Jackets Open Five-Match Homestand vs. Clemson Tuesday

Oct. 15, 2007

ATLANTA – After four straight matches on the road, Georgia Tech returns to Atlanta to open a five-match homestand beginning with Clemson this Tuesday at 7 p.m. The Tigers, undefeated on the season in conference play (15-2, 8-0 ACC) swept Wake Forest and then – #13 Duke over the weekend, while Georgia Tech (11-7, 5-3 ACC) split matches against the Blue Devils and Demon Deacons. The Yellow Jackets currently stand fourth in the ACC behind Clemson, Duke and Virginia.

“It’s nice for us to finally come home,” Georgia Tech head coach Bond Shymansky said. “We miss playing in front of our enthusiastic fans and we are looking forward to some great matches during the next two weeks.

“Clemson has emerged as the best team in the ACC right now, so we will have a big task in front of us. But I really like the way we are playing right now. Our team is starting to gel, and this is the middle stretch of the season where cohesiveness and consistency will rule.”

Match Coverage: Live video broadcast found on ACC Select (gatech.playonsports.tv) and radio broadcast available on WREK Radio (91.1 FM/www.wrek.org). Live stats available at RamblinWreck.com.

Match Promotions: The Yellow Jackets and the Georgia Tech chapter of Alpha Chi Omega will be collecting used cell phones to benefit the Verizon Wireless HopeLine program (www.verizonwireless.com/hopeline). Fans can gain free admission to the volleyball match with a donation of an old or unused cell phone at the door.

Team Updates

Georgia Tech – The Yellow Jackets opened last weekend by winning their first two games against 13th-ranked Duke, but couldn’t hold the momentum as the Blue Devils won games three, four and five for their ninth conference victory of the season. The loss was the Jackets’ third in ACC play, and dropped them to fourth in the standings behind Duke, Clemson and Virginia. Tech closed out the weekend with a 3-1 victory at Wake Forest behind the hitting of Talisa Kellogg (19K) and the blocking of Nikki Kaminskas (7BA), while a total of four Yellow Jackets, including Kaminskas, recorded double-figures in kills. Michelle Kandell posted her second-consecutive 20+ digs match, and ninth of the season, while three other Yellow Jackets joined her in double figures.

Georgia Tech’s offense is being led by senior captain Nikki Kaminskas, who is driving Tech’s blocking efforts (1.23 pg) while hitting .304 with 1.51 kills per game. Junior captain Talisa Kellogg is pacing the Jackets with 3.68 kpg, while Chrissy DeMichelis (3.24 Kpg) and Ulrike Stegemann (3.10 Kpg) are also averaging at least 3.0 kills per game. Junior libero Michelle Kandell patrols the Jackets’ back row with a team-best 4.70 digs per game.

Georgia Tech has already played five matches against teams that competed in last year’s NCAA Tournament, as well as another that advanced to the NCAA Elite Eight in 2005, and still has one remaining against a 2006 NCAA Tournament participant – vs. Duke in November.

Clemson – Clemson looks to climb into the national rankings this week after improving to 8-0 in conference play with a 3-1 victory over Wake Forest last Friday and a 3-2 win against Duke on Saturday. The Tigers became just the second conference team in the last two years (joining Georgia Tech) to defeat Duke when they snapped the Blue Devils’ 38-match home winning streak this weekend. Clemson (15-2, 8-0 ACC) is in sole possession of first place in the conference and is led by middles Danielle Hepburn (.373, 3.53 Kpg, 1.40 Bpg) and Meghan Steiner (.408, 2.83 Kpg, 1.10 Bpg) and outside hitter Jeannette Abbott (3.78 Kpg, 2.36 Dpg). The Tigers also have one of the best liberos in the league in Didem Ege (5.65 Dpg) while both Kelsey Murphy (3.68) and Leslie Mansfield (3.25) are both averaging over 3.0 digs per game as well.

Tech vs. The Opponent (Clemson leads GT, 25-19)

Georgia Tech is 19-25 all-time against Clemson, but 8-2 versus the Tigers since Bond Shymansky was promoted to head coach in 2002. The two teams split the series in 2006, as Clemson stopped Tech, 3-0, in Clemson before the Jackets handed the Tigers a 3-2 loss in Atlanta last November. The Yellow Jackets have won three of their last four matches against Clemson, and 12 of their last 14. Tech holds an 11-8 edge over the Tigers in Atlanta, having won six-straight over Clemson at O’Keefe Gymnasium. The Tigers last win over Tech in Atlanta occurred in 1999.

Jackets to Dig for the Cure

After notching 80 digs and raising more than $6,000 in the first season the Yellow Jackets participated in Dig for the Cure, Georgia Tech will again take part in the fundraiser for the Susan G. Komen for the Cure Foundation, this year against Maryland on Friday, October 19. Fans, coworkers and businesses can donate either per dig the Yellow Jackets (as a team) record against Maryland, or they may donate a flat amount.

Also joining in on the fundraiser are Russell Athletic and Mizuno – both of which have donated items for the weekend. Pink Georgia Tech Athletics shirts (donated by Russell) will be available for $15 apiece, while $5 raffle tickets are available for a golf bag and two golf umbrellas, donated by Mizuno. The raffle will take place following Tech’s match against Boston College Saturday, Oct. 20.

Boston College Match Time Set for 7 p.m.

Due to conflicts with the Georgia Tech football schedule, three match times were set for TBA prior to the season, so as to not interfere with games at Bobby Dodd Stadium.

This week, the Yellow Jackets set their match time against Boston College for 7 p.m. due to the fact that Tech’s homecoming football game against Army will begin at 12 p.m.

Jackets Hard to Stop at O’Keefe

Georgia Tech has posted a stellar 143-41 (.777) record at O’Keefe Gym since the volleyball team began playing matches there in 1995. Tech has won at least 10 matches at O’Keefe in each of the last six seasons, and has won 71 of its 86 home matches (.826) under head coach Bond Shymansky.

Up Next: Tech continues its home stand this weekend against Maryland (Friday, 7 p.m.) and Boston College (Saturday, 7 p.m.). Both games available on WREK Radio and RamblinWreck.com. Tape-delay TV broadcast of Friday’s match on SportSouth.

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