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Yellow Jacket Roundup: Sacrificial SCAD

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It’s Senior Day for Swimming, so that means the annual ritual sacrifice of the local NAIA school to the whims of our D1 Varsity team.

Backstroke starts are a strong aesthetic.
Georgia Tech Athletics/Danny Karnik

ATLANTA, GEORGIA - There were a lot of non-revenue teams in action this week, and a couple of the bigger name clubs, too. That said, it was a mixed bag, but that’s not to say it was all bad, of course. Let’s take a deeper dive into the world beyond Techwood and Bobby Dodd Way.


Women’s Tennis

No. 22 Tech is defeated by no. 3 the School in Athens (4-1)
No. 22 Tech drops the match to no. 7 Texas (5-2)

This will be a theme for this week’s edition - if you lose the doubles point, it is very hard to beat great teams. Say it with me:

If you lose the doubles point, it is very hard to beat great teams.

You might be able to attune, now, that the Jackets lost the doubles point in each of their matches today, and that would be correct. Simply writing it off as subpar tennis, though, would be a mistake. The Jackets played closer than the score indicated, especially in the first match against the school about 80 miles from Atlanta. In doubles, they quickly found themselves in a hole, falling 6-1 on court 3, but were leading on 2 when play was suspended. All it came down to on 1 was a bad break, and then the guests held serve to take the point. The Jackets made their jobs extra tough by falling quickly into a 2-0 hole, dropping the point on court 6. As matches started to swing in favor of the visitors, it became imperative to get at least a point on the board. In this case, Victoria Flores came through, winning 6-4, 6-1 in a nice showing. Gia Cohen’s loss was closer than her score indicated. Rosie Garcia Gross was leading on court 5 when play was suspended. In a match of close, back-and-forth play, more things broke for the girls from Athens than the ones from Atlanta.

On Saturday, it was kind of a similar story, for the most part. A tight doubles point narrowly went to Texas before five of the six singles points went to three sets. The one that didn’t had this stat line:
2. - No. 4 Anna Turati (Texas) def. Victoria Flores (GT) 6-3, 7-6 (9-7)
A 9-7 loss in tiebreak - that’s brutal. Had a handful of points shifted, we’d probably be talking about Tech upsetting a top ten team, unlike last week’s top fifteen upset. It’s tough to look at 0-2 on the week and draw mostly positive storylines, but, in this case, I think it’s valid. It’s early in the season - this team is definitely one to watch as they grow.

This week: The Racket Jackets head to the Windy City just a stone’s throw from the University of Chicago to take on the best of the best in the sport. The two teams we played this week will be back there. Hopefully that means they know what they’ll be up against.

Women’s Basketball

Tech (14 - 7) is narrowly edged by Miami (12 - 9) in overtime, 54-49
Tech (14 - 8) falls to Notre Dame (8 - 14), 59-51

Well, it was the same story for the most part this week for the Jackets, as they both lost a game where they took a notable early lead, only to get taken to overtime and fall, and a game where they were just generally outlasted. The fact that the halftime lead against Miami was 18 points makes that loss all the more hard to swallow. A big contributor to that swoon down the stretch was the evaporation of shooting, going from 35.1% in the first half to just 15.4% in the third quarter. Tech shot 40% from three point land in the first half, and 0 for 10 in the second half and overtime. It seems that as this team’s shooting from beyond the arc goes, so goes the team’s fortunes, because other markers such as turnovers, rebounds, and free throw shooting that usually trend with the fate of the team were relatively similar, domination by Tech, and above 80%, respectively. Much like the determination after the Carolina game last week, if the three isn’t hitting, play the hot hand and take it to the basket. On Thursday night, that wasn’t the result, and the icy cold shooting streak in the third is likely the difference between breaking the losing streak or not.

It is absolutely certain this Notre Dame team is not the unstoppable juggernaut of the likes we’ve gotten used to seeing over the past few years. The Fighting Irish do, however, have five serviceable starters who ate the majority of the minutes on Sunday and scored all 59 of their points. Tech once again dominated the glass, but it was again shooting, especially from three point range, that sank them, as a 2-16 showing, and 0-8 outside of Jasmine Carson, was a millstone around the offense’s collective neck. Going 11-20 from the charity stripe didn’t help much, either. I think these two games give us a clear indicator: this team has great scoring potential. They play with the best in the conference when they’re on. The past few games, though, they’ve been off. Alas, it’s a new week, time to start a new streak.

This week: Tech gets the usual two this week, with one at home and one on the road. The Sunday game is the home 2:00 PM matinee. A typical week. Time to get the ship righted.

Men’s Tennis

Tech falls to the School in Athens (4-1)

Say it with me:

If you lose the doubles point, it is very hard to beat great teams.

It really was a theme this week for the Racket Jackets. I love the quote that the GTAA presser led with from Kenny Thorne: “I never doubt the fight of our guys but we simply have to play a bit more poised. We played well enough to win but not well enough long enough. I have already received evaluations from a lot of my guys on their matches which focus on improvements. That means it is a fact that we will improve and be a better team each week. I love coaching these guys and could not be more behind them.” These are a lot of young players, and they’re growing into playing not only at this level, but with one another, as well. Much like the women against Texas, Tech sent most of its singles courts to three sets, and featured this heartbreaker in two:
2. - #12 Philip Henning (UGA) def. Cole Gromley (GT) 6-4, 7-6 (10-8)
It was a close match, and Tech still looks like a young team on the rise. I’ll spare circle-talking about this team and leave it there for this week. Keep an eye on these guys, especially the freshman tandem of Andres Martin and Marcus McDaniel. When these guys start to click, we’ll see the rest of the dominoes start to fall, too.

This week: Tech gets Georgia State, The Citadel, and Auburn at home this weekend. Three wins would be ideal. Auburn is maybe more like a toss-up. We shall see...

Swimming and Diving

The Senior Day meet lineup this year was a bit of a throwback for the Jackets, as the women took on Georgia Southern and the combined team took on the Savannah College of Art and Design. Now, Southern isn’t the worst team in the world to round out a schedule, being a Sun Belt member and all, but SCAD is rather puzzling, as they’re not even an NCAA team. A few years ago, the schedule was riddled with teams like this - SCAD, Delta State, Emory - that were good for their division, but really aren’t worth using the pool space at McAuley on when there’s plenty more teams on our level to prove a team against. While that’s improved of late, the last remnant of that kind of scheduling is this sacrifice of the Bees. Tech took the most of their inherent talent advantage and squashed the competition, really. The Jackets won every relay, which is where the plurality of the points are, and notched another 18 individual wins on the day. They lost just six events. Call it a day, they got the win. That’s what matters.

This week: Swim and Dive rests. It’s almost championship season...time get on the horse and ride.


In the Club House:

Hockey: The Jackets got a solid win against Clemson, winning 5-2 on Friday before hosting Florida State in a revenge match from the Thrasher Cup last weekend, where they sunk the Seminoles 6-2. It’s nice to be notching the solid wins later in the season. Two more wins in the books.

Swimming: Tech headed across town for the Emory Invitational, where they swam against schools such as Florida State, the School in Athens, Alabama, the hosts, Mercer, and other smaller local schools. The Eagles declined to score the meet, for some reason, but the Jackets were dominant, winning all but one relay and putting a couple dozen kids on the metaphorical podium.

Lacrosse: The no. 4 Yellow Jacket Men’s Lacrosse team started their season with a win on Stamps Field against no. 14 BYU, 9-4. A solid win against great competition. They took a 6-1 lead into the half, and didn’t really let up as the clock ticked towards 0:00. I’d say more words, but they let their playing do the talking, so I’ll leave it at that.

With the way all three of these teams are playing and performing, look for them to be major factors in their respective national championships, along with stalwarts like the climbing and women’s basketball clubs.


For football coverage:

Harrison Butker

For basketball coverage:

Notre Dame

For baseball coverage:

The Road to Opening Day

For audio coverage:

Last week’s Scions


This Week on the Flats:

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

Monday: OFF

Tuesday:
Men’s Basketball vs. Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University
7:00 PM, McCamish Pavilion, ACC Network and the IMG Georgia Tech Radio Network (680 AM / 93.7 FM in Atlanta)

Wednesday: OFF

Thursday:
Men’s Golf is at the Amer Ari Invitational
TBD, Waikoloa Resort King’s Course, Waikoloa, HI

Softball vs. Alabama-Birmingham (Buzz Classic)
5:00 PM, Mewborn Field, multimedia coverage unlisted at the moment

Women’s Basketball at Pittsburgh
7:00 PM, Pittsburgh, PA, ACC Network Extra and WREK 91.1 FM

Friday:
Men’s Golf is at the Amer Ari Invitational
TBD, Waikoloa Resort King’s Course, Waikoloa, HI

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

Track and Field is at the Charlie Thomas Invitational
10:00 AM, College Station, TX

Men’s Tennis vs. the School that Started as Tech’s Business School (Georgia State)
5:00 PM, Ken Byers Tennis Complex

Softball vs. Washington (Buzz Classic)
6:00 PM, Mewborn Field, multimedia coverage unlisted at the moment

Saturday:
Men’s Golf is at the Amer Ari Invitational
TBD, Waikoloa Resort King’s Course, Waikoloa, HI

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

Track and Field is at the Charlie Thomas Invitational
10:00 AM, College Station, TX

Men’s Basketball at Pittsburgh
2:00 PM, Pittsburgh, PA, Regional Sports Networks (Fox Sports South/Southeast in Atlanta) and the IMG Georgia Tech Radio Network (680 AM / 93.7 FM in Atlanta)

Softball vs. Washington (Buzz Classic)
3:30 PM, Mewborn Field, multimedia coverage unlisted at the moment

Softball vs. Furman (Buzz Classic)
6:00 PM, Mewborn Field, multimedia coverage unlisted at the moment

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

Men’s Tennis vs. Auburn
11:00 AM, Ken Byers Tennis Complex

Softball vs. Ohio (Buzz Classic)
12:30 PM, Mewborn Field, multimedia coverage unlisted at the moment

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

Men’s Tennis vs. The Citadel
4:00 PM, Ken Byers Tennis Complex