Oct. 11, 2007
ATLANTA – Following a 1-1 weekend in Florida, Georgia Tech closes out a four-match road trip in North Carolina this weekend, squaring off against No. 13 Duke (13-3, 8-0 ACC) Friday at 7 p.m. before meeting Wake Forest (7-10, 4-4 ACC) Saturday at 6 p.m. The Yellow Jackets (10-6, 4-2 ACC) dropped a 3-1 match at Florida State last Friday but shut down Miami, 3-1, Sunday to earn the split in Florida. Tech currently stands third in the ACC behind Duke and undefeated Clemson, who also meets the Blue Devils and Demon Deacons this weekend.
Match Coverage: Live video for both matches can be found on ACC Select (gatech.playonsports.tv). Live stats for Friday’s match available at goduke.com, and live stats for Saturday’s match can be found at RamblinWreck.com.
Georgia Tech’s offense is being led by senior captain Nikki Kaminskas, who is leading Tech’s blocking efforts (1.19 pg) while hitting .293 with 1.42 kills per game. Junior captain Talisa Kellogg is pacing the Jackets with 3.69 kpg and averages 1.66 digs per game while senior Ulrike Stegemann is hitting .274 with 3.19 kills per game. Junior libero Michelle Kandell patrols the Jackets’ back row with a team-best 4.65 digs per game.
Georgia Tech has already faced four teams that competed in last year’s NCAA Tournament, as well as another that advanced to the NCAA Elite Eight in 2005, and this weekend’s match against the 2006 NCAA participant Blue Devils will be the first of two remaining on the schedule between Tech and Duke.
Duke – Duke, ranked No. 13 in the nation in the latest AVCA Poll, enters the match against the Yellow Jackets with a 13-3 overall record, including an 8-0 mark against Atlantic Coast Conference teams. As a matter of fact, the Blue Devils’ only ACC loss over the last two seasons came against the Yellow Jackets in Atlanta. Duke’s only three losses of the season came against No. 1 Nebraska, No. 4 Southern California and Louisville. The Blue Devils’ offense is run by 2006 ACC Player of the Year Ali Hausfeld (14.12 Apg, 2.60 Dpg, 1.02 Kpg) and led by outside hitters Carrie DeMange (.310, 5.05 Kpg, 3.53 Dpg) and Rachael Moss (3.89 Kpg, 3.67 Dpg). Middle blocker Jourdan Norman (1.37 Bpg) is pacing the Blue Devils’ offense with a .408 hitting percentage, while libero Jenny Shull is the Blue Devils’ top back row player with 5.29 digs per game.
Wake Forest – The Demon Deacons enter the weekend with a 7-10 record, and stands 4-4 in the league after dropping a 3-1 contest against Duke this past Tuesday. Wake has split its last two matches and has lost three of its last four. The Demon Deacons are led by Jessica Furlong (4.33 Kpg) and Natalie Mullikin (.343, 3.80 Kpg), while the offense is run by Kelsey Jones (10.70 Apg). Pacing Wake’s defensive efforts are Mullikin (1.11 Bpg) and Lauren McIntyre (1.09 Bpg) as well as libero Megan Thornberry (3.85 Dpg).
Tech vs. The Opponents (Duke leads GT, 18-31; GT leads WF, 20-8)
Georgia Tech is 18-31 all-time against Duke, but 7-4 versus the Blue Devils since Bond Shymansky was promoted to head coach in 2002. The two teams split the series in 2006, as Tech handed Duke its only conference loss of the season. The Blue Devils stopped Georgia Tech, 3-1, on the first conference weekend of 2006, but Tech pulled out a five-game thriller against Duke in Atlanta on a night when the Yellow Jackets posted 80 digs for the Susan G. Komen Dig for the Cure Fundraiser. Duke holds the 13-7 edge against Georgia Tech in Durham, having won two-straight against the Yellow Jackets at Cameron Indoor. Tech’s last win in Durham came in 2004, with Tech blanked Duke, 3-0.
The Yellow Jackets and Demon Deacons also split the season series in 2006, with Wake Forest taking the conference opener, 3-0, before Tech knocked off the Deacs, 3-1, in Atlanta. Georgia Tech is 20-8 all-time against Wake Forest, and 9-2 versus the Demon Deacons under Shymansky. Tech holds the 9-4 edge against Wake in Winston-Salem, but the Deacs have taken the last two matches played at Reynolds Gymnasium.
Rising to the Occasion
With a victory on October 27, 2006 over then-No. 25 Duke, the Yellow Jackets’ only ranked opponent of 2006, Georgia Tech continued its streak of recording at least one victory against a ranked opponent in each of the five years under current head coach Bond Shymansky.
In his first season at the helm of the program, Shymansky’s team faced seven ranked teams, winning three of the seven matches. The next season resulted in five wins over ranked opponents for the Yellow Jackets, with its only loss against a ranked team coming in the Elite Eight vs. No. 2 Hawai’i. Tech has since recorded one win against a ranked opponent in each of the last three seasons.
Overall under Shymansky, the Yellow Jackets are 11-11 against ranked opponents after falling, 3-2, at No. 10 Michigan earlier this season.
Jackets to Dig for the Cure
After notching 80 digs and raising more than $6,000 in the first season the Yellow Jackets participated in Dig for the Cure, Georgia Tech will again participate in the fundraiser for the Susan G. Komen Foundation, this year against Maryland on Friday, October 19. Fans, coworkers and businesses can donate either per dig the Yellow Jackets (as a team) record against Maryland, or they may donate a flat amount.
Also joining in on the fundraiser are Russell Athletic and Mizuno – both of which have donated items for the weekend. Pink Georgia Tech Athletics shirts (donated by Russell) will be available for $15 apiece, while $5 raffle tickets are available for a golf bag and two golf umbrellas, donated by Mizuno. The raffle will take place following Tech’s match against Boston College Saturday, Oct. 20.
Boston College Match Time Set for 7 p.m.
Due to conflicts with the Georgia Tech football schedule, three match times were set for TBA prior to the season, so as to not interfere with games at Bobby Dodd Stadium.
This week, the Yellow Jackets set their match time against Boston College for 7 p.m. due to the fact that Tech’s homecoming football game against Army will begin at 12 p.m.
Up Next: Tech returns home to face Clemson Tuesday at 7 p.m. before hosting Maryland (Friday, 7 p.m.) and Boston College (Saturday, 7 p.m.) next weekend. The Clemson match will be carried on ACC Select and WREK Radio (91.1 FM/www.wrek.org), while live stats can be found on RamblinWreck.com.