Oct. 8, 2003
Off to the best start in conference play in school history, the No. 5 Georgia Tech volleyball team (16-0, 4-0 ACC) packs its bags for two matches in North Carolina this weekend, taking on Wake Forest (13-3, 3-1 ACC) and Duke (5-11. 1-3 ACC).
Friday at 7 p.m. in Reynolds Gymnasium, the Yellow Jackets will face the Demon Deacons, who are one match behind the Jackets in the conference standings. Tech leads the all-time series between the two schools, 14-6, and defeated Wake Forest three times last season. The Jackets have not lost to the Demon Deacons since the 1999 season.
“Wake Forest is off to a great start this year and are a very good team,” said head coach Bond Shymansky. “They run an offense which is very similar to ours and they have a pretty explosive opposite hitter and a great outside hitter in Valerie Rydberg. In addition, their setter is very offensive and their middle hitter, Christy Williams, was the ACC Rookie of the Year last year and now has a year of experience under her belt. They are passing well and playing good defense, which then allows their offense to be successful. They have a good home atmosphere and a home court advantage and they are definitely a good enough team to beat us.”
Saturday at 7 p.m., Tech will take on Duke in Cameron Indoor Stadium. Picked to finish second in the ACC Preseason Coaches Poll, the Blue Devils currently are in eighth place in the conference standings.
“Duke’s record might indicate that they’ve struggled this year, but they’ve made a number of adjustments to their lineup during the season and are trying to find the right fit,” said Shymansky. “They have a lot of great athletes and are working to find a way to come together and be a great team. They have a lot of leadership and a number of returning starters from last year’s team and they know how to win. They were a challenge for us last year in every match we played them and playing on their court will be tough. As strong as they are defenisvely, we are going to have to have patience and discipline on offense and make sure that we are executing well if we intend to beat them.”
The Yellow Jackets continue to be led by Alexandra Preiss (Berlin, Germany), Lynnette Moster and Kele Eveland.. Preiss leads the team in hitting percentage (.434), and blocks per game (1.19) while Moster leads the team in kills per game (4.40) and is second on the team in digs per game (2.79) and Eveland is leading the team in assists per game (14.77).
“This weekend is important in terms of conference standings, but it is just one more weekend of matches,” said Shymansky. “It takes a lot of effort to go on the road and play well enough to win in someone else’s gym and I’m not sure if we’re there yet as a team, but we’ll certainly find out after this weekend.”