Oct. 26, 2004
Currently on a 14 match winning streak, the Georgia Tech volleyball team (16-5, 10-0 Atlantic Coast Conference) returns to the cozy confines of O’Keefe Gymnasium to host two ACC matches and a non-conference match. Tech hosts Florida State (13-8, 5-5 ACC) Friday at 7 p.m. followed by a match Saturday at 7 p.m. against Miami (12-6, 7-3 ACC). Monday, the Jackets will step out of conference play to host UCF (7-10) at 7 p.m.
Friday’s match marks the 29th time that the Jackets have faced the Seminoles, with Tech holding the series’ edge 22-6. Tech took three matches from Florida State last year and has not lost to the Seminoles since the 2001 season. In addition, the last time Florida State defeated the Jackets in O’Keefe was during the 2000 season.
“Florida State is probably the most physical team that we have faced this season,” said head coach Bond Shymansky. “They are a very good blocking team and have a very good setter in Jessica Skower and when they can set their middle blockers, they have a lot of success. They have lost a number of close matches in five games this year and since we will only play them once this season, I expect them to give us everything they have in our match Friday night.”
On Saturday, the Jackets will return to action against the Hurricanes in a match that marks the first meeting ever between the two schools. In just their first year in the ACC, Miami is currently in second place in the conference standings. Miami is led by this week’s ACC Player of the Week in Valeria Tipiana and is coached by Nicole Lantagne, who played at the University of Maryland as the team’s starting setter from 1992-1995.
“Miami is a team that our team is very excited and hungry to play,” said Shymansky. “They have turned a lot of heads this season with the way they have played and in many of their matches, they have simply found a way to win. I expect that they will come ready to play us on Saturday.”
Monday’s match marks the fourth meeting between the Yellow Jackets and Golden Knights, with Tech leading, 2-1. An NCAA participant in 2003, the Golden Knights return four starters to a team that finished the 2003 season with a 23-7 record.
“UCF’s record is certainly not indicative of the team that they are,” said Shymansky. “They’ve lost a number of close matches this season, but are a good team and will present a good matchup for our team to play against.”
“We continue to improve in different areas, which is what good teams do,” said Shymansky. “Our offense has been strong all season, but this past weekend our defense really shone and was the key to our wins. We are entering the final stretch of our conference season, and it will be important to have all areas working as we work towards the ACC Tournament.”