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Big Weekend Up Next for Yellow Jacket Volleyball

Oct. 1, 2008

Relevant Items:
Jackets to “Dig for the Cure” Friday vs. FSU
Discounted Tech football tickets for volleyball fans this weekend!
Air times for Tech’s match against Florida State
Game Notes in PDF Format

ATLANTA – For the first time in nearly a month, the Georgia Tech volleyball team (10-3, 2-1 ACC) will play in front of a home crowd when they host Florida State (9-4, 1-2 ACC) and Miami (13-1, 2-1 ACC) for a pair of Atlantic Coast Conference matches this weekend at O’Keefe Gym. The match against the Seminoles, scheduled for 7 p.m. Friday, will serve as a fundraiser for the Susan G. Komen for the Cure Breast Cancer Foundation, as the Yellow Jackets “Dig for the Cure” against Florida State. Saturday’s 7 p.m. match against the Hurricanes will pit two of the top teams in the conference against each other, as Tech and Miami enter the weekend with a combined 23-4 record in 2008.

For more information on the Dig for the Cure fundraiser, click on DIG FOR THE CURE details.

“We are looking forward to being back in the cozy confines of O’Keefe Gym,” said Tech head coach Bond Shymansky. “Our team is battle tested after playing on the road four of the first five weekends. We know we have a long way to go as a team to be champions, and a long season to accomplish that goal. This weekend becomes critical to us in our quest to be champions and we know we will need to perform at our peak to beat two quality ACC teams in FSU and Miami.”

The Yellow Jackets opened conference play on the road two weeks ago, knocking off Clemson, the preseason pick to win the league, in the Clemson Classic, before splitting a pair of matches last weekend at Virginia (a 3-1 win for the Jackets) and Virginia Tech (a 3-0 loss). Tech had won five-straight matches until its loss last Saturday night and looks to rebound this weekend with victories over a pair of quality ACC opponents.

Georgia Tech’s offense is run by setter Mary Ashley Tippins (11.96 Aps) and led by outside hitter Talisa Kellogg (3.69 Kps/1.46 Dps/0.57 Bps) and middle hitter Callie Miller (.326, 2.62 Kps/0.90 Bps/0.38 SAps). The Jackets’ defense is anchored by senior libero Michelle Kandell (4.16 Dps) and middle hitter Asia Stawicka (1.04 Bps).

This Weekend’s Matches:
Friday: Georgia Tech vs. Florida State, 7 p.m.
Saturday: Georgia Tech vs. Miami, 7 p.m.

Match Specials: This weekend only, Yellow Jacket volleyball fans will have the exclusive opportunity to purchase tickets to Georgia Tech’s football game against Duke for a discount. Fans in attendance at Friday night’s match against the Seminoles can purchase football tickets at a $20 discount for Saturday’s football game. For more information, go to: FALL EXTRAVAGANZA on the Flats this Weekend!

Match Coverage: Friday’s match will be aired on SportSouth Saturday, Oct. 11 at 1 p.m. and again Wednesday, Oct. 15 at 8 p.m. Both matches can be heard live on WREK Radio (91.1 FM in Atlanta/www.wrek.org) while live stats can be found at www.ramblinwreck.com. A complete copy of the TV/Radio schedule can be found by clicking HERE.

Tech vs. the Opponents (Tech leads Florida State, 26-9, Tech leads Miami, 5-2)

The Yellow Jackets are 26-9 all-time against Florida State and 10-3 against the Seminoles under head coach Bond Shymansky. The Jackets and `Noles have split the series each of the last three seasons after Tech won the first seven matches against Florida State since Shymansky’s arrival. The two teams won on their respective home courts a year ago, but lost the matches played on their home courts in both 2005 and 2006.

Georgia Tech is 5-2 against Miami, with all seven matches coming during Shymansky’s tenure. Tech swept the series a year ago, and has won three-straight against the Hurricanes entering this weekend’s matches. Miami’s only two wins in the series have come on Tech’s home court though, a 3-0 sweep in 2005 and a 3-1 victory in 2006.

Tech-FSU/UM Connections

– Georgia Tech has one player (Brittany Roderick, Orlando) on its roster from Florida, but no players on the Florida State or Miami rosters hail from Georgia

– BIRD LANDS BACK AT TECH: Despite the lack of Georgia players on its roster, Miami does have one coach on its roster that played collegiately in-state. First-year assistant coach Laura Kuhn (nicknamed “Bird”) helped Georgia Tech to three ACC regular season titles, one ACC tournament championship and four NCAA Tournament appearances from 2001-04.

– CALIFORNIA GIRLS: When Tech and Miami meet Saturday night, senior Yellow Jacket Michelle Kandell (Mira Costa HS, Manhattan Beach, Calif.) will face Lane Carico, who, like Kandell, attended Mira Costa High School. The two players were at Mira Costa together just one year – Kandell was a senior on the varsity team while Carico competed on the school’s JV/freshman squad in 2004.

– NIEKAMP FACES TEAMMATES, FAMILY: Friday night Yellow Jacket senior setter Allie Niekamp (Findlay HS, Findlay, Ohio) will square off against not only a former teammate, but also a member of her extended family. Niekamp was the starting setter at Findlay HS for two years (2003-04) after earning two letters as a setter at Liberty Benton High School. Florida State junior Nikki Baker also attended Findlay HS, and was the starting setter her senior year (2005) following the graduation of Niekamp. Allie Niekamp will also face the Seminole’s Abby Niekamp (Celina, Ohio) Friday night. The two Niekamps aren’t first cousins, but are related.

– FLORIDA PHENOMS: Both Brittany Roderick (Georgia Tech) and Brianna Barry (Florida State) played club volleyball with the Orlando Volleyball Academy while Roderick and Katie Gallagher (Miami) played at the same high school – Lake Highland Prep.

Match Time Change

First serve of Georgia Tech’s Oct. 11 match against Wake Forest has been changed from 7 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. to accomodate fans exiting the Yellow Jackets’ 3:30 p.m. football game against Gardner Webb.

The O’Keefe Effect

The Yellow Jackets have posted a stellar 151-43 (.778) record at O’Keefe Gymnasium since the volleyball team began playing matches there in 1995. Georgia Tech has won at least 10 matches at O’Keefe Gym in each of the last seven seasons and 79 of its 96 home matches (.823) under head coach Bond Shymansky.

Tech’s success at home is partially do to the remarkable crowd support that the Yellow Jackets receive each and every match. Georgia Tech is currently ranked 16th for highest attendance at women’s volleyball matches and is averaging more than 1,700 fans per match at O’Keefe Gym.

Complete Release in PDF Format

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