Oct. 4, 2005
After picking up two Atlantic Coast Conference victories on the road, the Georgia Tech volleyball team (6-6, 3-ACC) returns to the cozy confines of O’Keefe Gymnasium to host two ACC matches and a non-conference match. Tech hosts undefeated and 25th-ranked Maryland (14-0, 5-0 ACC) Friday at 7 p.m. followed by doubleheader Saturday in which the Jackets will face Georgia State (3-9) at 12 p.m. and Boston College (5-9, 0-5 ACC) at 8 p.m.
Friday’s match marks the 41st time that the Jackets have faced the Terrapins, with Maryland holding the series’ edge 22-18. Tech took two matches from Maryland last year, including a 3-0 win in Atlanta. The defending ACC champions, the Terrapins enter the match with a perfect record, atop the conference standings and nationally ranked for the first time this season..
“Maryland is off to a great start and it’s amazing how in a couple of years the roles have essentially reversed for the two teams in that instead our team being the hunted, we are the hunters,” said head coach Bond Shymansky. “They are a very good blocking team with two great middles in Rachel Wagener and Stephanie Smith and have three good hitters facing you at all times which poses a great threat for our defense. Our matches against Maryland are always competitive and I’m sure this one Friday will be no different.”
At 12 p.m. Saturday, the Jackets will host cross-town rival Georgia State. Georgia Tech and the Panthers have met on 33 occassions with the Yellow Jackets holding the series edge, 30-3. The last time Georgia State defeated Tech was during the 1998 season.
“Our match against Georgia State is one that we look forward to every year,” said Shymansky. “With the conference adopting a double-round robin format this year, we were very lucky that we were able to find a date that worked on both of our schedules. Every year that we play Georgia State, they bring a lot of emotion and desire to the match and it’s always a good match-up for us.”
Later that evening, Georgia Tech will return to action facing Boston College at 8 p.m. Competing for the first time in the ACC, the Eagles enter the week in search of their first conference victory. The Jackets and Boston College have met only two times, with Tech holding the series edge, 2-0, and both meetings occurring during the 1995 season.
“Boston College is an unknown team to our conference this year and I think every team in the ACC who has faced them thus far is learning that in person they are much different than on film or paper,” said Shymansky. “They have a number of good players and are going to be a very good challenge for our team.”
“Playing three matches this weekend is going to make for a long weekend for us, but our team is making some very good strides and improvements in some key areas,” said Shymansky. “More than anything, our team is learning how to compete throughout a match and is developing a desire to work together as a team, which was vital in our matches last weekend and will be just as important this weekend in O’Keefe Gymnasium.”