Aug. 5, 2003
Returning 11 letterwinners from last season’s Atlantic Coast Conference champion and NCAA Tournament team, Georgia Tech’s volleyball team begins preparations for the 2003 season with its first practice Wednesday in O’Keefe Gymnasium. The Yellow Jackets, who finished the 2002 season ranked No. 17 in the final USA Today/AVCA Coaches Poll, have every starter returning to a team which posted a school-record 33 wins in 2002.
“I am excited for this season to get underway,” said head coach Bond Shymansky, who begins his second year at the helm of the Jackets. “We have a our entire starting lineup returning this year and a talented group of players who are going to help us on the court immediately.”
Tech welcomes back seniors Kele Eveland (Grand Rapids, Mich.), Alexandra Preiss (Berlin, Germany), and Keight Vincent (Atlanta, Ga.) along with juniors Marisa Aston (Huntington Beach, Calif.), Lynnette Moster (Liberty, Ind.), Jayme Gergen (Topeka, Kansas), Laura Kuhn (Tiffin, Ohio) and Lauren Sauer (Huntsville, Ala.).
The Yellow Jackets will look to make a fourth consecutive trip to the NCAA Tournament.
“We had a very successful spring season,” said Shymansky. “Our goal was to improve each day in the gym and I thought the team did a great job of continuing that attitude.”
In addition to the 11 returning letterwinners, Tech will add three freshmen and a sophomore in middle blocker Sarah Hale (Athens, Ga.), outside hitter/setter Abby Showers (Vandalia, Ohio), Jacqui Beebe (Marietta, Ga.) Beach, Calif.) and Katie Mohs (Roswell, Ga.), a transfer from Wingate.
“Our new players will add a number of things to the team,” said Shymansky. “I expect Abby to add some depth at the hitter and setter position, Sarah will bring a strong block to our defense and add a lot of power and height to our roster, and both Jacqui and Katie will help us tremendously with our ball control.”
The Yellow Jackets will practice twice a day for 10 days prior to the start of the fall semester. The regular season begins Aug. 29 when Tech hosts Northwestern in the Courtyard by Marriott Classic in O’Keefe Gymnasium. The 2003 schedule is highlighted by 12 teams that competed in the 2002 NCAA Tournament, including home matches against Northwestern, Wisconsin and South Florida and matches at Nebraska and Long Beach State.
“Our expectations for the upcoming season are high,” said Shymansky. “We have a very tough non-conference schedule this year that will help us contend for the ACC title and to make a run in this year’s NCAA Tournament. More than anything, though, our goal will be to work hard every day in practice and to perform at a high level every chance we get on the court.”
The complete 2003 Georgia Tech volleyball schedule:
Aug. 29-NORTHWESTERN, 7:30 p.m.; 30-COASTAL CAROLINA, 12 p.m.; 30-ALABAMA, 7:30 p.m.
Sept. 5-vs. Temple (at Ohio State), 6 p.m.; 7-vs. Western Michigan or Ohio State (at Ohio State), TBA; 12-vs. Michigan State (at Nebraska), 5 p.m.; 13-vs. Santa Clara (at Nebraska), TBA; 14-at Nebraska, TBA; 19-WISCONSIN, 7:30 p.m.; 20-WESTERN CAROLINA, 12 p.m.; 20-SOUTH FLORIDA, 7:30 p.m.; 23-at NC State, 7 p.m.; 28-at North Carolina, 1 p.m.
Oct. 3-MARYLAND, 7 p.m.; 4-GEORGIA STATE, 1 p.m.; 4-VIRGINIA, 7 p.m.; 10-at Wake Forest, 7 p.m.; 11-at Duke, 7 p.m.; 14-at Clemson, 7 p.m.; 18-at Florida State, 6 p.m.; 24-NORTH CAROLINA, 7 p.m.; 25-NC STATE, 7 p.m.; 31-at Virginia, 7 p.m.
Nov. 1-at Maryland, 7 p.m.; 4-DUKE, 7 p.m.; 8-FLORIDA STATE, 6 p .m.; 9-WAKE FOREST, 2 p.m.; 12-GEORGIA, 7 p.m.; 21-23 at ACC Championship (Orlando, Fla.); 28-at Long Beach State, 10:30 p.m.; 29-vs. San Jose State (at Long Beach State), 8:30 p.m.