Tech Tennis comes just short of a nice doubles title
ATLANTA, GEORGIA — We’re starting off this week similar to last week, by taking a look at the latest run of the RECC Composite. Across the board, Tech in general held steady, though unexpectedly down performances from cross country at ACCs and football adding another loss sent their respective polls and ratings down on the week. The model became increasingly uncertain, as women’s cross country fell out of their poll, as well.
It will be interesting to see the rankings react to the results we see below, as Volleyball and Swimming in particular turned in solid weeks that should be reflected in the next round of updates.
Overall: 21-3 / Last Week: 2-0
Polls – AVCA Coaches: 14
Nerd Stuff – RPI: 7 | Massey: 8
To be quite honest, I think readers would be served pretty well by reading the Twitter thread I’ll link below, in terms of play-by-play style game recaps.
We’re here for Senior Night at O’Keefe for another sold out night of @GTVolleyball. So far, we’ve seen Pres. Cabrera help with the ceremonies, and Tech is out to a 3-2 lead. Same starting lineup as usual this year.
— From the World Champion Braves Seat (@FTRSBlog) November 5, 2021
As noted in the thread, it was Senior Night on the Flats, and that is pretty poignant for a lot of folks, but, to get a little sentimental, I will always be thankful for this senior class for galvanizing my interest in the sport. A very talented and successful bunch, it was a treat to cover them, and, in the process, learn the truer intricacies of the sport that are hard to come by as someone who didn’t grow up with a ton of exposure to the nuances of volleyball. I think that comes through particularly well when contrasting the observations of that Twitter thread to an early Yellow Jacket Roundup from 2017, right when I started writing. But enough about sentimentality.
As far as the big picture goes, Tech faced a pair of very good teams in the form of Miami and Florida State. Both were top 15 teams in RPI coming into the weekend, and both should likely receive berths in the NCAA tournament. Thus, I will be very interested to see the effects the results from this weekend will have on Tech’s own RPI. The Jackets dispatched Miami in four sets, though the third set featuring a valiant Tech comeback snuffed out on what would have been match point by a slightly suspect double hit call.
In the Florida State game, the trend was similar, as Tech handled the first set with relative ease before facing increased challenge in the second and dropping the third. However, though Miami played Tech pretty close in the fourth, the Jackets dispatched the Seminoles relatively uneventfully, yielding an efficient weekend for the Jackets.
Tech has just one game this week, a colossal rematch with Louisville on the road Friday night. As all games between Tech, Pitt, and Louisville have been this year, it will be hotly anticipated and have significant conference and postseason ramifications.
Swimming and Diving
Polls – CSCAA Coaches [M: 19 | W: NR]
Nerd Stuff – CAP [M: 32 | W: 54]
Tech swam two meets in the Research Triangle this weekend, and this is significant if only because it is wonderful to see them actually swim more regular season meets against ACC competition, which has been oddly sparse at times in the past. In the first meet, the no. 19 Tech men defeated no. 21 North Carolina, while the unranked Tech women fell to no. 15 North Carolina, 169-131. Given that the Tar Heels are ranked pretty highly, a thirty point loss is relatively competitive. In the second day, the men throttled Duke, while the women posted a forty point loss to the no. 24 Blue Devils.
In the water, the story of the weekend was certainly Mert Kilavuz breaking the 18 year old 1000 Freestyle record, though folks who followed along with our coverage of the previous meet will note that he was barely off the mark the last time out, and that we speculated that it could very well fall the next time it was swum. Suffice it to say, there was not a long wait.
On the boards, Camryn Hidalgo continued her winning ways, while Ruben Lechuga led the way for the men in his first appearance of the season. Dare I say it, but Tech likely beats Florida State had he been good to go for that meet, which shows the vitality of diving and the chance Tech has to improve the result relative to the Seminoles come time for the ACC Championships. On the weekend, the Jackets saw NCAA B cuts in eight swims, representing six swimmer and event combinations. These include McKenzie Campbell and Defne Taçyildiz in the women’s 200 fly, while Caio Pumputis and Christian Ferraro added their usual set in the 100 and 200 breast and fly, respectively. Georgia Tech, it seems, is rapidly becoming one of the very best places to swim distance butterfly. Someone is doing something right with that training, that’s for sure.
It’s also worth noting that Tech won both distance events in Durham and had a rock-solid showing all weekend, and has come a long way in its distance success. All of this is great to see, and should translate well to an exciting GT Invite field in two weeks’ time. The Jackets will host teams from all across the region, and, given that Tech hosts NCAAs, likely the nation, as well, as teams look to get in the water at the site of this year’s championship meet.
In San Diego for ITA Fall Nationals play in doubles, Marcus McDaniel and Andres Martin made quick work of a large chunk of the bracket. They advanced all the way to the semifinals of the tournament, where they ran into a pairing from Ohio State. Despite taking the first set, the Jackets then fell in the second set and the tiebreak, with the tiebreak ending in a 10-6 score. In singles, Martin won on the first day, though ultimately fell in two sets to USC’s Stefan Dostanic. Meanwhile, the rest of the squad hosted several teams for their Georgia Tech Invite, with mixed results. The team will rest until the spring season following this weekend’s competitions.
Tech had a successful weekend in Starkville at the John Cade Invitational. The Jackets won seventeen times on the singles side, while only dropping 8 matches. In doubles play, Tech posted a similar winning percentage, netting eight wins with only four losses. Tech may not have had many ranked wins, but they made up for it with the sheer number of wins, in general. This weekend concludes their play in the fall slate, and they will return for the spring season following the holidays.
In the Club House:
Tech split the weekend against the Liberty Flames at home, dropping the first contest 1-4 on Friday before rallying for a 5-2 bout of vengeance in the second leg of the series, with team captain Matthew Connelly pouring in three of his own for a hat trick. Tech is now 9-4 on the year. Auburn is up next.
Women’s Soccer (And A Cameo by Men’s Soccer)
Peyton Warrick and Lena Brown were named to the regional all-tournament team for the Jackets as they advanced to the championship game for the Southeastern Collegiate Soccer Alliance regionals. However, they came up short against a familiar UNC team 2-0, ending their bid for the title. Along the way, they defeated Florida and Virginia each by a 1-0 score. Having found the SCSA twitter account, this is how we also found that the men were invited to the tournament, though they lost in the quarterfinals.
This weekend, per the team account, Tech beat Emory and tied Kennesaw State. That’s about all we know for the fall slate, but it’s better than knowing nothing.
The Jackets headed down to Gainesville for the College Club Swimming Southern Regional Championship this weekend, hosted the the Florida Gators. Though the results were very close on the men’s side, Florida swept through both the men’s and women’s meets, and ran away with the combined total for a sweep of a win. Tech finished runner-up for both side, while Florida State capped a resurgent fall with a third place finish for their men and women. Of course, until nationals, Tech remains the reigning national champions, but it is important not to forget that before Tech was three time champions, Florida ran a similarly dominant dynasty. The Gators could very well upend Tech in 2022.
11/13 — Boston College
11/12 — at Louisville
10/31 — NC State
11/9 — Miami (OH)
11/12 — Stetson
11/9 — at Central Michigan
11/11 — Kennesaw State
11/14 — Belmont
11/12 — at NCAA South Regionals, Huntsville, AL