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Yellow Jacket Roundup: The Home Stretch

Swimming and Diving leads the news with a perfect weekend as they begin their pivot to the postseason.

Tech swims at their GT Invite
Danny Karnik / Georgia Tech Athletics

ATLANTA, GEORGIA — It is once again getting busy on the Flats, as the Jackets saw eight teams in action this week, if men’s basketball is included in that count. Until the basketball and swimming seasons end, it is only going to get busier, though, so, well, take notes, I guess. Golf returns to action this coming week for their spring season, with softball and baseball coming hot on their tails. Highlights from this week include two different record-setting women, in the pool and on the track, while tennis saw a mixed bag of results. At the time of writing, women’s basketball is still in action against Clemson, so you can solve for the variables on their X-Y record this week at the time you read this. As always, updated scores will be found later in the article.

Women’s Basketball

Overall: | Last Week:
Polls - AP Poll: 14 | Coaches: 17
Nerd Stuff - Massey: 24 | NET: 18

Tech started out their slate of three games in six days with a home game against Boston College Thursday night. In it, Tech was fairly dominant, and they were effective enough in all phases of the game against an improving, but still not top 25 Eagles team. Lorela Cubaj showed no signs of slowing down after her ankle injury late in the fourth quarter last weekend, and even though her scoring output was lower than usual, she was able to be her usual physical presence in the middle, and dominated on the glass, as well. Notably, Eylia Love had the highest scoring output of her career with 20 points, the majority of which came early as Tech was building the lead. Though Boston College brought a large contingent of fans to the game to see freshman Cameron Swartz make her homecoming and the Eagles played better in the second half, Tech still outscored them in both halves and ran away with a nineteen point victory. Once again, Tech committed a fairly large number of turnovers - 16 to BC’s 9 - and yielded a lot of points when Boston College was playing fast, but, in the end, their generally improved free throw and three point percentage over the year turned this game from one Tech might have had in question in the beginning of the season to one that was a solid win.

In the second game, Tech played a tight first half on the road in Clemson. One of the themes of this game was playing a longer rotation than usual, as getting players like AC Carter, Aixa Wone Aranaz, and Elizabete Bulane minutes grows increasingly important down the stretch. Ultimately, the same players featured heavily, as one would expect, and Tech managed to pull away midway through the fourth quarter. However, Clemson’s strategy of fouling Tech and relying on them to miss their free throws was effective, as Tech made just 60% on the day, and that number was an even 50% down the stretch. Thus, it was a tighter than expected 69-62 final, as Clemson scored more than the typical Tech opponent, and Tech was reliant on threes, particularly from Sarah Bates, who finished with five, to keep them ahead early in the game.

Tech’s lone game this week will be their second road contest in a row, as the Jackets head to Durham on Tuesday for a rescheduled contest at Cameron Indoor.

Women’s Tennis

Overall: 0-2 | Last Week: 0-2
Polls - ITA: 12

It was a relatively wild weekend in Atlanta for the ITA Kickoff Weekend. In the first day of competition, both #14 Michigan and #12 Georgia Tech lost their opening round matches, and, on the second day, the Wolverines turned around and beat Tech, and, as of the time of writing, Old Dominion was on the road to an upset of Ole Miss. Thus, not a single favorite fared well, even though both of Tech’s losses were tight, 4-3 affairs. In the both matchups, Tech took the doubles points, but lost four of the six singles matches both days.

Carol Lee won twice in singles on the weekend, while Mahak Jain went 1-1 and Kate Sharabura went 1-0, beating Michigan. Notably, on the weekend, there were a number of instances where Tech was upset in singles, which certainly impacted the result of the match. With the two loss weekend, it may be the case that they fall down the rankings a bit in this coming week’s release. Regardless, Tech must bounce back in time to host Northwestern this Sunday, another well-regarded team in the sport and common non-conference opponent.

Men’s Tennis

Overall: 3-1 | Last Week: 1-1
Polls - ITA: 29

The Tech men had a solid weekend in the ITA Kickoff, as they finished the weekend 1-1 with an upset-free weekend splitting their matches with Middle Tennessee and Virginia in Charlottesville. In their opening match, Tech took on a solid MTSU team and walked away with a good win. Though they lost the doubles point, the Jackets were able to rocket back to take four of five singles points. Andres Martin, Marcus McDaniel, Chen Dong, and Pablo Schelcher all won in two sets, while Brandon McKinney lost in two on six, and Marcus McDaniel’s match was left unfinished.

In the second day of competition, Tech took on #6 Virginia, and the result was a narrower 4-0 sweep than one might expect, based on the score. In the doubles, Martin and McDaniel narrowly lost on court one, while Dong and Angel Guerrero rocketed to a win on court three. In the singles portion of the match, Tech lost on the bottom three courts, while all competition on the top three were left unfinished, and the Jackets were competitive on all three.

Tech will be in action next this weekend with a home and away SEC slate with Auburn coming to Atlanta on Friday, while the Jackets head to Columbia to face South Carolina on Sunday.

Swimming and Diving

Polls - Coaches - M: 21 | W: NR
Nerd Stuff - CAP - M: 25 | W: 41

It’s that time of year again, as the season starts to turn towards the postseason, that we start seeing NCAA A and B cuts start to pile up again. Newer readers, fear not, we will do a deep dive on what exactly that means for Tech, but, in the meantime, it signals that it is not just time to swim, but time to swim fast. The Jackets had two meets on the weekend, a Friday women’s swimming and diving meet against Tulane and Arkansas, while Saturday’s Senior Day included Gardner-Webb for men’s and women’s swimming, while Arkansas and Miami joined in for diving.

On Friday, the top news of the day was McKenzie Campbell adding another team record to her portfolio of IM and Butterfly success, with her sub-2:00 time in the 200 IM also good for an NCAA B cut. On the day, Georgia Tech was able to defeat Tulane, though they narrowly fell to Arkansas. Camryn Hidalgo also won the 1 meter dive, while Brooke Switzer won both the 200 and 500 free. In day two of competition, Tech throttled both Gardner-Webb teams, with a number of seniors winning events on their senior day.

Tech will get two weeks of rest before returning to the pool for the Yellow Jacket Invitational. In an interesting scheduling quirk, Tech will host both the ACC and NCAA Championships, so they will close out the rest of the season in the comforts of their home pool.

Track and Field

Nerd Stuff - USTFCCCA Index - M: NR | W: 80

In the leading news out of Clemson this week, Nicole Fegans once again broke her own mile record, while a number of other Tech athletes finished at the top of their respective events. In terms of other event winners, Katy Earwood led the way in the women’s 5000 meter, while Olivia Moore came out in second in the pole vault on Saturday. Tech had a number of other top finishers on the weekend, as well.

One interesting thing from the week was the release of the first USTFCCCA rankings of the year, which ranked the women surprisingly low at #80, and the men not at all. Not really sure why the men were unranked, as I haven’t seen that since I started keeping track, but it is worth keeping an eye on in the next release.

This Week:

Men’s Basketball:

2/2 - at Virginia Tech

2/5 - Clemson

Women’s Basketball:

2/1 - at Duke


2/3-5 - at Amer Ari Invitational (Waimeia, HI)

Indoor Track and Field:

2/4-5 - at JDL Camel City Classic (Winston-Salem, NC)

2/4-5 at Doc Hale Elite Invite (Blacksburg, VA)

Men’s Tennis:

2/4 - Auburn

2/6 - at South Carolina

Women’s Tennis:

2/6 - Northwestern

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