Jackets Open ACC Play at Clemson Classic

Sept. 16, 2008

ATLANTA – The Yellow Jacket volleyball team, picked to finish second in the preseason Atlantic Coast Conference poll in a vote by the 12 league head coaches, will open the conference portion of their schedule this week when they travel to the Clemson Classic, where they will face the reigning ACC champion Tigers at Jervey Gym Thursday at 7 p.m. Clemson was picked to win the league again this season, and the Tigers enter the weekend with a 6-3 record. Georgia Tech (7-2) will also play Florida A&M (2-6) as part of the tournament, meeting the Rattlers at 4 p.m. Friday.

“This is a big weekend for our program as we get a jump start to the ACC season,” Georgia Tech head coach Bond Shymansky said. “Our team continues to get healthier every day and we know that once we gel, we will be a dynamite team. Our team has been looking forward to this rematch from last season; we are both very familiar with each other, since we both return a lot of starters from last year. So this will be a battle of wills and adjustments every point of the match.”

Clemson Classic Schedule
Thursday: Georgia Tech vs. Clemson, 7 p.m.
Friday: Georgia Tech vs. Florida A&M, 4 p.m.
Saturday: Florida A&M vs. Clemson, 11 a.m.
Sunday: Florida A&M vs. Clemson, 1 p.m.

Georgia Tech’s offense is run by setters Allie Niekamp (9.88 Aps) and Mary Ashley Tippins (10.62 Aps) and led by outside hitters Talisa Kellogg (2.90 Kps) and Alison Campbell (3.03 Kps) and senior middle hitter Callie Miller (2.49 Kps/0.80 Bps). The Jackets’ defense is anchored by senior libero Michelle Kandell (4.26 Dps).

Game Coverage: Live stats for the match against Clemson will be available at www.ramblinwreck.com. A video broadcast of Thursday’s match will also be available online at ACC Select (www.theacc.com/accselect/index.html).

Tech vs. the Opponents (Clemson leads Tech, 27-19, GT leads FAMU, 9-0)

Georgia Tech is 19-27 all-time against Clemson, but 8-4 versus the Tigers since Bond Shymansky took over the program in 2002. The two teams split the season series in 2006, but Clemson swept the Jackets a year ago. Georgia Tech’s last sweep in the season series came in 2005, and that was the last time Tech posted a win over Clemson at Jervey Gym. The Yellow Jackets have won 12 of the last 16 matches against the Tigers, but are only 8-13 vs. Clemson in Clemson. That being said, Tech is 6-2 against the Tigers in the last eight matches held at Jervey Gym.

The Yellow Jackets have won all nine matches in history between Tech and Florida A&M, with the last meeting coming in the second round of the 2003 NCAA Tournament, when the Jackets swept the Rattlers, 3-0. Tech and FAMU played each other four times during the 2002 season (Bond Shymansky’s first year as head coach), and the Yellow Jackets swept the last three matches, 3-0, after pulling out a four-set win early in the season. Of the nine matches between the two teams, six have been shutout victories for the Jackets.

Eight in 2008

This season the Yellow Jackets play eight matches against teams that advanced to the NCAA Tournament in 2007, including both opponents this weekend. So far this season, the Yellow Jackets are 2-1 against 2007 NCAA participants.

Milestone Watch

Two Yellow Jackets are nearing milestones for their careers – Setter Allie Niekamp needs just 63 assists to eclipse 3,000 for her career while middle hitter Callie Miller is just 145 kills shy of reaching 1,000 in her four years at Tech.

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