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Yellow Jacket Roundup: Background Interference

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This column is a space for honesty.

I’ve used a LOT of pictures in these columns, but I am absolutely certain I’ve never used Steeplechase. Looks neat, doesn’t it?
Danny Karnik / Georgia Tech Athletics

ATLANTA, GEORGIA I have to be honest with you, good people of Yellow Jacket Roundup. I wish I watched more of what we have to talk about this week live. But, I didn’t. Something, something grad school. Almost done with that. Sadly, the volleyball NCAA tournament came and went far too fast. Softball got a good win, but what else? And women’s tennis capped off their season with one last regular season match at home, albeit delayed. There’s plenty to divine from the tea leaves this week. Let’s dive in.

Last Week on the Flats

Last Week on the Flats
Data via RamblinWreck.com, Compiled by Jake Grant

Volleyball

Overall: 14-5 / Last Week: 1-1
Polls - AVCA Coaches: #23
Nerd Stuff - RPI: #34

Tech got their long-awaited trip to the Big Dance this past week, as they were slated to play Lipscomb in the first round in Omaha. Hmm, long awaited postseason does seem to be the theme of the past few months. Anyways, they may not still be playing in the tournament, but they did manage to snag their first win in NCAA play since 2004. That’s pretty neat. Lipscomb, as you’ll remember, fell to a very, very similar Tech team in four sets at home in 2019, and this was remarkably similar to that (25-21, 16-25, 25-21, 25-19). At the top of the stats sheet, Julia Bergmann had 31 kills, Tech’s best performance in the postseason ever.

And it was a sad ending, then, when Tech faced #3 Minnesota the next evening. They were just a step slower than the Gophers all evening, and ultimately fell 3-0 to a great team. This team returns most of its production, so hopefully they can put the pieces back together for another run in the fall. I think the most heartening thing about the spring season is that we know that this Tech team is better than they showed in the spring. After a thoroughly dominating fall, they never quite put together the same play in the spring. And that’s okay. They beat the teams they needed to beat to make the postseason, and come home with their best season performance in more than a decade.

We’ll take it. Should be an exciting ride in the fall. Luckily, this offseason, we won’t have to wait as long as we normally do.

Softball

Overall: 13-23 / Last Week: 1-3
Polls - NFCA Coaches: NR / D1 Softball: NR / ESPN USAS: NR
Nerd Stuff - RPI: ###

The weekend started off excellently for Tech, as they notched what is probably their best win of the year, as they picked off #15 Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University 6-4. It got progressively worse from their for Tech, as they narrowly lost game one of the doubleheader in the middle of the series, and, by Sunday, they were run ruled by the same vaunted Hokie lineup they were so effective at shutting down the first two games of the series. The Friday game, though, is the one we can focus on. Emma Kauf was the leader at the plate, and she put two over the outfield fence, while Blake Neleman had one of her best afternoons in the circle, throwing a complete game.

Up next, Tech gets two on the road in Troy midweek.

Women’s Tennis

Overall: 15-9 / Last Week: 1-0
Polls - ITA/Oracle Coaches: #14

You may pick up a theme here, but Georgia Tech made quick work of Boston College today in their belated senior day on the Flats on Sunday. The Eagles were no match for Tech, who won every point in the 7 point sweep. Kenya Jones and Victoria Flores got one last home win together on Court 1 - beautiful to see on a gorgeous Atlanta day - while a much less long-time established team of Mahak Jain and Carol Lee locked the point down just after. In singles, it was all Tech, as Victoria Flores, Ava Hrastar, Carol Lee, Mahak Jain, Monika Dedaj, and Rosie Garcia Gross went a combined 12-12 in singles sets. That’s pretty good. Jones, while it would have been nice to see her in her last opportunity for a home match, was out after doubles, as she works back into the rotation after an absence. Tech is up next in the ACC Championships, where they have the sixth seed and will play Thursday.

Men’s Tennis

Overall: 12-8 / Last Week: 1-0
Polls - ITA/Oracle Coaches: #32

Only one up for Tech this week, as they ended the season with a trip to Boston College, a match they won 6-1. Of note - if you haven’t picked up on this, BC has some pretty meh non-revenue sports, so this is a good one to not lose. There’s no recap, so we’ll be heading to Twitter for this one. Tech, they note, won the doubles point, before rattling of speedy wins on courts 2, 3 and 6. Andres Martin, Pablo Schelcher, and Chen Dong have had quite great years, and they certainly came through quickly today. Tech would add two more points as Brandon McKinney and Keshav Chopra won in two sets, too. Marcus McDaniel had dropped the first set, won the second, but with the match firmly locked up airtight, there was no pain in losing on court one. Such is life. Tech secured the 8 seed in the ACC tournament coming up next.

Track and Field

Nerd Stuff: USTFCCCA Index M: #137 / W: #43

Tech hosted their second and final home invitational of the season this weekend at the Dean George Griffin Track. It was interesting to see a large diversity of teams on campus this weekend, like crosstown D3 power Emory and downstate notable D2 Valdosta State. They were joined by Kennesaw State, Georgia Southern, and Georgia State. Really, everyone but the Athenians got the message, it seems. Anyways, in terms of results, trying to take a look at some names we don’t talk enough in this column, shoutout to Alex Thomas for doubling up both of the distance events, which I am sure is just as un-fun as that is in a swimming pool, along with Tyson Spears’ excellent showing in the 200m.

All in all, a solid weekend for Tech as they return to the road for the annual Torrin Lawrence Memorial in Athens next up.


In the Club House

A pair of games each this week for men’s lacrosse and hockey this weekend. It was quite the dichotomy between the two, too. Both played their sets at home, where hockey welcomed Tennessee for a weekend doubleheader, while lacrosse got what I like to call the Classic Rivals pack, i.e. a one-two combo of Clemson and Auburn. Perhaps I’ve spent too many years calling them Auburn and Auburn with a lake, who knows. Anyways, the latter pair of games went well for Tech, with the Clemson game being downright tense, as Tech only won by three, instead of their usual ten million. Both games went to Tech, who now find themselves at 6-0 on the year. They’ll meet NC State at a neutral site somewhere in South Carolina this weekend.

For hockey, well, things didn’t go so well. They lost the first game in heartbreak, a one goal defeat at the hands of the Ice Vols. The second turned on a pair of goals at 18:04 and immediately after, at 17:58 in the third, after Tech had rallied in the second to draw within one. So that one was a tough one, too. They’ll play one more this weekend against the “school” in Athens.

Correction: Last week, I believe I said both games for lacrosse were in one place. They actually played UF and FSU both as true road games. My apologies.

Best of the Week

  1. GT Brand Refresh Begins
  2. Janiran Bonner to the Jackets
  3. Summarizing Tech Volleyball’s NCAA Run

This Week on the Flats

This Week on the Flats
Data via RamblinWreck.com, Compiled by Jake Grant

Quick Hitters

Looks like Golf is the best bet for big sports left this week. If they’re even on TV. Other than that, might have to stick with baseball.

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