Georgia Tech women's tennis coach Bryan Shelton would love to have a large enough facility to host a big tournament like the ITA National Indoor Championships that will be held Feb. 12-15 at the University of Wisconsin.
In the meantime, the Yellow Jackets have to settle for hosting first- and second-round action today and Sunday for the first time in school history and keep their fingers crossed that athletics director Dan Radakovich’s suggestion that Tech will expand and improve tennis facilities will come true.
The 10th-ranked Jackets play No. 29 Arizona State at 2:30 Saturday at the Bill Moore Tennis Center after Kentucky plays Alabama (9 a.m.). The winners will play Sunday at 2:30 for a spot in the field of 16 in Wisconsin.
Tech is one of 15 host sites and would like to host bigger tournaments in the future. The Jackets have only three indoor courts, limiting that possibility.
In Radakovich’s state of the athletics department address earlier this week, he said an upgrade for tennis and construction of an indoor practice facility (chiefly for football) are primary goals.
“It’s on the docket,” said Shelton, whose team is 2-0. “We’re one of a couple sports looking within the next year and a half to make improvements to our facility. We’d like to have six indoor courts to go with 12 outdoors. We’ve already done a lot of the fund-raising. We’re moving in the right direction. We’d love to be able to host major events. Hopefully with improvements we will be able.”
This has been a big week for softball, and coach Sharon Perkins’ team still is two weeks away from its opener. The Jackets are ranked No. 13 in the Fastpitch Coaches Association preseason rankings, the highest spot in program history. Tech’s schedule will include 13 opponents in the top 25. Senior second baseman Jen Yee and sophomore shortstop Kelsi Weseman are among 50 players from around the nation named to USA Softball’s Player of the Year “Watch List.”
When Lauren Sauer was named volleyball coach at James Madison earlier this week, she became the first former Tech played to become a head coach. Sauer was an All-ACC player for the Jackets during her career on The Flats from 2001-04. Tech made the NCAA Tournament in each of Sauer’s four seasons as a player and won two ACC titles. Sauer, who made the Dean’s List at Tech, played two seasons of basketball for the Jackets once her volleyball eligibility was exhausted. "I credit my time at Georgia Tech as the catalyst for my coaching career,” said Sauer, a former Kentucky assistant. “I was surrounded by wonderful people, lived in an exciting city and graduated with an excellent degree. I would love nothing more than to provide the great experiences I had as a student-athlete to my players at JMU. Tech truly is a special place."
The men's tennis team (5-0), ranked No. 43, will play in an ITA kickoff tournament (same as the women) at the University of Florida. Today, the Jackets meet No. 54 Penn State and No. 11 Florida, and No. 59 Furman follows. Winners meet Sunday for a berth in the Nationals on Feb. 12-15 at the University of Virginia. ... The baseball team began full-squad practices this week. ... Hawaii will welcome the Tech golf team for the 12th consecutive year when the Jackets open the spring season Wednesday-Friday in the Mauna Lani Invitational on the Kohala coast of the island of Hawaii. Tech is ranked No. 22 by Golfweek/Sagarin. For live scoring, go to www.golfstat.com. ... Saturday will be senior day for the men's and women's swimming and diving squads, and they will compete against Emory in the final home meet of the season (noon).
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