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No. 12 Volleyball Heads to Wisconsin for Badger Challenge

Sept. 2, 2004

After opening the season with two defeats last weekend at the NACWAA Classic, the No.12 Georgia Tech volleyball travels to Madison, Wisc., in search of its first victory of the season at the Badger Challenge. The Yellow Jackets (0-2) begin the tournament on Friday at 6 p.m. against Purdue. Tech will then face No. 23 Wisconsin Saturday at 8 p.m.

Livestats will be provided for all of this weekend’s Badger Challenge matches by the University of Wisconsin. To access the live stats, log on to the Game Day icon on the front page of the Wisconsin web site (www.uwbadgers.com) or the Game Day icon on the volleyball site. The link to the Game Day page is http://www.uwbadgers.com/game_day/vb/index.aspx..

“This weekend will be another great tournament preparing us for our conference schedule,” said head coach Bond Shymansky. “Taking on teams in the Big Ten is one of the things that we have tried to do in scheduling and we are looking forward to this weekend.”

Friday’s match against Purdue (1-0) marks the first time the two teams have met. The Boilermakers opened the season Wednesday with a 3-1 over Butler. Kim McConaha led the team with 19 kills while Anne Mastandrea posted a match high 19 digs.

“Big Ten style of volleyball is hit it hard and block it high and Purdue definitely fits into that mold,.” said Shymansky. “They are going to be a physical team and they are not going to be intimidated by us. We know that they have three reallly powerful hitters in their lineup and have a really good setter and they are going to be tough team to play against. Probably the only advantage we have over them is that we won’t have to play them on their home court.”

On Saturday, Wisconsin and Tech will face one another for second time in school history. Last season the two teams met in O’Keefe Gymnasium and the two teams played a thrilling match, which Tech came from behind to win, 3-2.

“Wisconsin has a ton of great players coming back for them and they are going to be really, really tough this year,” said Shymansky. “All of their returning players are really gifted and that alone is going to be tough for us. They will start some new people in some key positions, just like we are, so in a lot of ways, we are similar teams, but now we have to play them on their court and it will be a challenge.”

After the tournament last weekend, the Jackets have been led by Jayme Gergen, who is hitting .429 and is also averaging 1.71 blocks per game while Lauren Sauer is averaging 3.43 kills per game and hitting .259. Defensively, the Jackets have been led by Marisa Aston who is averaging 4.57 digs per game. Running Tech’s offense is Lindsey Laband, who is averaging 12.71 assists per game.

“Certainly we didn’t start off our season the way we were hoping to, but we did play a lot of great Georgia Tech volleyball at times,” said Shymansky. “What we need to do is find that on a much more consistent basis. When we do, I think we are going to be a fierce competitor, but right now, when you have an offense that relies on rhythym and execution, things can be rough. What we are working on now is rebounding from last weekend and working on the technical things that we can do to help our offense run at a fast pace. This weekend will give us a chance to do just that.”

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