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Jackets Ready to Begin NCAA Tournament Run

THE FLATS – No. 5 seed Georgia Tech volleyball (22-6, 13-5 ACC) kicks off its 2023 NCAA Tournament campaign with a first-round matchup against South Alabama (22-8, 12-4 SBC) on Thursday at 4:30 p.m. from inside Exactech Arena at Stephen C. O’Connell Center in Gainesville, Fla. The winner of the Tech vs. USA match will play the winner of the No. 4 seed Florida (18-9, 10-8 SEC) vs. Florida Gulf Coast (26-6, 15-1 ASUN)

Coverage

  • Thursday, Nov. 30 | No. 5 Georgia Tech vs. South Alabama| 4:30 p.m. | ESPN+ | Watch | Live Stats
  • Thursday, Nov. 30 | No. 4 Florida vs. Florida Gulf Coast| 7 p.m. | ESPN+ | Watch | Live Stats
  • Friday, Dec. 1 | NCAA Tournament Round 2 | 7 p.m. | ESPN+

Storylines

  • The Jackets are back in the NCAA Tournament for the 4th year in a row and the 13th time in program history.
  • Tech is one of just 14 programs across Division I to have qualified for this year’s tournament after winning at least one match in the previous three NCAA Tournaments.
  • GT was ranked No. 12 in the latest AVCA Coaches’ Poll, marking 69 straight weeks in the AVCA Top 25
  • Georgia Tech has beaten two Top 10 opponents in the same season for the first time in program history (No. 8 Penn State and No. 3 Louisville). Four of Tech’s seven all-time wins over Top 10 teams have come in the last three seasons.
  • Tech had four Jackets honored in the end-of-year ACC awards: Bianca Bertolino and Tamara Otene were named 1st Team All-ACC while Heloise Soares and Larissa Mendes earned All-Freshman Team honors.
  • The Yellow Jackets boast one of the top defenses in the nation, leading the ACC with 14.86 digs/set.
  • Otene has made 306 digs this season, the third most by a Power 5 hitter and the most among pins in the ACC.
  • Pimentel has been leading the Tech back row with 4.14 digs/set this year, 3rd in the ACC. She is averaging 3.61 digs/set over her career, on pace for the second-best average in program history.
  • Tech & Arkansas are the only Power 5 teams with 3 players with over 275 digs: Pimentel (431), Otene (306) & Bertolino (281)
  • Bianca Bertolino is averaging .59 aces/set – the 2nd highest in the Power 5 and 5th in Divison I. That average would set a new ACC record for aces/set in the modern scoring era – no ACC player has had over .60 aces/set in a season since 2007.
  • She is 3 aces away from tying the GT record for aces in a single season (modern scoring era), set back in 2019 by Julia Bergmann.
  • Bertolino is the only player in Power 5 to have 300+ kills, 250+ digs and 50+ aces this season.
  • Six Jackets come from outside the United States. International players accounting for 80.9% of the teams digs (1,250), 73.6% of the aces (128), 68.7% of the kills (970), 48.4% of the assists (626) and 41% of the blocks (81.5) up to this point in the season.
  • The next road win will be the 11th of the season for Tech, the most in a season since 2004 (12).
  • Tech played 50 of its 104 sets without starting middle blocker, Liv Mogridge (injured from Oct. 1 – Nov. 10). Mogridge is hitting .430 in 16 matches with .33 aces/set and 1.02 blocks/set. Her hitting percentage would be sixth highest in the nation.
  • The Jackets are 13-3 away from Atlanta this season and 5-1 while playing in the state of Florida.

Series Notes: vs. South Alabama

  • This will be the 7th all-time meeting between Georgia Tech and South Alabama and the second of the season. Tech defeated USA in non-conference play, 3-0, in Tallahassee (Sept. 8).
  • The Jackets lead the all-time series 4-2, winning each of the last four meetings. The Jaguars have not defeated Georgia Tech since 1985.
  • This is the first postseason meeting in the series history.
  • GT made 74 digs in the match against South Alabama earlier this season, the most digs in a three-set match by any ACC team this season and tied for the 18th highest dig total for a three-set match across Division I.
  • Those 74 digs were the most by Georgia Tech in a single match since Sept. 16, 2021 (75 vs. Arkansas).

Series Notes: vs. Florida

  • Georgia Tech and Florida have only met once before, a 3-1 victory for Florida back in 2012.
  • This would be the first meeting between the two programs in the Michelle Collier era and the first meeting in the postseason.

Series Notes: vs. Florida Gulf Coast

  • Georgia Tech and Florida Gulf Coast have one previous match between them, a 3-0 sweep for Tech back in 2010 in Athens, Ga.
  • This would be the first meeting between the two programs in the Michelle Collier era and the first meeting in the postseason.

Competitive Drive Initiative Turn 2

Looking to build on the success of last year’s Competitive Drive Initiative, Georgia Tech, the Georgia Tech Foundation and Georgia Tech athletics are partnering once again to launch Competitive Drive Initiative Turn 2. CDI Turn 2 has a goal of raising $2.5 million in new gifts to the Alexander-Tharpe Fund’s Athletic Scholarship Fund by Dec. 31, and Georgia Tech and the Georgia Tech Foundation will match eligible gifts to accelerate the impact for Tech athletics. Like last year, not only will gifts to CDI Turn 2 be matched, but so will the contributor’s benefits in the way of A-T Fund giving levels and priority points. To learn more and contribute online, visit atfund.org/turn2.

For the latest information on the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets, follow us on Twitter (@GTAthletics), Facebook, Instagram or visit us at www.ramblinwreck.com.

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