Sept. 16, 2009
ATLANTA – The Georgia Tech Volleyball team (7-2) hits the road again for its longest trip of the season to compete in the Pioneer Classic in Denver, Colo. The Yellow Jackets will face Denver (Friday at 9:30 p.m. ET) and No. 9 Minnesota (Saturday at 3:00 p.m. ET) in their final tournament of the season before Atlantic Coast Conference play picks up in earnest next weekend.
“We certainly have our work cut out for us against two tough opponents in Denver and Minnesota,” said head coach Tonya Johnson. “Denver is a very good team that runs a balanced offense. They have certainly had a very tough preseason schedule that I’m sure has prepared them well for this weekend’s tournament. Playing a top 10 team like Minnesota before conference play really kicks in to gear is going to be a good measuring stick for us. They are playing really well right now and they have a ton of talented players.”
This will be the first all-time meeting between Georgia Tech and Denver (3-6) as the Jackets take on the host school Friday night at 9:30 p.m. ET. Then on Saturday, Tech faces No. 9 Minnesota (7-2) at 3 p.m. ET. The Jackets are 1-4 all-time against the Gophers, including that epic five-set thriller won by then-No. 4 Minnesota in the 2004 Sweet 16. Tech was able to tie the match with a 48-46 win in the fourth game which set a NCAA record for most points scored.
For a small fee, fans can watch live video of the Denver match, while live stats will be available free of charge for both of the Yellow Jackets’ matches. Links to all of this can be found at www.ramblinwreck.com.
Led by ACC Player of the Week Brittany Roderick, the Yellow Jackets are coming off a Georgia Tech Courtyard Classic title. They have won both their home tournaments this season en route to a 7-2 overall record and 1-0 in ACC play. With freshman Monique Mead taking home ACC honors in the opening week of the season, Tech has won two of the first three weekly awards.
Asia Stawicka enters play this weekend second in the ACC with a .391 hitting percentage and is also third in blocks with 1.25 per set. Two Jackets rank in the top 10 in kills as Bailey Hunter’s 3.42 a set are fifth, while Mead is 10th at 2.97. Mary Ashley Tippins is third in the league with 10.56 assists a set, while Mead’s 0.36 service aces per set are good enough for 10th. Rounding out the ACC leaders is Jordan McCullers, whose 3.78 digs per set rank sixth.