ATLANTA, GEORGIA — I am rarely one to make excuses, either for myself or for my column. However, despite the whole, well, football news thing going on this week, it is actually by design that Yellow Jacket Roundup is a few days late today. For any football opinions, I encourage you to look to the rest of the site — the rest of our column is dedicated to the exploits of the likes of tennis, golf, and volleyball.
Tech headed to Toledo early this week for a two day stint at the Inverness Intercollegiate earlier this week. Christo Lamprecht’s personal accolades headlined the results from the trip up to Ohio, as the junior won individual honors as the tournament’s top finisher. Despite being a regular in the Tech scoring card for the entirety of his three seasons on the Flats, Lamprecht had somehow not yet won a tournament in collegiate play, though Lamprecht has come quite close and consistently been a top performer for the Jackets. His three rounds consisted of a 67 (-4) / 67 (-4) / 72 (+1) to give him a two stroke advantage over his next closest competitor.
Due to the two day format, Tech played 36 holes on Monday, and the Jackets were tied with Texas Tech atop the table after the first day of play. However, the Red Raiders proved stronger down the stretch and pulled ahead for a 6 stroke win when all was said and done. However, this was by no means a poor showing, as their second place finish left them still four strokes clear of #1 Oklahoma. Aidian Kramer, Hiroshi Tai, and Connor Howe all posted par or better rounds in addition to Lamprecht, with Kramer notching the feat twice.
It was kind of an odd invitational for the Racquet Jackets this weekend, as they were again a split squad, sending Rohan Sachdev, Andres Martin, Marcus McDaniel, and Elias Shokry up to Nashville for the Commodore Invitational. The Jackets notched 11 wins on the weekend, with Martin taking two singles matches, the first against South Carolina’s Story in three sets, 6-1, 2-6, 6-3 and the second against Vanderbilt’s Slim Troost 6-1, 6-2. Sachdev also defeated Troost, 6-2, 6-4, along with Texas’ Eshan Talluri, 6-1, 6-2, and Ole Miss’ Walker Stearns, 6-4, 6-0, all in consolation play. McDaniel earned a pair of consolation victories, as well, as he defeated Jake Beasley of South Carolina, 6-2, 6-4, and Vanderbilt’s Joubert Klopper, 6-7 (2), 6-2, 10-7, while Shokry’s lone singles win came against South Carolina’s Carter Morgan, 2-6, 6-3, 10-7.
Most interestingly on the weekend, the traditional doubles pairing of Martin and McDaniel was split, as Martin paired with Sachdev and McDaniel joined Shokry. The doubles teams saw reasonable success on the weekend, with the former netting a win over a duo from Texas, while the latter grabbed two, against Ole Miss and Auburn.
Tech sweeps Wake Forest (25-17, 25-11, 25-15)
Tech also sweeps Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University (25-21, 25-15, 25-15)
Tech led off ACC play strong in their opening weekend, and thanks to two sweeps of overmatched Wake Forest and Virginia Tech, currently sit tied atop the conference table in a league where every win counts, especially when powerhouse Louisville (and also Pittsburgh, but this year, mainly Louisville) are relentless and rarely, if ever, make a misstep. More on them in a little bit, though.
Luckily, not only was From the Rumble Seat on the scene for both games, the site had Jack on media row, while Akshay and I took up our usual seats in the spectators’ east stands. For Jack’s Three Thoughts on the Wake Forest game, feel free to check out the link below, while all three of us join to talk not only volleyball, but all of the plentiful action in what has been undoubtedly one of the most unrelenting news weeks of recent memory on the Flats, also linked below:
Now that you have presumably caught up on the editorial thoughts on the match, let’s discuss how things played out. While Tech did put together a nearly wire-to-wire performance in the entire match, and exceedingly rare achievement, the Jackets were credibly and consistently threatened most of the first set by the Demon Deacons, and this was a sentiment that absolutely carried into the second match, as well. The Jackets were tremendously effective on the court, but there are certain aspects of the game that almost every opponent has been able to take advantage on some level, no matter how overmatched. Wake had one outside hitter, Paige Crawford, that saw a fair portion of the attack come her way, and - if I recall my directions correctly, as it has been a week - the left side of the court was where she was particularly effective, notably working cross court and threading the Tech blockers. But alas, this is mostly a nitpick, and, as Jack alluded to, Tech stepped on the accelerator and never looked back.
In the second set, Tech worked Tali Marmen and Nicole Drewnick into the otherwise rigid seven woman rotation the staff has been working with most of the season. Meanwhile, on the evening, particularly in the second and third sets, Wake Forest was spreading the load over most, if not all, of the healthy travel party, as 15 players saw the court. Even so, Tech’s offensive load was diversified, which will be particularly important against conference powers and as Tech looks towards the NCAA Tournament, will be particularly important, given the ability quality teams have to isolate and eliminate singular offensive focuses from attacking efficacy. This set, in general, was never in doubt, and the stats bely this, with the Jackets producing an eye-watering .519 attack percentage. Whew.
Interestingly, Tech was under .200 in both of the other sets, and their seven errors in the first track with that being the one in which they looked the most human. That said, they are talented enough and deep enough for these, in general, to be overcome quite handily. In the third, Tech settled somewhere in the middle, with a comfortable set win. Overall, the game marked Michelle Collier’s 200th as coach of the Yellow Jackets, and Erin Moss led the way with nine kills.
In the Sunday matinee, spoiler alert, Tech would hit another milestone, with this one being their 300th win since moving to O’Keefe Gymnasium from the old Works Progress Administration-era Heisman Gym after the fall 1994 season. This one was smooth overall, as well, for Tech, as they dispatched the Hokies again in a sweep. The match was much more back-and-forth, and neither team really pulled away particularly early in any of the sets. Tech saw very little substitution in the match, yet again, with a different set of two coming in off the bench in this match, as Elizabeth Patterson and Laura Fischer gave spells of rest to the usual starting seven. Tech outhit their guests, maintained sideout percentage well, and generally limited errors, outside of a ghastly 8 in the first set, which Tech managed to pull away late and win by four points.
In the second set, the smoothest of the three, the lead changed just once, while the third saw Tech’s most efficient attacking performance, as the Jackets cruised two ten point wins in each set. Bergmann dominated the volume of attack and the kills on the day, while Moss again made light work in nearly every scoring category, finishing with the second highest kill total and the highest attacking percentage, a good facsimile of efficiency, of any Tech player with multiple kills. Meanwhile, Breland Morrissette led the way with all or a share of five blocks and racked up three aces in thirteen perfect attempts from the service line.
Tech will head to South Bend Friday night before turning around to face the conference’s toughest test, the Louisville Cardinals. The Sunday match from L&N Credit Union Arena at the Louisville student center will air on ESPN, the Jackets’ first appearance on the Worldwide Leader’s flagship network, and a great opportunity for a marquee win in front of a huge potential audience. For those that aren’t in Atlanta or don’t get the ACC Network Extra, this is the perfect opportunity to tune in.
From the Club House
- University of Florida Tournament Results (Gainesville, FL)
2-0 [L] at Florida
2-0 [W] versus North Florida
1-0 [W] versus Central Florida
- Two Game Series at Central Florida (Orlando, FL)
5-3 [L] at Central Florida
4-1 [W] at Central Florida
9/30 — at Notre Dame [7:00 PM, ACCNX]
10/2 — at Louisville [2:00 PM, ESPN]
9/30 — Lehigh Paul Short Run (Bethlehem, PA) [ALL DAY]
10/1 — Alexander/Asics Invitational (Fairburn, GA) [7:50 AM]
9/30-10/2 — UTR Georgia Gwinnett College (Lawrenceville, GA) [ALL DAY]
10/1-9 — ITA All-American Championships (Tulsa, OK) [ALL DAY]
Swimming and Diving:
10/1 — Emory [11:00 AM, not ACCNX?]
9/24 — at Pittsburgh [8:00 PM, ACCN]