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Yellow Jacket Roundup: Dives on In

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I am an absolute sucker for Danny Karnik diving action shots.

Diving vs. GSU, SCAD.
Georgia Tech Athletics/Danny Karnik

GAINESVILLE, FLORIDA - Club sports traveling brought Yellow Jacket Roundup on the road this fine week, but the really interesting stuff wasn’t in the great state of Florida, but, rather, back in McCamish and in the two wins for Women’s Tennis.


No. 3 Men’s Golf

Quick hitters from golf since their tournament wrapped up early in the week:

  • Tech leapt above no. 2 Oklahoma on Monday for a lead they wouldn’t relinquish into the third round of play on Tuesday.
  • Redshirt freshman Bartley Forrester played in the five spot on the lineup and won the whole dang thing. Excellent.

This week: Tech heads to Las Vegas for another tournament. What exotic locations; it’s like spring break every weekend.

No. 11 Women’s Tennis

Tech upsets no. 9 Virginia, 4-3
Tech sweeps no. 49 Boston College, 6-1

As much as this team has come to play this year, it’s been more of a pleasant surprise than something seen from miles ahead. Unfortunately, the ACC snubbed them from the conference graphic when the polls were released, showing Tech’s rocket up the charts. Perhaps the sentiment at the conference office is the same. But no matter!

As for the matches this week, well, they were two very different kinds of wins. Against Virginia, Tech quickly found itself in a hole, thanks to dropping the doubles point. The Jackets came to play in singles, though, as Kenya Jones, Victoria Flores, and Gia Cohen all upset girls ranked equal or higher to them in two sets. With courts 5 and 6 swinging in the Cavaliers’ favor, it all came down to Nami Otsuka. It was a thriller, too, as they traded a set apiece to open the match. The third set came down to a 7-5 finish, as Otsuka roared back from down 5-3 thanks to holding serve, a critical double fault, holding serve once more, and then breaking Vivian Glozman to seal the match.

The trip to Manchester-by-the-Sea, a name that perhaps seems better suited to a mid-nineteenth century work of British literature than an American town hosting college tennis was far less tense. This time, Tech locked down the doubles point right away, and was nearly undefeated in singles, save for a loss by Nami Otsuka. Can’t win ‘em all, so, perhaps its better this is the one she didn’t. Once again, another great week for the lady Racket Jackets.

This week: Tech gets the second half of the Clemson doubleheader on Sunday before finally, blissfully, getting to spend a whole weekend in Atlanta when Wake Forest comes to town.

Women’s Basketball

Tech (17 - 10) falls late to Louisville (24 - 3), 58-47
Tech (18 - 10) upsets no. 17 Florida State (21 - 6), 65-62

It was a tale of two games for the Jackets, and new non-revenue sports writer Trevor Davidson and I were on hand to see the Louisville game in person on Thursday night. Tech was roughly adequate at the line, going 12-17, but the clunker stat line of the game had to be Tech’s shooting percentage from three point range. 1-12 is not a stat that indicates a team with a good likelihood to win a basketball game. That’s a lot of missed opportunity. So, despite playing their standard brand of solid defense - they forced 14 (+8) TOs - and rebounding better as the game went on, it made it hard to win with shots not falling. I’ll save the rest for Trevor in the future.

Sunday’s game fell more in Tech’s favor. They’ve had a somewhat difficult time pulling out close games, so that this one came down to the wire was a little tough. There’s no posted box score yet, but Tech did a solid job drawing fouls and playing clean defense. They were again adequate at the line, and sank a couple key free throws down the stretch to give themselves some space. It took another great performance from Francesca Pan, however, to really get the Jackets over the top. Her 23 points, including a barrage from beyond the arc, were critical. Additionally, Tech overall was 65.2% from distance. This is the difference between the two games. It would’ve been great to win both, but they’re still firmly on the bubble. It’s probably going to come down to a win on the road against Clemson plus a win in the ACC Tournament to put them over the top.

This week: One last regular season game, a road trip to finish the slate in Clemson.

Men’s Tennis

Tech falls to no. 10 Tennessee, 4-0
Tech comes up short against no. 33 Miami, 4-2

Tech was dealt a stiffer hand this week, compared to the past few, and it was a rougher go of it for the Jackets accordingly. It took a tiebreak for the Volunteers to win the doubles point, but from there, it was all Tennessee. Tech looked decent, but, for the most part, was up against much stiffer competition, and the results were about as expected. On Sunday, against Miami, Tech got a great upset on court 1 of doubles, as Carlos Divar and Marcus McDaniels defeated the no. 15 pairing in the country, but it wasn’t enough to take the point. In singles, Brandon Freestone got a win, and Andres Martin snagged an upset up on court one. The unfinished match, which Tech led when play was suspended, saw Keshav Chopra in the lead on court 6. Ultimately, though, it wasn’t enough to take the match, despite Tech’s stronger play in singles.

This week: Tech gets Clemson at home Friday afternoon before heading out on the road to beautiful, breezy Tallahassee.

Diving and Women’s Swimming

Top-3 Finishers:
1st - Cami Hidalgo, 1m (Diving)
2nd - Ruben Lechuga, 1m (Diving)
2nd - Cami Hidalgo, Platform (Diving)

NCAA B Cuts:
Emily Ilgenfritz, 500 Freestyle (11th in finals, 4:45.51 best time)
Caroline Lee, 100 Backstroke (14th in finals, 53.26 best time)
Kristen Hepler, 200 Individual Medley (14th in finals, 4:15.16 best time)
Kristen Hepler, 200 Breaststroke (15th in finals, 2:13.25 best time)

The Good:
Diving was pretty solid. It’s good to see some positive results across the men and women, since it was pretty consistently posited that Tech would Tech a big step forward in diving this year. In this regard, Tech improved a lot, and it should be exciting to see Lechuga and Hidalgo in action in Zones, angling for NCAA spots.

The Not-So-Good:
Ninth place out of twelve is not a great place to be. Tech had a few more swimmers make conditional cuts this year than last year, which is great, but no A-finalists, and finals swims were few and far between, at that. It’s tough to compete for conference championships without those key late swims. However, this is a place where the men excel a little more, so perhaps things will pick up next week.

This week: It’s the men’s turn to take a trip to Greensboro for the ACC Championships, while the women with NCAA conditional B cuts await their fate.

Softball

Tech/State is postponed due to rain
Tech (3 - 6) is run-ruled by DePaul (5 - 6), 8-0 (5)
Tech (3 - 7) gets edged in extras by no. 11 Kentucky (8 - 2), 10-9 (8)
Tech (4 - 7) upsets no. 11 Kentucky (8 - 3), 7-1
Tech (5 - 7) gets by host Samford (6 - 8), 2-0
Tech (5 - 8) comes up short against Samford (7 - 8), 6-5

Not much to add other than the scores since I didn’t get a chance to do much softball watching this week going to and from Gainesville. Emma Kauf continues to mash the ball, Tricia Awald has put up solid numbers, and the combination of Morgan Bruce and Blake Neleman was incredibly effective in shutting down a solid Kentucky team in the second game of that matchup.

This week: Tech hosts Kennesaw State midweek, and Iowa State, Penn State, and Rider in the I-75 Challenge for a total of six home games.


The Hot Corner:

Baseball got three hacks at defending Big Ten Tournament Champions Ohio State this weekend, and hack at them they did. It was a great weekend for the Yellow Jackets, as their bats woke up in earnest, outscoring the Buckeyes 12-6, 5-2, and 12-2 and finding a power stroke that eluded them last weekend. The pitching was solid, and Cort Roedig in particular righted the ship from a rocky start last weekend. Zach Maxwell was solid in his second stint, and the freshmen who have been called to fill the lineup spots and power shoes of Tristan English and Kyle McCann are starting to do that in earnest. This was the series we’ve been waiting to see, and it’s great it happened this weekend. Time to keep adding to the flame.

In the Club House:

Lacrosse: Took their first loss of the season 9-7 to a well-regarded Utah Valley team on Friday night before avenging said loss with a strong 15-4 handling of a ranked Boston College squad on Sunday. Though it would have been nice to get two wins for sure, it is also nice to wash the loss quickly with a nice win in the second game of the weekend.

Swimming: Traveled to Gainesville, Florida for the Florida Gator Chomp Invitational and placed second out of the sixteen teams in attendance. Notably, the relays looked strong, which bodes well for the end of the season.


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For Scions:

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This Week on the Flats:

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

Monday: OFF

Tuesday:
Baseball vs. Gardner-Webb
4:00 PM, The Rusty C, ACC Network Extra and WREK 91.1 FM

Men’s Basketball vs. Clemson
9:00 PM, McCamish Pavilion, ACC Network and the IMG Georgia Tech Radio Network (680 AM / 93.7 FM in Atlanta)

Wednesday:
Men’s Swimming and Diving is at the ACC Championships
All day, Greensboro, NC, ACC Network Extra

Softball vs. Kennesaw State
5:00 PM, Mewborn Field, ACC Network Extra

Thursday:
Men’s Swimming and Diving is at the ACC Championships
All day, Greensboro, NC, ACC Network Extra

Track and Field is at the ACC Indoor Championships
10:00 AM, South Bend, IN

Friday:
Men’s Swimming and Diving is at the ACC Championships
All day, Greensboro, NC, ACC Network Extra

Track and Field is at the ACC Indoor Championships
10:00 AM, South Bend, IN

Softball vs. Iowa State (I-75 Challenge)
1:00 PM, Mewborn Field, ACC Network Extra

Men’s Tennis vs. Clemson
2:00 PM, Ken Byers Tennis Complex

Softball vs. Iowa State (I-75 Challenge)
3:00 PM, Mewborn Field, ACC Network Extra

Women’s Tennis vs. Clemson
5:00 PM, Ken Byers Tennis Complex

Baseball at the School in Athens
5:00 PM, Athens, GA, TV TBD and WREK 91.1 FM

Saturday:
Men’s Swimming and Diving is at the ACC Championships
All day, Greensboro, NC, ACC Network Extra

Track and Field is at the ACC Indoor Championships
10:00 AM, South Bend, IN

Softball vs. Penn State (I-75 Challenge)
1:00 PM, Mewborn Field, ACC Network Extra

Baseball vs. the School in Athens
2:00 PM, The Rusty C, ACC Network Extra and WREK 91.1 FM

Softball vs. Penn State (I-75 Challenge)
3:00 PM, Mewborn Field, ACC Network Extra

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

Sunday:
Men’s Golf is at the Southern Highlands Collegiate
TBA, Las Vegas, NV

Women’s Tennis vs. Wake Forest
12:00 PM, Ken Byers Tennis Complex

Men’s Tennis at Florida State
12:00 PM, Tallahassee, FL

Women’s Basketball at Clemson
1:00 PM, Clemson, SC, ACC Network Extra and WREK 91.1 FM

Softball vs. Rider (I-75 Challenge)
1:00 PM, Mewborn Field, ACC Network Extra

Baseball vs. the School in Athens
2:00 PM, Coolray Field, Lawrenceville, GA, TV TBA and WREK 91.1 FM