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Yellow Jacket Roundup: Big Greensboro Guys

Clean, Old Fashioned Hate worked out a little better for a club team than baseball this time around.

Men’s Tennis took on Clemson on Friday, but this from a much sunnier Sunday a few weeks ago against the Athenians.
Georgia Tech Athletics/Danny Karnik

ATLANTA, GEORGIA - The Jackets were all over the board this week, but yours truly was able to catch three teams in action live on Friday, hit some club sports, men’s basketball, and baseball, too, and somehow spend three hours watching the Illinois high school state swim meet on Friday (shoutout to the boys I coached back in the day at Oak Park-River Forest with the fourth place finish, their highest since ‘99). And finish five sections of MS-level differential equations. I’d call it a productive weekend. Let’s get to business!

No. 24 Men’s Swimming

Just looking at the number - ninth out of twelve - would make it seem like Tech didn’t do all that strong at ACCs this past week. However, much like the rest of the Olympic sports, the ACC is quietly one of the strongest conferences in the country to be playing the best of the rest. Though it was disappointing to see the pair of Pittsburgh and North Carolina pass the Yellow Jackets at the conference meet, the top half of the Tech team - the one that would be making noise in the NCAAs in the next few weeks - looked pretty strong up in Greensboro. Though depth and overall finish could have been better, and arguably probably should have, it’s now up to hoping that as many B cuts as possible make it through to the next stage.

Top-3 Finishers:

  • 2nd - Caio Pumputis, 200 Individual Medley
  • 2nd - Kyle Barone, Caio Pumputis, Christian Ferraro and Corben Miles, 200 Freestyle Relay

NCAA B Cuts:

  • Kyle Barone, Caio Pumputis, Christian Ferraro and Corben Miles, 200 Freestyle Relay (1:24.95)
  • Caio Pumputis, 200 Individual Medley (2nd, 1:43.13)
  • Corben Miles, 50 Freestyle (19.56)
  • Dylan Scott, 500 Freestyle (4:21.87)
  • Kyle Barone, 100 Backstroke (4th, 45.77)
  • Caio Pumputis, 100 Breaststroke (7th, 52.74)
  • Daniel Kertesz, 100 Breaststroke (54.05)
  • Christian Ferraro, 100 Butterfly (46.07)
  • Kyle Barone, 100 Butterfly (46.25)
  • Joonas Koski, 400 Individual Medley (3:49.93)
  • Tim Slanschek, 400 Individual Medley (3:51.32)
  • Christian Ferraro, 200 Butterfly (6th, 1:42.93)
  • Clay Hering, 200 Butterfly (1:44.53)
  • Tim Slanschek, 200 Butterfly (1:44.96)
  • Caio Pumputis, 200 Breaststroke (9th, 1:55.32)
  • Cale Russell, 1650 Freestyle (15:13.41)
  • Dylan Scott, 1650 Freestyle (15:14.45)
  • Joonas Koski, 1650 Freestyle (15:25.59)

This list is a lot longer than last weeks, which is the reason why a ninth place finish is a bit brighter for the men than the women. Either way, it’ll be interesting to see how it all plays out in therms of NCAA selections.

This week: Tech theoretically has a Last Chance Meet this weekend, but those always seem to change at the last minute. In the meantime, NCAA Zone Diving Competition begins the week after this one.

No. 10 Women’s Tennis

Tech defeats Clemson, 5-2
Tech holds off no. 12 Wake Forest, 6-1

The Jackets had two conference opponents at home this week as Clemson and Wake Forest paid visits to the Ken Byers Tennis Complex. On Friday night, as the back half of a Clemson-Tech tennis doubleheader, the Jackets made quick work of the Tigers, after jumping out early to take the doubles point. Kenya Jones and Victoria Flores now sit at no. 17 in the country in the doubles rankings, to boot. Meanwhile, Nadia Gizdova and Sophia Sassoli easily took care of business on court three, sending the match to singles play with Tech on top. With Jones getting upset on court one, and Tech falling fast on court six, the latter a continuing theme for the Jackets, it was up to the middle courts to make up the ground. Since Flores was meandering through a lengthy three set match, the quicker action on courts four and five - two set wins for Rosie Garcia Gross and Nami Otsuka - gave Tech a margin, before Gia Cohen sealed the deal for Tech on court three.

On Sunday, a very well-regarded Wake Forest team visited the Flats for a noon matchup with the Yellow Jackets. It was once again Jones and Flores getting things started off right for the Jackets, as they faced the no. 11 ranked pair in the country. Once again, Coach Rodney Harmon’s postgame quote echoed the sentiment that the match was closer than the score indicated, but, at least on court one of doubles, Jones and Flores’ 6-1 victory was convincing enough, to say the least. It was Cohen and Otsuka who were the second tandem to finish, and second to finish with a win, so it was once again Tech who was entering singles play with the lead. Wake knotted the score with their only win of the day, a 6-1, 6-1 wipeout of Cohen on court three. However, Tech swept the rest, with Gizdova getting a much needed convincing 6-1, 6-1 win of her own on court six, Jones and Flores defeating ranked opponents, and Otsuka and Garcia Gross clinching solid wins of their own, too. All in all, a solid weekend for the Jackets, who saw their record climb to 14-5 overall, with a 4-1 mark in conference play.

This week: Tech hits the road for Blacksburg and Chapel Hill to face a pair of conference rivals.

Track and Field

Tech Track got off to a hot start at the ACC Indoor Championships in South Bend this weekend, thanks to convincing starts in the Distance Medley Relays. This is an event that has looked particularly strong for them all year, and they did not disappoint this weekend, with both the men and the women claiming a top seven spot, with the women within a normal human reaction time (0.12 seconds) of the school record after dropping nine seconds from their previous season best. On day two, Andrew Kent ran a 14:06.78 in the 5000m, just barely slower than the school record set last year by Nahom Solomon, one of Tech’s best track athletes of all time. Taylor Grimes and Bria Matthews finished fourth and fifth place in the high jump, earning them, along with Kent, all-ACC honors. However, Tech saved the best for last, as it was day three that saw the very best performances from the team, including some for the all-time record books. Nicole Fegans, who has been on an absolute tear all season, had plenty left in the tank into the final stretch of the race, adding five seconds on to her slim lead to take first place in the 3000m. Unsurprisingly, her personal best time of 9:06.92 means that she shattered her own school record. For her part, Matthews came back on Saturday for her triple jump, and topped her own top-five performance with a gold medal performance good for top eight in the country, her third event win at a conference championship. Olivia Moore rounded things out with a third place finish in the pole vault. Anna Witherspoon and Anthony Brooks earned conference honors in the 60m hurdles and 400m dash, respectively. The women finished in a tie for eighth place, though within spitting distance of third place, while the men finished a distant thirteenth in a conference where the top four or five soak up most of the oxygen.

This week: Some much needed rest before indoor postseason continues.

Women’s Basketball

Tech (19 - 10) concludes with Clemson (7 -22), 56-44

Tech led for the majority of the game up at Littlejohn Coliseum, and, despite late signs of life from the Tigers, were able to keep a firm handle on the game thanks to a career performance from Lotta-Maj Lahtinen. Her 12 rebounds and 18 points led the way, along with 11 points in a 5-foul game from Kierra Fletcher, in a game that saw just seven players take the floor. Despite trailing by as many as five as the game wound down, it was all Tech by the end, because, after an 11-5 Clemson run to begin the fourth quarter had yielded the hosts a five point edge, the Jackets scored 13 straight to ice the game, as well as the regular season.

This week: The Lady Jackets head to Greensboro for the ACC Tournament as the 7 seed.

Men’s Tennis

Tech rallies to sweep Clemson in singles, 4-1
Tech falls in the swamplands to no. 15 Florida State, 4-1

For a brisk, misty Friday afternoon, it was rather surprising that the Clemson-Tech tennis match got underway not with a bang, but with a whimper. The Jackets found themselves in a hole quickly as Clemson gobbled up court three. As court two finished, though, it was the Tigers’ coach that was the most animated, yelling up into the stands at the spectators, accusing them of stealing signs. Houston Astros, the watching students and youth tennis players, varsity tennis girls eating burrito bowls, and parents milling around were not. Odd, and, even though Tech would go on to fall 2-1 in doubles, it seemed to be the end of the strife. In singles, it was all Yellow Jackets, as they pulled the slight upset over the no. 40 Tigers to sweep the middle four courts on wins from Marcus McDaniel, Pablo Schelcher, Chris Yun, and Brandon Freestone. On Sunday, it was mostly the opposite narrative, as the Jackets found themselves on the broom end of a sweep after winning the doubles point. Rather unsatisfying, both of Tech’s best singles opportunities ended in ties late in the third sets when play was suspended. Though I was unable to watch this game - it was in Tallahassee, after all - I think that proves the old cliché that the game was probably closer than the score indicated.

This week: The Jackets get one at home versus Notre Dame before hitting the road to play at Louisville.


Tech (6 - 8) edges Kennesaw State (13 - 2), 2-1
Tech (7 - 8) starts strong with a win versus Iowa State ( - ), 3-1
Tech (7 - 9) falls to Iowa State (9 - 7), 4-3
Tech (8 - 9) Penn State (7 - 11), 3-2
Tech (8 - 10) Penn State (8 - 11), 5-3 (10)
Tech (9 - 10) Rider ( - ), 5-1

Bullet points again for the six softball games:

  • Is Breanna Roper’s bat is waking up? she hit a two run home run late in the sixth that proved to be all Tech needed in that win, thanks to another solid pitching outing from Blake Neleman, who allowed one run on five hits in seven innings.
  • Neleman followed it up with another seven inning, one run gem where she allowed just three hits. This is exactly what Tech needs in terms of pitching consistency.
  • Tech put up a Big Crooked Number in the sixth inning of the back half of the doubleheader on Friday, but it wasn’t enough to make up for silent bats in the other six innings in another tight loss.
  • Kennedy Cowden has successfully played herself into a lineup anchor this weekend, and looked good, including a 3-3 showing in the late game Friday, to show for it.
  • All Neleman again in game one versus Penn State - two runs, six innings, but strikeouts accounted for 12 of the 18 outs on the day. Can’t allow many runs when you don’t let anyone make contact. Another good sign in the pitching department.
  • More consistent hitting, despite the loss in extra innings, was encouraging in the second game on Saturday.
  • On Sunday: A nice, comfortable win. We will take it. Balanced hitting and scoring, with the opportunity to maybe grab some more with a couple more hits or walks sprinkled in, accompanied by another one run outing from Neleman is seemingly Tech’s go-to for their success this year.
  • Almost back to .500 after a 4-2 week. After the bumpy start to the season, we will take that as progress.

This week: Tech gets the short hop to Athens before Boston College returns to the Mew for the second time this year, but this time they actually get to play Tech, since it’s the ACC season opener.

In the Club House:

This Week’s Results:

Women’s Soccer - Women’s Soccer gets my lead of the week as they hosted the school in Athens for a Sunday matinee at Stamps Field. It was a methodical start for the Jackets, who led 1-0 by the time I made it over from church. Such is the life of the intrepid writer in search of information about club sports. Anyways, Tech kept the pressure strong throughout the second half, working opportunities down by the net to the tune of four more goals, while keeping the ball largely on their opponents half of the field - almost always an encouraging sign when it comes to putting the ball in the net. The final goal was probably the most impressive, taking a bump off the back, or something odd like that - it was far from my vantage point - and edging past the goalie’s right hand in an acrobatic finish to a superb game under the best weather the Flats have seen yet in 2020.

Men’s Lacrosse - Tech’s most well-traveled club sports team took a casual weekend trip to Arizona for a pair of games against the state’s Pac 12 fixtures in Tempe and Tucson. The Jackets, now ranked no. 6 in the country, seem to be playing 4D Chess when everyone else is playing checkers, consider the 15-6 and 23-7 scores are essentially a beatdown followed by an unholy clobbering. Men’s Lacrosse is certainly kicking some [Aerosmith] and taking some names here early in the season.

Last Week’s Results:

Women’s Basketball - Won Regionals for the 3rd year in a row in a successful trip up to Athens.

Tennis - Last weekend, Tennis headed down to the Plains to visit Auburn for TOC Sectionals. It was a good weekend for the Yellow Jackets, seeing as the Tech B Team got a bid to their nationals competition.

Equestrian - Equestrian was also in the state of Alabama, as they headed to Tuscaloosa for a tournament. It was similarly successful, too, as the team was able to place 5th overall in the competition.

Fencing - The fencing squad made the short hop across town for the Aksel Fernandes Memorial Tournament at Emory this past weekend. They were able to qualify several athletes on to the national tournament in the coming weeks.

Men’s Volleyball - Men’s Volleyball was also in Tuscaloosa, and they advanced through to the first round of their playoffs.

Sailing - Tech Sailing headed to the SAISA Spring Mixer in Raleigh, where they placed fifth. I don’t understand basically anything about sailing, but I do get that the highest scorers get the most points, so think of it like golf, and here’s the results otherwise, so have at it. I think learning this one is my next project. Results:

The Hot Corner:

What u[sic]ga baseball series?

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This Week on the Flats:

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

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

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

Baseball vs. Tennessee Tech
6:00 PM, The Rusty C, ACC Network Extra and WREK 91.1 FM

Baseball vs. Georgia State
6:00 PM, The Rusty C, ACC Network Extra and WREK 91.1 FM

Softball at the School in Athens
6:00 PM, Mewborn Field, ACC Network Extra

Men’s Basketball vs. Pittsburgh
9:00 PM, McCamish Pavilion, RSNs (Fox Sports South / Southeast in Atlanta) and the IMG Georgia Tech Radio Network (680 AM / 93.7 FM in Atlanta)

Women’s Basketball vs. winner of Notre Dame / Pittsburgh (ACC Tournament)
6:00 PM, Greensboro, NC, RSNs (Fox Sports South / Southeast in Atlanta) and WREK 91.1

Women’s Tennis at North Carolina
3:00 PM, Chapel Hill, NC

Men’s Tennis vs. Notre Dame
5:00 PM, Ken Byers Tennis Complex

Women’s Basketball in the ACC Tournament Quarterfinals*
6:00 PM, Greensboro, NC, RSNs (Fox Sports South / Southeast in Atlanta) and WREK 91.1

Softball vs. Boston College
6:00 PM, Mewborn Field, ACC Network Extra

Men’s Basketball at Clemson
7:00 PM, Clemson, SC, ESPN2 and the IMG Georgia Tech Radio Network (680 AM / 93.7 FM in Atlanta)

Baseball vs. Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University
7:00 PM, The Rusty C, ACC Network Extra and WREK 91.1 FM

Women’s Basketball in the ACC Tournament Semifinals*
TBA, Greensboro, NC, RSNs (Fox Sports South / Southeast in Atlanta) and WREK 91.1

Baseball vs. Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University
2:00 PM, The Rusty C, ACC Network Extra and WREK 91.1 FM

Softball vs. Boston College
2:00 PM, Mewborn Field, ACC Network Extra

Women’s Basketball in the ACC Tournament Championship*
TBA, Greensboro, NC, RSNs (Fox Sports South / Southeast in Atlanta) and WREK 91.1

Men’s Tennis at Louisville
12:00 PM, Ken Byers Tennis Complex

Baseball vs. Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University
1:00 PM, The Rusty C, ACC Network Extra and WREK 91.1 FM

Softball vs. Boston College
1:00 PM, Mewborn Field, ACC Network Extra

Women’s Tennis at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University
1:00 PM, Blacksburg, VA