ATLANTA, GEORGIA — It is always easy to tell when a home track meet happens. Heading to the Beltline on a Saturday and seeing successive packs of joggers in matching team gear belies the presence of their teams at Griffin Track. Of course, this weekend was also a perfect day to be out and about in Atlanta, given the gorgeous weather, with only passing clouds in the sky, and, thus, a perfect weekend to spend at the track or one of the ballfields.
Overall: 36-12 | Last Week: 4-0
Troy - [W] 8-1: This was a nice win. Tech, as they have done so often this year, solidly took care of business. We will move swiftly on to the other four games of the week.
Georgia State - [W] 3-0: Tech twirled a shutout in the circle split between Chandler Dennis and Blake Neleman on their way to yet another midweek win as they hosted the Panthers in the away leg of the season series. The Jackets didn’t score much in the game, with all of their runs coming in the top of the fifth, but it proved plenty considering their hosts spread their four hits out among seven frames.
Charlotte - [W] 3-2 (10): The weekend series interesting consisted of a Saturday doubleheader followed by a Sunday rubber match, and the first game certainly proved that the day would not be a short one. Tech once again put the one-two combo of Neleman and Dennis in the circle, and they were effective, limiting Charlotte to just the two runs they pushed across in the top of the third. The Jackets scraped a run in both the fifth and the sixth, but the game would remain knotted there for four innings before Tech finally ended the game, although the afternoon would see another seven innings of softball yet to come.
Charlotte - [W] 8-2: The second game of the twin bill was Tech’s most thorough offensive output of the week. Emma Kauf had a classic Kauf game, going three for five at the plate with four RBIs and yet more doubles. However, the most compelling stat from the game at the plate was the overall success of the bottom of the lineup, as Sandra Beth Pritchett, Jin Sileo, Bailee Zeitler, and Ella Edgmon all notched multiple hits on the afternoon.
Charlotte - [W] 7-4: Tech once again posted a solid offensive output to close out the series with a sweep, however they once again started the game in the hole after allowing two runs in the first. Tech would finally break through at the plate with a big, crooked number in the bottom of the fourth yielding five runs before two more insurance runs in the bottom of the sixth put the game comfortably out of reach.
Tech started its weekend on the panhandle in a tough spot, with the Jackets in seventh through the opening round of the stroke play phase of the ACC Championship despite Tech’s stellar showing in their first trip to Panama City Beach this spring. In the next two days of competition, Tech was able to rally successfully and put themselves comfortably in second overall after three rounds of play. The Jackets matched up with third place Florida State in the semifinals of match play, with Tech able to close out their foes in 3-1-1 fashion, with points coming from Christo Lamprecht, Benjamin Reuter, and Connor Howe. Monday’s finals match with begin at 10:00 AM and Tech will face Wake Forest for the right to secure this season’s ACC Championship title.
Overall: 10-14 | Last Week: 2-1
Rankings - ITA: 61
The good news from the weekend is that Tech was able to notch its highest ever ranked victory by taking down #7 Wake Forest in the quarterfinals of the ACC Championship tournament. The Jackets started their weekend needing a lot of luck and momentum to carry them through to a conference championship, as they were guaranteed to finish outside a .500 record and thus outside of the NCAA team tournament picture. They took care of business in the first two rounds, dispatching Miami 4-1 before a statement win over Wake Forest set up their showdown with conference heavyweight UNC. Though the final score showed as 4-1 against the Tar Heels, Tech was leading on two courts when play was suspended, belying yet again the fact that this team is incredibly talented, yet horribly unlucky. The sheer number of close losses this team has taken this year is certainly disappointing, but it shows incredible poise to still mount a challenge to a conference title contender and knock them out of the picture. Tech will await their singles and doubles NCAA championship draws in the coming days.
Overall: 14-10 | Last Week: 1-1
Rankings - ITA: 32
As for the women, the theme stayed somewhat familiar for them as well, as they were able to dispatch their opening opponent solidly in a 4-0 sweep of Boston College. In the second match of the weekend, Tech faced Miami, a team they had lost to in a heartbreaker on the road back in February. Things were largely similar in this match, as Tech would ultimately lose their quarterfinal at nearly midnight after four long hours of struggle. After winning the double point and trading the other five singles, the match came down to court six, where Kate Sharabura valiantly fought but ultimately came up short. She got out to a lead after a 7-5 first set win, but lost both the other sets of the tragic and heartbreaking three set marathon 6-7 (5) to drop the court and the match. Tech has performed solidly in the rankings all year, so they should be set up to be a second or third seed in a regional in the NCAA Championship team tournament.
Track and Field
Tech hosted their second invite of the year this year, and quite a few teams from around the region were in town turned up and were accompanied by a rather large contingent from the Atlanta Track Club and other professional and unattached runners. Tech performed pretty well at their own meet, with Nicole Fegans turning in a facility and school record in the 1500m before also winning the 5000m. Tech’s other event winners on the day included John Watkins in the men’s triple jump and Shanty Papakosta’s win in the women’s high jump. There were a number of other podium and top ten finishes on the weekend, rounding out the Tech performance. Next up for the Jackets, the team will split the squad between the Torrin Lawrence Memorial in Athens and the venerable Penn Relays in Philadelphia.
In the Club House:
Georgia Tech Men’s Lacrosse got the weekend off last weekend after finishing at the top of the table, returning to play in the semifinals of the SELC championship against Florida State on Saturday. Tech completely controlled the game from start to finish, responding to FSU’s opening goal to pour on seven straight goals on their way to a dominating 18-9 win. This win set up a finale matchup with South Carolina, the SELC’s other major power in the past few years. At the half, Tech lead 8-7 after jumping ahead at the start, with South Carolina generally able to keep the difference within a goal or two. Right out of the gates in the second half, the Gamecocks seized the lead and generally flipped the script of the first half, with Tech having to battle back most of the rest of the way. In the end, the Carolina lead held true, and Tech finished as the runner up. Based on their Twitter, though, it seems relatively certain that they will be one of the sixteen teams invited to the MCLA tournament in Round Rock starting May 9th.
4/29-5/1: at Clemson
4/25: ACC Championship Match Play Finals (Shark’s Tooth - Panama City Beach, FL)
Track and Field:
4/28-30: Penn Relays (Philadelphia, PA)
4/29-30: Torrin Lawrence Memorial (Athens, GA)