Oct. 7, 2004
Standing in first place in the Atlantic Coast Conference standings, the Georgia Tech volleyball team (9-5, 4-0 ACC) packs its bags for two matches in North Carolina this weekend, taking on Wake Forest (8-6, 0-4 ACC) and Duke (13-3, 4-1 ACC).
Friday at 7 p.m. in Reynolds Gymnasium, the Yellow Jackets will face the Demon Deacons, who are searching for their first victory in conference play this season. Tech leads the all-time series between the two schools, 16-6, and defeated Wake Forest two times last season. The Jackets have not lost to the Demon Deacons since the 1999 season.
“Wake Forest is a very good team and their conference record in no way indicates what they are capable of as a 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 hitters, Christy Williams and Morgan Havig are both very good players. 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. The Blue Devils are off to a good start in ACC play, with their only blemish a 3-1 loss to North Carolina a few weeks ago.
“Duke is a much improved team from last season,” said Shymansky. “Last season they played a number of new players who now have a year of experience under their belts and are more comfortable on the court. In addition, they have two freshmen in middle hitter Carrie DeMange and setter Ali Hausfield who have been a great addition to their team and are playing well. 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 Lynnette Moster, Jayme Gergen and Lindsey Laband. Gergen leads the team in hitting percentage (.380), and blocks per game (1.36) while Moster leads the team in kills per game (5.11) and is second on the team in digs per game (3.15) and Laband is leading the team in assists per game (14.77). In the latest NCAA statistical rankings, Laband is second in the nation in assists per game while Moster is 19th in kills per game. As a team, the Jackets are ranked second in the nation in assists per game (16.62), third in kills per game (17.85) and 12th in hitting percentage (.288).
“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, but we had success last week doing that and hopefully we’ll carry that over into this weekend.”