The Good Word

March 10, 2011

TO: Fans, Friends, and Supporters of Georgia Tech Athletics

FROM: Dan Radakovich, Georgia Tech Director of Athletics

I am off to Greensboro for the ACC Men’s Basketball Tournament today, but first I want to take a peek back over my shoulder. Just when we were all in need of a little shot of Georgia Tech sports adrenaline, last weekend rolled around and provided us with a treasure trove of Kodak moments. Let me summarize:

MaChelle Joseph’s team thrilled us with two great wins in the ACC women’s tournament, then battled tooth and nail with a great Duke team before coming up a hair short in the semi-final. The Jackets’ great season will no doubt result in a high seed when the NCAA Tournament pairings are announced Monday night. If you’d like to join Coach Joseph and the team for the Pairings Show, you are invited to the Atrium on the Edge Athletic Center on Monday evening at 6:15.. It will be a fun and exciting evening. The Yellow Jackets will find out their destination and opponent for their school-record fifth consecutive NCAA Tournament

Sunday’s Alexander Memorial Coliseum finale was really special. I want to personally thank all of our fans who came out to bid farewell to the building as we know it, and to cheer our Jackets on to a great victory over Miami. It was an extremely satisfying day as we enjoyed video highlights and tributes to the great moments through the years. The victory was our second in a row and set the stage for tonight’s ACC Tournament first-round game vs. Virginia Tech (approximately 9:30 p.m.).

Also last Sunday, we were thrilled when Kenny Thorne’s men’s tennis team opened ACC play with a 6-1 victory over Florida State and Danny Hall’s baseball team dodged the weekend raindrops just enough to put together a sweep of Rutgers at Russ Chandler Stadium. They followed that up with a 7-4 win over Kennesaw State on Tuesday to run their win streak to four games.

On Monday night, a terrific Georgia Tech student-athlete was honored at the Atlanta Sports Awards Gala as Georgia’s “Collegiate Athlete of the Year” for 2010. On a night when Braves manager Bobby Cox was presented with a “Lifetime Achievement Award” and Falcons Coach Mike Smith was honored as “Coach of the Year,” our own Jen Yee was honored after a brilliant career on The Flats. Congratulations, Jen.

The busy sports calendar continues:

Women’s Basketball
The Georgia Tech women’s basketball will look to extend its successful season as it enters the NCAA Tournament’s opening weekend March 19-20. So far this season, the Jackets set a school record with 13 consecutive wins, and tied the school record with nine ACC wins and 23 wins overall. Tech is currently 23-10 and ranked No. 24. The Jackets finished the regular season with a 9-5 ACC mark and tied for fourth, and advanced to the semifinals of the ACC Tournament before falling to No. 8 Duke.

Softball
Coach Sharon Perkins’ softball team has enjoyed a remarkable week. On Monday night, Jen Yee was named the Georgia Collegiate Athlete of the Year by the Atlanta Sports Council. On Tuesday, Shannon Bear and Kristen Adkins swept the ACC’s weekly player and pitcher of the week honors. Also on Tuesday, the Yellow Jackets shut out Penn State, 2-0, to improve to 13-4. Mewborn Field will be the site of the Springhill Suites Buckhead Classic, a five-team, 10-game event Friday through Sunday.

Baseball
The Yellow Jackets, 9-4 following a 7-4 win over visiting Kennesaw State Tuesday night, kick off Atlantic Coast Conference play this weekend against Maryland at Russ Chandler Stadium. Tech will host the Terps Friday night (7 p.m.), Saturday afternoon (4 p.m.) and Sunday at 1 p.m. Coach Danny Hall’s Jackets take a four-game winning streak into the series with the Terrapins.

Football
Spring practice begins March 28 and concludes with the spring game April 23 at noon in Bobby Dodd Stadium. There will be no charge for admission to the spring game.

Fans interested in purchasing 2011 season tickets can click here or call (888) TECH-TIX.

Golf
Coach Bruce Heppler’s 5th-ranked squad returns to action this week riding a wave of momentum. In its first two tournaments of the spring, Tech finished 4th (in Hawaii) and 2nd (in Puerto Rico). Individually, James White won medalist honors in PR and was named the ACC Player of the Month. This week (Friday-Sunday), the Jackets will play against some of the nation’s top teams at the Southern Highlands Collegiate Masters in Las Vegas.

Men’s Tennis
One of the nation’s most improved teams, the 16th-ranked Yellow Jackets are in the middle of a busy week. Riding a seven-match winning streak after Wednesday’s 4-0 win over visiting William & Mary, Tech will host Illinois State today (Thursday) at 2:30 p.m. On Sunday, Kenny Thorne’s squad plays at Miami.

Women’s Tennis
Coach Bryan Shelton’s team does not play until March 19th at No. 8 Vanderbilt. The Yellow Jackets, 6-5 overall and 1-2 in the ACC, have played four straight close matches including a 4-3 loss to No. 12 Miami in their most recent outing. The Jackets are currently ranked No. 17 and have beaten six ranked teams this season.

Track and Field
After setting a school record height of 4.30 meters (14-1.25) at the Rod McCravy Invitational back on Jan. 28 at the University of Kentucky, senior pole vaulter Joanna Wright launched herself into the 2011 NCAA Indoor Track and Field Championships. Wright will have to wait until the final day of the NCAA Championships to compete as her event will take part on Saturday, March 12 at 4 p.m. Her height currently ranks in a tie for seventh in the country with Kelly Phillips, the 2011 ACC Champion out of Virginia Tech, and Leslie Brost of North Dakota State.

This is the first trip to the NCAA Indoor Championships, but the senior from Winston-Salem, N.C. qualified for the 2009 NCAA Outdoor Championships in Fayetteville, Ark. with a height of 4.00 meters at the East Regionals. Wright went on to finish 10th in the preliminary round at the Championships with a height of 3.75 meters.

Diving
Today through Sunday, the Georgia Tech diving corps will compete in the NCAA Zone Diving Championship on the campus of the University of Georgia at Gabrielsen Natatorium. Two men and two women from the Tech swimming and diving squad will represent the Yellow Jackets at the meet. Competing in the meet for the Jackets are sophomores Brandon Makinson and Chris Khosravi on the men’s side and freshman Ashley Hardy and junior Helen Alvey for the women.

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