Oct. 20, 2005
After defeating Clemson earlier in the week, the Georgia Tech volleyball team (11-7, 7-2 ACC) turns its attention to the state of Virginia, hosting Virginia Tech and Virginia in two matches this week. The Jackets will take on the Hokies (9-9, 4-5 ACC) Friday at 7 p.m. followed by a 6 p.m. meeting Saturday with the Cavaliers (12-6, 7-2 ACC).
Both matches will be broadcast on WREK Radio (91.1 FM) beginning 15 minutes prior to first serve and Saturday’s match will be shown on a tape delay basis on Fox Sports Net South on Sunday, Oct. 30th.
In addition, Friday’s match features the Best Seat in the House contest as two people in attendance will have a chance to sit in leather chairs in a premier location two watch the game while enjoying pizza from Papa John’s.
Friday’s match with Virginia Tech marks just the 4th meeting between the two schools with the Yellow Jackets holding the series advantage, 2-1. The match marks the first time that the Hokies have visited O’Keefe Gymnasium since joining the ACC while former standout player Jayme Gergen (2001-04) will be returning to her alma mater as an assistant coach for Virginia Tech.
“Virginia Tech is a good team with a lot of fire power and we’re excited to have them in our gym for the first time in conference play and to also have Coach Gergen in our gym,” said head coach Bond Shymansky. “Their middle blocker, Katie Esbrook, is legitimate and we certainly respect what she can do with the ball. They also have a lot of good contributions from younger players on their team offensively and Melissa Markowski does a great job of running the offense.”
Saturday’s match with Virginia marks Junior Jacket day and all children with their Junior Jacket ID or wearing a Junior Jacket t-shirt will receive free admission.
This will be the 37th meeting between the Yellow Jackets and Cavaliers with Tech leading the series, 22-14.
“Virginia has a dynamic duo in the Kirkwood sisters, Emily and Sarah,” said Shymansky. “Sarah is one of the best outside hitters in the conference this year and will certainly be tough for us to contain. They also have a very balanced offensive attack and our getting good production out of their middles. We know that they are a gritty team and that their ball control is exceptional so I expect we’ll be in a long drawn out battle with them.”
Hitting just .191 as a team this season, Tech’s offense has improved recently, averaging .279 in their last matches against NC State and Clemson.
“There’s a couple of reasons for our recent improvement,” said Shymansky. “The first thing is that our team is passing more consistently and feeling more confident in what they can do in serve reception and that definitely helps us run our offense. Having a faster pace and more fluid offense is allowing our two young outside hitters to really gain confidence in their hitting and as they increase their confidence, it’s going to allow our other hitters to get more involved because teams will have more players to concentrate on during a match.”
“It’s exciting to see the evolution of our team right now and to know that we are sitting in second place in the conference and this is a big weekend for us against these teams and hopefully with a few wins we can get some seperation in the conference standings.”