Aug. 6, 2002
Returning eight letterwinners from last season’s NCAA Tournament team, Georgia Tech’s volleyball team begins preparations for the 2002 season with its first practice Wednesday in O’Keefe Gymnasium. The Yellow Jackets, picked to finish third in the 2002 Atlantic Coast Conference preseason coaches’ poll, have four starters returning to a team which posted a 19-8 record in 2001.
“I am excited for this season to get underway,” said first year head coach Bond Shymansky. “We have a number of players returning this year and a talented group of freshmen who are going to help us on the court immediately.”
The Yellow Jackets will look to make their third consecutive trip to the NCAA Tournament.
“We had a very successful spring season,” said Shymansky. “Each day our goal was to improve each day in the gym and I thought the team did a great job of adopting that attitude.”
In addition to the eight returning letterwinners, Tech will add four freshmen: setter Lindsey Laband (Monument, Colo.), outside hitters Blair Moon (Missouri City, Texas) and Jennifer Randall (Long Beach, Calif.) and middle blocker Nicole Pierce (Horse Shoe, N.C.).
“The four freshmen will add a number of things to the team,” said Shymansky. “I expect Lindsey to add some needed depth at the setter position, Blair will bring a strong arm to our offense, Jennifer will bring a great deal of ball control, and Nicole jumps well and hits the ball hard, which will help her contend for playing time.”
The Yellow Jackets will practice twice a day for 10 days prior to the start of the fall semester. The regular season begins Aug. 30 with the George Mason Tournament in Fairfax, Va. The 2002 schedule is highlighted by eight teams that competed in the 2001 NCAA Tournament, including a home match against Louisville, the team who defeated the Jackets in last year’s tournament.
“Our expectations for the upcoming season are high,” said Shymansky. “We want to contend for the ACC title and a return appearance in the NCAA Tournament, but more than anything, our goal is to work hard every day in practice and to perform at a high level every chance we get on the court.”
The complete 2002 Georgia Tech volleyball schedule:
Aug. 30-Villanova (at George Mason), 11 a.m.; 30-Rice (at George Mason), 5 p.m.; 31-Northern Iowa (at George Mason), 2 p.m.; 31-at George Mason, 8 p.m.
Sept. 6-FLORIDA A&M, 12 p.m.; 6-LOUISVILLE, 7:30 p.m.; 7-MIAMI (OHIO), 7 p.m.; 10-at Georgia, 7 p.m.; 13-Michigan State (at South Florida), 5 p.m.; 14-at South Florida, 11 a.m.; 14-Kansas State (at South Florida), 5 p.m.; 17-at Georgia State, 4 p.m.; 17-vs. Chattanooga (at Georgia State); 20-ALABAMA, 7 p.m.; 21-FLORIDA INTERNATIONAL, 12 p.m.; 21-CORNELL, 7 p.m.; 27-at Maryland, 7 p.m.; 28-at Virginia, 7 p.m.
Oct. 1-NC STATE, 7 p.m.; 5-NORTH CAROLINA, 7 p.m.; 6-FLORIDA STATE, 3 p.m.; 11-at Clemson, 7 p.m.; 15-at Duke, 7:30 p.m.; 19-at Wake Forest, 6 p.m.; 25-VIRGINIA, 7 p.m.; 26-MARYLAND, 7 p.m.
Nov. 1-at North Carolina, 7 p.m.; 2-at NC State, 7 p.m.; 5-CLEMSON, 7 p.m.; 8-at Florida State, 7 p.m.; 10-at Florida A&M; 2 p.m.; 15-WAKE FOREST, 7 p.m.; 16-DUKE, 7 p.m.; 22/25 at ACC Championship (Atlanta, GA); 29-FLORIDA A&M, 7 p.m.