ATLANTA, GEORGIA — There were a surprisingly large number of positive elements of this weekend’s trip to Charlotte. As a rather proud Chicago native, and having added being a loud pro-Atlanta element to the list of my city biases, I had a certain predisposition baked into my thoughts, but there are definitely elements of the city that would remind one of Atlanta, as well as others that Atlanta could emulate — anyone that needs any sign that running the Streetcar Extension along the Beltline will be just fine can look right at the Rail Trail, where a combination of shrubs, low fencing, or a patch of grass separate bikes and walkers from light rail just fine.
That being said, even from hip chain stores and restaurants, some less Atlantan than others, like Superica, Barcelona, Savi Provisions, Jeni’s, and Snooze, it sure felt closer than 250 miles away.
That should probably be its own column. In the mean time, let’s get to sports.
Tech sweeps Boston College (25-19, 25-13, 25-18)
Tech also sweeps Syracuse (25-, 25-, 25-)
In the first game, Boston College was never truly a threat on offense, as the Eagles posted attack percentages of just .091, -,097, and .000. Interestingly, Tech was relatively pedestrian on the attack as well, with nine errors in the first and seven in the third holding them below .200 in the sets. Julia Bergmann posted 18 kills on the evening, paired with seven errors for a .250 attack percentage, while Tamara Otene paired six kills with five errors for a .050 margin. Among other outside hitters, Bianca Bertolino had just two attempts, while Leia Harper filled most of the offensive void yielded by Bertolino, appearing in all sets and posting four kills and four errors on 11 attempts. Tech’s middles were efficient in the game, with Breland Morrissette in particular committing just one error on 11 attempts and six kills. Tech was cleaner in service, posting just four errors in service. The Jackets were particularly ruthless at the net, combining for 14 blocks, posting 22 block assists and 3 solo blocks and a big reason why their attack stats might seem a bit more pedestrian considering that it was not a particularly egregious error-prone evening sweep. Of note, Boston College never led not tied Tech in the second set, which Tech was figuring to win with the Eagles still in single digits before they fended off 5 set points.
To put it bluntly, Boston College and Syracuse traditionally sit outside of the upper echelon of the ACC volleyball hierarchy. Though Syracuse moderately outpaces the Eagles on the average year, the Orange entered the year having been forced into making a relatively late coaching turnover, facing not much time to reload their roster before the start of the season. On Sunday, the Orange had entered the match with just 3 ACC losses to their name, planting them in the top half of the conference, and ahead of preseason expectations. However, Tech dispatched them with relative ease in another sweep.
Tech hit much better on Sunday, with .438 and .483 attack percentages in the first and third sets. While the middle set was more pedestrian for Tech, Syracuse posted a negative hit percentage in the second set, proving the difference in the only set where the Orange held the lead, albeit a brief one. Otene’s spotless performance as an outside hitter was likely her best thus far as a Jacket, with nine kills on sixteen attempts, while Morrissette was also without blemish, posting five kills on six attempts. However, the true standout of the Sunday matinee was Moss, whose fourteen kills and three errors on 21 attempts made for a career mark.
All in all, Tech took care of business on the weekend, and will be in action in their second trip of the season to the Research Triangle of the season.
Golf polished off their fall slate this weekend with a strong showing in the Golf Club of Georgia Collegiate up in the north suburbs this past weekend. Though Tech commonly fields multiple separate teams in this event, it doesn’t usually have such a competitive ‘B’ team, as the Jackets finished in second and fifth overall, with twelve other squads competing. Freshman Hiroshi Tai finished first overall, winning his first event as a Yellow Jacket, taking the event by one stroke. On the last day of play, Stanford made up seven strokes to edge past a Tech team that had been cruising along through most of the tournament to finish one stroke ahead of Tech at -23.
Interestingly, Ross Steelman and Benjamin Reuter placed fifth and fifteenth as members of the ‘B’ squad, which tracks with their absence from recent competitions. It will be interesting to see how the lineup is constructed when Tech returns to play in February. Among other individual performances of note, Christo Lamprecht finished tenth.
The rest of the field consisted of Pepperdine, Tennessee, Washington, Virginia, Texas A&M, Alabama, Clemson, Duke, Southern California, East Tennessee State University, and defending ACC champion Wake Forest, who finished in last.
Tech headed south to Tallahassee for the ITA Southeast Regionals, with Keshav Chopra, Marcus McDaniel and Rohan Sachdev directly seeded in the main singles draw and Ángel Guerrero Melgar, Elias Shokry and Robert Bauer competing for the qualifying spots in the singles draw. All six of Tech’s entrants were entered in the doubles bracket, with Sachdev paired with Guerrero Melgar, Shokry teaming with McDaniel, and Chopra joining Bauer. Ultimately, none of Tech’s entries made it too far, with Chopra falling in the round of sixteen in the main singles draw, Sachdev falling in consolation, and the Chopra and Bauer duo falling in the doubles round of 16. With the Florida State Futures competition in Tallahassee this week, Tech will stay in the panhandle for a little longer.
The most important question for the weekend, though, is to wonder where Andres Martin was during the competition. Martin proved Tech’s top finisher in the event last year, playing on to Nationals, so it will be interesting to see when he slots back into Tech’s lineup.
Tech played Jacksonville State at home on Sunday, and the Jackets played a softball-esque pair of seven inning games on the day. Though aggregate scores only count in soccer, the Jackets came away with a 10-7 margin across fourteen innings. All things considered, though, the games can largely be considered two very separate, as the only player to appear in both was Jackson Finley, and even he pitched in one while batting in the other.
In the first game, Tech and the Gamecocks tied at five through the 7 inning limit. Finley and Luke Schmolke posted scoreless outings on the afternoon, and each pitched two innings with one hit and walk apiece, while spreading seven total strikeouts between themselves. At the plate, Angelo Dispigna notched two hits, while Stephen Reid, John Giesler, Jake DeLeo, and Drew Compton each posted one.
In the second game, Tech won 5-2, with Terry Busse leading the way on the mound in two scoreless innings. Noah Samol, Ben King, Aeden Finateri, and Cody Carwile all added scoreless innings to the mix, while Carwile and Samol also held their guests hitless. Carsten Sabathia started at first base, and his time on the WIN Reality system must be paying off, as his home run was Tech’s only long ball of the day. Sabathia, Romano, and the aforementioned Finley all posted two hits, while Stanford and Diamont each added one. With Finley having the potential to emerge as a two way threat, I will begin to speak into existence the return of the Tristan English “bring in a fielder to close the game,” which always felt like a massive flex. Do I have any indication that this would be his role in the pitching staff or in the lineup? No, especially considering he was the starter on the mound in the first game and the designated hitter in the second, but alas, this is 2019 nostalgia speaking.
Tech will play one more fall exhibition against another school, and they will take on Kennesaw State on Sunday at Mac Nease.
Tech played four games on the weekend, the results of which are more or less unknown. Per a source who was in the area Friday, Tech had hit the run rule by the 5th inning run in one of the two games against Bevill State, but no box scores or Twitter content has otherwise been posted. Sunday, Tech headed up to Dahlonega, and hopefully things went just as well up there on a beautiful weather day in North Georgia.
In the Club House:
Tech played two games on the weekend, both in the friendly confines of home. In the pair of contests, the Jackets went 1-1 against South Carolina, handing the Gamecocks their first loss of the season. Through a dozen games, Tech is a very parallel 5-5-1-1, perfectly balanced, as all things should be. Right?
10/30 — Kennesaw State (Fall Exhibition) [1:00 PM]
10/28-30 — Tennessee Fall Invite (Knoxville, TN) [ALL DAY]
10/28 — North Carolina [6:00 PM, ACCNX]
10/30 — North Carolina State [1:00 PM, ACCNX]
Swimming and Diving:
10/28 — at Florida State [2:00 PM]
10/28 — ACC Championship (Earlysville, VA) [TBA]
10/29 — at Florida State [12:00 PM, ACCN]