00 PM, Russ Chandler Stadium, ACC Network Extra and WREK 91.1 FM

Softball vs. Nebraska (ACC-Big Ten Challenge)
4:00 PM, Mewborn Field, ACC Network Extra

Saturday:
Swimming and Diving hosts the Yellow Jacket Invitational
All day, McAuley Aquatic Center, ACC Network Extra

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

Track and Field at Iowa State Classic
10:00 AM, Ames, IA

Track and Field at Music City Invitational
11:00 AM, Nashville, TN

Softball vs. Nebraska (ACC-Big Ten Challenge)
12:30 PM, Mewborn Field, ACC Network Extra

Baseball vs. Cincinnati (Atlanta Challenge)
2:00 PM, Russ Chandler Stadium, ACC Network Extra and WREK 91.1 FM

Softball vs. Iowa (ACC-Big Ten Challenge)
6:00 PM, Mewborn Field, ACC Network Extra

Sunday:
Men’s Golf is at the Puerto Rico Classic
TBD, Westin Rio Mar River Course, Rio Grande, PR

Softball vs. Iowa (ACC-Big Ten Challenge)
12:30 PM, Mewborn Field, ACC Network Extra

Baseball vs. St. John’s (Atlanta Challenge)
1:00 PM, Russ Chandler Stadium, ACC Network Extra and WREK 91.1 FM

Women’s Tennis at Northwestern
1:00 PM, Evanston, IL

Women’s Basketball at North Carolina State
2:00 PM, Raleigh, NC, ACC Network Extra and WREK 91.1 FM