Sept. 25, 2002
The No. 25 Georgia Tech volleyball team (14-2, 0-0) opens Atlantic Coast Conference play this weekend with matches against Maryland and Virginia. The team will travel to College Park, Md., to take on the Terrapins (11-4, 0-0) Friday at 7 p.m., followed by a 7 p.m. matchup against the Cavaliers (6-9, 0-0) Saturday.
“The opening weekend for conference play is an indicator and can set the tone for the way you want to perform as a team,” said head coach Bond Shymansky. “Everyone starts out 0-0 this weekend, so it will be important for us to maintain focus on our ball control and passing, which will then allow us to run our offense at a high level.”
Friday’s match marks the 34th meeting between the Yellow Jackets and Maryland, with the Terrapins holding the edge, 20-13. Tech defeated the Terrapins twice last year during the regular season, but Maryland defeated the Yellow Jackets in the quarterfinals of the ACC tournament.
“Maryland is a good team,” said Shymansky. “They’re hot, although they have an injured setter right now which will make them a testable team. They have a couple of good hitters, which is enough to beat us, so we are going to have to focus on them and take them out of the game early.”
Tech swept Virginia in both meetings last season and holds the edge in the series, 15-14.
“Virginia has two outside hitters and a good setting game and should be strong competition for us,” said Shymansky. “I think they are a little unsure of themselves in passing and perhaps wounded from their lack of success in the first month of the season, but they are still a good team.”
The Jackets continued to be led by a slew ofplayers this season. Lynnette Moster (Liberty, Ind.) leads the team and is currently ranked 10th in the nation in kills per game (5.43), while Alexandra Preiss (Berlin, Germany) leads the team and the ACC in hitting percentage (.376). Lauren Sauer (Huntsville, Ala.) is second on the team with 3.30 kills per game which ranks seventh in the conference and Kele Eveland (Grand Rapids, Mich.) is ranked sixth in the nation in assists per game (13.54) and runs an offense which leads the ACC in kills per game (16.88).
“The bottom line for us is that the opening weekend is just as important as the third weekend of the season,” said Shymansky. “We want to beat Maryland on Friday and then beat Virginia on Saturday and that scenario will never change.”