Sept. 10, 2003
Tech Opens 2003 Campaign with 5 Wins
The Yellow Jackets have opened the season with 5 victories. Tech began the year with 3 wins in the Courtyard by Marriott Classic, sweeping Northwestern, Coastal Carolina and Alabama in route to its fifth Courtyard by Marriott Classic title. Last weekend, the Jackets defeated Temple and Western Michigan to claim the Buckeye Classic.
This is the seventh year in program history that the Yellow Jackets have begun the season at 5-0. In 1996, the team started the year with a 16-0 mark before falling to Auburn.
Lots of 0s in that Record
Georgia Tech currently stands at 5-0 on the season, but the Jackets also hold a perfect 15-0 record in games played. Tech would have to sweep Michigan State to break the school record for consecutive games won which was set during the 1993 season.
Notes on the US Bank/Arby’s Tournament
* The Yellow Jackets owns a 1-0 all-time mark versus the other teams in the tournament field. Tech and Santa Clara and Nebraska will be facing each other for the first time. The Yellow Jackets are 1-0 against Michigan State after defeating the Spartans in four games last year in the South Florida Invitational.
* Three teams enter this weekend with an unblemised record as Michigan State and Georgia Tech are all currently 5-0 while Nebraska stands at 6-0.
* All four teams enter the tournament this weekend nationally ranked. The Jackets hold a dismal 6-36 record against nationally-ranked teams, but under head coach Bond Shymansky, Tech is 2-4.
For junior middleblocker Jayme Gergen, this trip represents a homecoming. Gergen is from nearby Topeka, Kansas, about a two hour drive while a majority of her family hails from Omaha.
Jackets Climbing the Polls
In the 2003 USA Today/AVCA poll for Sept. 8, the Yellow Jackets moved up two spots to No. 10, representing the highest ranking in school history and the highest ranking achieved by any school in the ACC. Dating back to last season, this marks the 16th consecutive week that Tech has been ranked in the Top 25. In the Volleyball Magazine Top 20 poll, the Jackets are ranked 9th.
Hitting with Authority
Offensively, the Yellow Jackets are off to a solid start. The team is currently hitting .420 well above their opponents’ averaging of .135. In addition, Tech is averaging 17.13 kills per game, which is much higher than the opposition’s 10.60 kills per game.
Setting up Her Teammates
In her senior season, Kele Eveland is making her presence known. The setter currently leads the nation in assists per game (14.62), which is a full assist higher than last year’s average (13.23). In Tech’s first five matches, Eveland has done a good job of spreading the ball around, as four players are averaging 2.50 kills per game and every starter is hitting above .400. She is currently ranked first in the nation in assists per game.
In the latest NCAA statistical rankings, the Yellow Jackets have four players who are ranked in hitting percentage. Gergen is leading the nation at .525 while Alexandra Preiss is 12th (.462), Lauren Sauer is 15th (.444) and Laura Kuhn is 23rd (.431). It should be noted that every hitter for Tech is currently hitting above .400, with Lynnette Moster hitting .401.
2003 NCAA Statitics (through Sept. 9)
Assists Per Game Georgia Tech 17.11 1stKills Per Game Georgia Tech 18.56 1stHitting Percentage Georgia Tech .420 1stW/L Percentage Georgia Tech 1.000 t-1stAvg. Attendance Georgia Tech 865 13thBlocks Per Game Georgia Tech 2.80 t-25th
Assists Per Game Kele Eveland 14.62 1stHitting Percentage Jayme Gergen .525 1st Alexandra Preiss .462 12th Lauren Sauer .444 15th Laura Kuhn .431 23rd
This season a trio of Georgia Tech players could reach the 1,000 kills mark for their careers. If the trio all reach the mark this season, it would be the first time in program history for three players to join the prestigious club in the same year and the first time that three players with 1,000 or more kills were on the court at the same time.
Lynnette Moster 806 Needs 194 Alexandra Preiss 814 Needs 186 Lauren Sauer 722 Needs 278
Eveland In Reach of Career Assist Record
Senior setter Kele Eveland entered the 2003 season needing only 1,323 assists to surpass former Tech great Andrea Nachtrieb (1993-96) on the career assist list.
Eveland now stands with 4,832 in her career placing her second on the career assist list, ahead of Margaret Gales (86-89) who recorded 3,432.
With 1,271 to go and, at her current pace, Eveland should break the record in Tech’s 30th match this season. Look for the record to be broken near the end of the season at the home matches against Georgia or Clemson, or at Disney during the ACC Tournament.