June 20, 2007
ATLANTA – Five matches against 2006 NCAA opponents and another against a perennial Final Four program highlight the 2007 Georgia Tech volleyball schedule, announced Yellow Jacket head coach Bond Shymansky Wednesday afternoon.
“With our entire team returning this season, we feel like this is a great opportunity to test ourselves against top-level opponents with the opportunity to return to the national rankings,” said Shymansky. “We want to prepare ourselves for what is going to be a grueling Atlantic Coast Conference slate and also understand the level expectation when it comes to NCAA Tournament play.”
The Yellow Jackets will face at least one 2006 NCAA participant in each of the three tournaments, and open their challenging non-conference schedule at the Arkansas Invitational in Fayetteville, Ark. Aug. 24-25, facing Pittsburgh (2006 record: 22-9) and 2006 NCAA participants Arkansas (16-13) and Pepperdine (16-12).
“This tournament is a great way to open the season,” said Shymansky. “All three teams are strong opponents, and for us to play top-level teams in our region is such a great advantage.”
Georgia Tech will host its annual tournament, the Regency Suites/Georgia Tech Classic, at O’Keefe Gymnasium the second weekend in September (9/7-9/8), with four matches being played each day. Tech and Georgia will square off at 8 p.m. on the first night of competition for the second-straight season after the Yellow Jackets stopped the Bulldogs in 3-2 thriller before a sold-out crowd a year ago. Tech will open its only home tournament of the year with a 10 a.m. match against Western Carolina Friday and face the Arizona Wildcats at 11 a.m. Saturday before concluding play that night in a feature match against 2006 NCAA Tournament participant Kentucky at 8 p.m.
“Having an opponent like Georgia on our first home football weekend, the excitement speaks for itself,” Shymansky said. “We also have two other great teams in Kentucky and Arizona playing in that event and with a chance to knock off those two nationally-ranked programs, we’re counting on our fans to really back us in those matches.”
The Yellow Jackets will wrap up their non-conference schedule with a trip to the Michigan/Nike Invitational in the middle of September (9/14-9/15), where they will meet Temple (16-14), Utah Valley State (17-11) and 2006 NCAA participant Michigan (21-13).
“Michigan had a strong season in 2006 as well as a stellar spring in preparation for this fall, and we know that they are going to be a supreme challenge for us while contending for a Big Ten title this year,” added Shymansky.
This year’s Atlantic Coast Conference schedule again features a 12-team double round robin format that began a year ago. The Jackets open conference play on the road at North Carolina (Sept. 21) and NC State (Sept. 23) before hosting Virginia and Virginia Tech in the ACC home openers Sept. 28 and 29.
The Jackets will meet defending ACC Champion Duke Oct. 12 in Durham before hosting the Blue Devils Nov. 8 at 7 p.m. Georgia Tech stopped a nationally-ranked Duke team in an exciting 3-2 match a year ago on a night when Georgia Tech raised more than $8,500 in Dig for the Cure, a community service project benefiting the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation.
Tech will wrap up its regular season at Boston College and Maryland over Thanksgiving weekend after hosting Miami and Florida State Sept. 16-17 in the Yellow Jackets’ final home matches of the regular season.
“We feel that we will again be one of the top teams in the ACC this year,” said Shymansky. “Our goal is to win the ACC title. We know that there will be five or six teams in that same picture, and we don’t expect there to be a huge separation between the top team and the sixth team, so we know it’s going to be a battle every night for us the entire season.”
The Yellow Jackets return 12 letterwinners from the 2006 team that posted a 20-12 record and a 12-10 mark in Atlantic Coast Conference matches.
A complete copy of the 2007 Georgia Tech volleyball schedule can be found HERE! Times listed as TBA (for home matches only) will be announced as soon as the football game times for those weekends are released.