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Yellow Jacket Roundup: Jamir Gibson Dominates Clemson Invite

Yep, you read that right.

Women’s Tennis at the ITA Southeast Regionals.
Danny Karnik / Georgia Tech Athletics

ATLANTA, GEORGIA — If you’re much like me, you probably did a double-take when you read the title of this week’s edition. Jamir Gibson, newest member of the Tech track and field team, may not be the same young athlete Tech fans got to know on the gridiron, but he is certainly an excellent addition in his own right.

All that and more coming up in this week’s edition of Yellow Jacket Roundup.

Track and Field:

Let’s start things off with Gibson, who is a graduate transfer to Tech by way of Army. Originally from Zion, Illinois, per, his excellent resume which precedes him includes Army and Patriot League records in three field events, a second lieutenant rank, and a major in Civil Engineering. On the track, he is already making his presence felt, as well, with his third place finish in the weight throw marking Tech’s only podium finish on Friday and the 20.40m (66-11.25) mark being etched into the top spot in the record books in his first meet with the team. As an aside, I believe this is (somehow) the first time I’ve even mentioned weight throw results in this column, which is odd. Anyways, Gibson followed up his historic Friday night performance with a 18.60m (61-0.25) in the shot put, earning him a first place finish in the event.

Gibson provided the only podium finishes for the Jackets on the weekend, as the crowded 12 team field, along with four non-NCAA teams, made for stiff competition. In other events, Jameson Miller took fourth in the men’s 600m with a time of 1:19.13 and Nick Nyman finished sixth in the 3000m (8:18.22), while Shanty Popakosta’s 1.78m high jump and Matthew Mazzacano’s 4.70m pole vault each landed them in fifth place.

Tech is next in action on Friday and Saturday in Nashville at the Vanderbilt Invite, the other location where they seem to reliably spend most of the indoor season.

Women’s Tennis:

Friday Singles vs. Wake Forest (6-0)
Friday Doubles vs. Wisconsin (1-2)

Saturday Singles at South Carolina (3-3)
Saturday Doubles vs. Wake Forest (2-1)

Sunday Singles vs.Wisconsin (3-2)
Sunday Doubles at South Carolina (2-0)

This weekend, Tech headed over to Columbia to open their spring season at the Carolina Kickoff. In addition to themselves and the hosts, the teams were joined by Wake Forest and Wisconsin, with the four teams playing essentially a split round robin, rotating through each opponent in singles and doubles, though not playing the same opponent in both singles and doubles on the same day, if that makes sense.

On the first day of competition, Tech drew ACC foe Wake Forest in singles, while the doubles assignment put them up against the Badgers. Tech played very well on the singles side, posting a 6-0 day thanks to stellar performances in two set wins from Ruth Marsh (over Maddie Lynch — 6-4, 6-4), Kate Sharabura (over Mia Ahmad — 6-1, 6-3), and Rosie Garcia Gross (over Jingyi Li — 6-3, 6-0). Though Tech may not have the high ranking singles players of past years, they make up for it in a high volume of top 125 players, and all three of them, No. 104 Alejandra Cruz (over Whitley Pate — 6-3, 4-6, 6-3), No. 109 Mahak Jain (over Nevena Carton — 6-3, 6-3), and No. 111 Kylie Bilchev (over Casie Wooten — 7-5, 3-6, 6-3), took home wins of their own, as well. Most notably, Bilchev netted Tech’s first major singles upset of the spring, as her opponent, Wooten, had entered the weekend ranked No. 27. Interestingly, the preseason presumptive singles court one player, Carol Lee, only played doubles, which gave the rest of the lineup a chance to face quality opponents before the ACC season and ITA indoor tournament start in earnest.

Of secondary note, I have been compiling the (very tedious to find and assemble) data and working on a web application dashboard that allows the results for all of the team sports, or everything but Track and Field and Cross Country, as even Swimming and Diving and Gold have some head-to-head action, to be sliced and compared. Due to the time-consuming nature of finding and assembling all the data, it currently exists for only conference results dating back to the year before this column was started, or the 2016-2017 athletic year. for listeners of Scions of the Southland, this is where I have been sourcing my random weekly statistics. The format still needs some cleaning up, and due to the split nature of the weekend, this matchup wouldn’t count as a new entry to the data, but it is interesting to see how Tech has fared against the Demon Deacons in the last few times out.

As seen in the chart, Tech has seen recent historical success against Wake Forest, though recent road swings have seen the score differential go a clean 7-0 in favor of the Demon Deacons in the springs of 2019 and 2021. Looking ahead to Saturday’s doubles results, however, the Jackets would have won the weekend 7-0 against Wake, had things been scored as they will later in the season. Though No. 53 Carol Lee and Sharabura were upset 6-3, Bilchev and Cruz won 6-2 while Jain and Marsh finished at 6-4.

Tech WTEN versus Wake Forest, 2016-17 to present.
Analysis by Jake Grant, data via the ACC and

WTEN versus Wake Forest, 2016-17 to Present

Date Opponent Site Sport Tech Score Opponent Score Result Net Score Extras Postseason Month Year School Year
Date Opponent Site Sport Tech Score Opponent Score Result Net Score Extras Postseason Month Year School Year
2017-04-02 Wake Forest Away WTEN 6 1 W 5 False False April 2017 2016-2017
2017-04-28 Wake Forest Neutral WTEN 4 0 W 4 False True April 2017 2016-2017
2018-04-08 Wake Forest Home WTEN 6 1 W 5 False False April 2018 2017-2018
2019-03-08 Wake Forest Away WTEN 0 7 L -7 False False March 2019 2018-2019
2020-03-01 Wake Forest Home WTEN 6 1 W 5 False False March 2020 2019-2020
2021-03-06 Wake Forest Away WTEN 0 7 L -7 False False March 2021 2020-2021
2022-03-18 Wake Forest Home WTEN 5 2 W 3 False False March 2022 2021-2022
The plotted data in tabular format. Analysis by Jake Grant, data via the ACC and

For longtime readers, the RECC rankings will be coming back in a similar form soon, as I am still working to piece together old data holes lost when my old hard drive erased itself a while back, and am looking to code up a script that presents the next week schedule in a cleaner, graphical format, too. As always, if you have any suggestions about plots and tables, feel free to let me know.

As for the rest of the day Friday and Saturday, Tech faired slightly worse in Friday’s doubles versus Wisconsin, as Lee and Sharabura took home a 6-4 win, while Bilchev and Cruz fell in tiebreak and Jain and Marsh were defeated 6-4. In Saturday’s singles against the hosts, a similar caliber program to Tech the past few years, the Jackets and Gamecocks finished the afternoon knotted at 3-3. On the winning side of the ledger, Sharabura beat Alice Otis 6-4, 3-6, 7-5, Garcia Gross finished in two sets over Ana Cruz 6-2, 7-6 (7-3), and Jain toughed out two long sets to beat Elise Mills 7-6 (7-2), 7-5. On the losing side of things, Marsh dropped two heartbreakers to Misa Malkin, 7-6 (7-5), 7-6 (7-3), Gracie Mulville cruised over Cruz, 6-1, 6-3, and Bilchev was unable to make it two upsets in a row, falling to No. 20 Ayana Akli, 6-3, 6-2.

Sunday’s action finished out the weekend’s events against Wisconsin and South Carolina, and each featured one fewer court than the previous day. Fortunately, in doubles, Tech would still have taken the theoretical point over the hosts, going 2-0 thanks to Lee and Sharabura’s 6-3 win over Akli and Mulville and Bilchev and Cruz’ 6-4 set win over Allie Gretkowski and Carolina’s Ana Cruz. As for singles, Tech slightly edged out the Badgers, taking three courts to Wisconsin’s two. On the positive side, Garcia Gross beat Taylor Cataldi, 7-5, 6-4, Cruz knocked off Alina Mukhortova 7-6 (7-4), 4-6, 6-1, and Bilchev scored her second upset of the weekend with a three set 2-6, 6-2, 6-3 win over No. 59 Maria Sholokova. As for the losses, Sharabura fell in three, 7-5, 3-6, 6-1, versus Charmaine Seah while Jain fell to No. 82 Ava Markham, 6-2, 6-3.

All in all, had these been played or scored as traditional head to head matchups, Tech would have presumably beaten Wake Forest 7-0 and South Carolina 4-3, while they would have finished even at 3-3 against Wisconsin, waiting on a sixth single court to decide a match that will never come. On the weekend, Kylie Bilchev is certainly the player of the week, stepping up in Lee’s absence on the singles side to go 2-1 against very stiff competition, with the wins coming as upsets of the No. 27 and No. 59 ranked singles players, respectively. Bilchev also contributed to two doubles wins, as well.

Tech is next in action against Georgia State Friday at home at 4:00 PM as a final tuneup before heading west for the ITA Kickoff Weekend in Berkeley.

Men’s Tennis:

Unfortunately for the men, I don’t think I can stretch one match against Furman into an 1,100 word essay to match this week’s chatter about the women’s team, but, nonetheless, Tech opened their spring season with a solid win. Hosting the Paladins inside on a cold and blustery Saturday afternoon, Tech got things started in the right direction with a doubles point win. Tech won on two courts, with Elias Shokry and Keshav Chopra knocking off Thomas Kennedy and Cole Burnham 7-6 in tiebreak and Rohan Sachdev and Brandon McKinney cruising to a 6-3 win over Ben Cahill and Alex Han. Somewhat concerning, it was Tech’s top doubles team that faltered against Furman, as Andres Martin and Marcus McDaniel dropped their set 6-4 against Elijah Poritzky and Jerry Barton. This is something to keep an eye on as the season progresses, with Martin and McDaniel being huge contributors to Tech’s success on the top courts in doubles and singles.

In singles play, the Jackets notched a quick point on court one as Martin bounced back quickly and sliced through Poritzky 6-2, 6-2. Furman’s Kennedy briefly made things interesting on court four with his own quick win over Sachdev, 6-4, 6-3, putting the Paladins behind just 2-1. However, Tech took command from that point, sweeping the rest of the way through the match, as Robert Bauer took a quick two sets on court six over John Rado, 6-4, 6-2, making the match 3-1. His neighbors on court five also finished quick, with Shokry’s 6-4, 6-4 win over Laymon deciding the match in favor of Tech. Polishing things off, McDaniel dispatched Emil Westling, 7-5, 6-2, while an extremely long tiebreak against Barton for Chopra on court two ultimately ended in his favor, 6-4, 7-6 (12-11).

Tech will play two doubleheaders next week, hosting Presbyterian for a pair on Thursday morning and afternoon alongside a Sunday match bright and early at 9:00 AM against Wofford followed up with a matinee against Alabama State.

Women’s Basketball:

Tech (9-8, 0-6 ACC) falls to Miami (11-6, 4-2 ACC) at home
Tech (9-9, 0-7 ACC) against visiting #16 Duke (16-1, 6-0 ACC)

In the interest of brevity of an already quite lengthy column, I will save the postgame breakdown of both games for Jack, with Miami attached below and Duke in the works.

Regarding the Miami game, I’ll let my editorializing be brief. To be frank, Tech struggled to convert on the offensive end in this game. This is not new to this opponent — Miami and tech have long played bruising, defensive contests with low scores — and it is not new to this year’s edition of this team. Though there is a considerable wealth of talent on the team, it is one that can play a streaky brand of basketball, and it is mildly frustrating to see a Miami team that has not historically been world-beaters on offense against Tech, scoring under 60 points in 7 of the 11 contests dating back to the start of the 2016-17 athletic year, stepping up so readily in the first half. That said, though the game seemed out of hand for a while, Georgia Tech was able to pick up the pieces in the second half and nearly came all the way back from a 20 point deficit. Had the game been played that way the entire 40 minutes, perhaps this reflection would be a bit different. I firmly believe this team is better than its record shows, but it certainly needs to become more consistent.

For those that want to take a look at the complete summary of records over the past seven seasons, see the plot and table below.

Tech WBB’s recent results against Miami, 2016-17 athletic year to present.
Jake Grant, data via the ACC and

WBB versus Miami, 2016-17 to Present

Date Opponent Site Sport Tech Score Opponent Score Result Net Score Extras Postseason Month Year School Year
Date Opponent Site Sport Tech Score Opponent Score Result Net Score Extras Postseason Month Year School Year
2017-02-26 Miami Away WBB 70 75 L -5 False False February 2017 2016-2017
2017-03-02 Miami Neutral WBB 71 75 L -4 False True March 2017 2016-2017
2018-02-22 Miami Home WBB 70 51 W 19 False False February 2018 2017-2018
2019-02-28 Miami Away WBB 56 69 L -13 False False February 2019 2018-2019
2020-01-02 Miami Home WBB 61 54 W 7 False False January 2020 2019-2020
2020-01-30 Miami Away WBB 54 59 L -5 True False January 2020 2019-2020
2021-01-28 Miami Away WBB 70 56 W 14 False False January 2021 2020-2021
2021-02-16 Miami Home WBB 67 56 W 11 False False February 2021 2020-2021
2022-01-16 Miami Away WBB 45 46 L -1 False False January 2022 2021-2022
2022-02-20 Miami Home WBB 39 51 L -12 False False February 2022 2021-2022
2023-01-12 Miami Home WBB 60 69 L -9 False False January 2023 2022-2023
WBB results versus Miami, 2016-17 to Present. Analysis by Jake Grant, data via the ACC and

As for Duke, well, they were just a better team. Though Tech fought hard in the first half, Duke made adjustments and feasted on defense — half court and full — to force critical turnovers and seize wide open lanes for consistent points. I’ll let the numbers say the rest.

WBB results versus Duke, 2016-17 to Present.
Analysis by Jake Grant, data via the ACC and

WBB versus Duke, 2016-17 to Present

Date Opponent Site Sport Tech Score Opponent Score Result Net Score Extras Postseason Month Year School Year
Date Opponent Site Sport Tech Score Opponent Score Result Net Score Extras Postseason Month Year School Year
2017-01-05 Duke Home WBB 68 75 L -7 False False January 2017 2016-2017
2018-02-01 Duke Away WBB 59 77 L -18 False False February 2018 2017-2018
2019-01-10 Duke Home WBB 70 64 W 6 False False January 2019 2018-2019
2020-01-26 Duke Away WBB 46 58 L -12 False False January 2020 2019-2020
2022-02-01 Duke Away WBB 59 46 W 13 False False February 2022 2021-2022
2023-01-15 Duke Home WBB 47 65 L -18 False False January 2023 2022-2023
WBB results versus Duke, 2016-17 to Present. Analysis by Jake Grant, data via the ACC and

Tech will host Syracuse this Thursday evening in the midweek (ACC Network Extra) before headed to Chapel Hill to face North Carolina on the ACC Network in the 4:00 PM time slot.

In the Club House:

As we look ahead to the spring seasons of stalwart club sports like swimming, lacrosse, and soccer, hockey is already back in action. After defeating Kennesaw State 6-2 and 8-5 last weekend, the Jackets headed down I-16 to Savannah for the annual Savannah Hockey Classic. This annual event, now in a brand-new arena, is the pinnacle of the regular season as local rivals Tech, Florida State, Florida, and the boys from Athens compete for the Thrasher Cup. Tech started off the weekend strong, dispatching Florida State 4-1 on Friday night. However, despite a valiant effort and a much stronger showing than their previous matchup earlier in the year, the Athenians were able to edge the Jackets out by a score of 2-1. On the rest of the weekend, thanks to a tense 4-3 win over the Athens boys and a demolition of Florida State, the Thrasher Cup stays in the hands of the Gators, winning it for the second year in a row and the fifth time overall.

Over the Airwaves:

Jack, Akshay, and I discussed the latest in Tech sports on Scions of the Southland as we look to turn the calendar towards 2023. Tech basketball and swimming was back in action, and we start to talk a bit about the spring sports. In the next few weeks, keep an eye out for Softball, Tennis, and Baseball previews, as well as an interview with Georgia Tech Softball Head Coach Aileen Morales.

For those that missed the previous time Jack sat down with a Tech head coach, check out his discussion with Volleyball’s Head Coach Michelle Collier here.

This Week:

Swimming and Diving:

1/20 — West Florida (W) and Queens (M & W) [3:00 PM, ACC Network Extra]

Track and Field:

1/20-21 — Vanderbilt Invite [All Day]

Women’s Tennis:

1/20 — Georgia State [4:00 PM, Court Live Streams]

Men’s Tennis:

1/19 — Presbyterian [11:00 AM and 3:00 PM, Court Live Streams]
1/22 — Wofford and Alabama State [9:00 AM and 2:00 PM, Court Live Streams]

Women’s Basketball:

1/19 — Syracuse [7:00 PM, ACC Network Extra]
1/22 — North Carolina [4:00 PM, ACC Network]

Men’s Basketball:

1/17 — NC State [7:00 PM, ACC Network]
1/21 — Syracuse [12:00 PM, RSNs — Bally Sports South (Atlanta)]

For Football Coverage:


For Basketball Coverage:


For Baseball Coverage: