Nov. 29, 2009
ATLANTA – The Georgia Tech Volleyball team (21-9) received an at-large bid to the NCAA Tournament and will head to Los Angeles, Calif., to face Baylor (22-9) in the first round on Friday. No. 8 national seed UCLA (23-8) and Long Beach State (22-8) will play the other first round match at Pauley Pavilion. Times will be announced early this week.
The winner of the Los Angeles sub-regional will face the winner of the Columbus, Ohio sub-regional in Gainesville, Fla. Ohio State, No. 9 California, Lipscomb and Cincinnati are in that sub-regional.
“What a great day for Georgia Tech volleyball,” said head coach Tonya Johnson. “I am so happy for our kids, especially the seniors, to get back into the NCAA Tournament after an outstanding regular season. Baylor is a very balanced team and going to be a challenge, but we’re excited and hopefully ready to accept the challenge.”
This marks Georgia Tech’s first trip to the NCAA Tournament since 2004 when it advanced to the Sweet 16 before being defeated by No. 4 Minnesota in an epic five-set battle. The two teams combined for an NCAA record 94 points in the fourth set, which Tech won 48-46 to even the match.
The Yellow Jackets are 9-8 (.529) all-time in the NCAA Tournament and making their ninth overall trip. Georgia Tech has won at least one NCAA Tournament game in all but two of its trips and has made it as far as the Elite Eight. In 2003, No. 2 Hawaii defeated the Jackets 3-1 with a trip to the Final Four on the line.
Under first-year head coach Tonya Johnson, the Yellow Jackets were picked eighth in the ACC preseason poll, but went 21-9 in the regular season and finished third in the league with a 15-5 mark. The Yellow Jackets handed then-No. 17 Florida State its only conference loss of the season, on the road back in September. It was Tech’s first win against a ranked team on the road since 2003 and one of just two losses all season for Florida State. The Seminole’s only other set-back this season was against then-No. 5 Florida, in five sets on the road. Georgia Tech has just two seniors on its roster and has started four underclassmen for most of the season.