Dec. 1, 2002
The 17th-ranked Georgia Tech (32-5) volleyball team will face Florida A&M (23-6) on Thursday in Minneapolis, Minn., in the first round of the 2002 NCAA Tournament. The Jackets and Rattlerettes each earned automatic bids by virtue of winning their conference tournaments and will be playing Thursday night at 6 p.m. in The Sports Pavillion.
The winner of Thursday’s contest is scheduled to play Friday at 7:30 p.m. facing the winner of the New Hampshire-Minnesota match.
“We’re very disappointed with our seeding and the lack of respect which was shown to our program in this year’s NCAA Tournament draw, but there is nothing we can do but play our best,” said head coach Bond Shymansky. “Florida A&M is a team we have seen a number of times and each time we’ve played, they have played us tough. Should we beat them, Minnesota is a good team and they have a fantastic facility and the opportunity to play them would be an exciting challenge for our team.”
The Yellow Jackets, which captured the Atlantic Coast Conference tournament title, are making their sixth overall appearance in the NCAA Tournament, and their third consecutive showing after first-round defeats in 2000 and 2001. Tech holds an all-time record of 3-5 in the tournament.
The match marks the fourth meeting this season between Tech and Florida A&M, which won the Mid-eastern Athletic Conference tournament. The Jackets have won each of the three previous meetings and holds the all-time series’ record, 7-0.
“Obviously, our team is very familiar with Florida A&M and their players,” said Shymansky. “Each time we have played them this season they have presented our team with challenges and I’m sure Thursday’s match will be no different.”
A total of four teams from the Atlantic Coast Conference were selected to the 64-team field as North Carolina, Duke and Florida State each received at-large bids.