Although the club sports organizations at Tech lack coverage in comparison to what takes place regarding Tech’s Division I athletics programs, the groups have racked up quite the list of accomplishments in the past year. Unlike intramural sports, club sports compete against other colleges in competitions. Whether a student is interested in archery, squash or lacrosse, Tech’s sport clubs have a multitude of options from which to choose. Here are some highlights from the past year for some of Tech’s most popular club sports.
The Ice Hockey club team recently acquired access to a new rink in Marietta, a mere 20 minutes from campus, which should afford them the opportunity to build their home crowd. Matthew Jones, the current president of the club, reminisced on last year’s win against the University of Georgia in front of 9,000 fans during the Savannah Hockey Classic in Jan., saying ”The celebration afterwards was awesome, and a lot of bad karaoke was sung that night.” The win was all the more improbable given that the team was missing several players due to injury, internships and graduation, and made all the more sweet by Tech’s storied rivalry against the Georgia Bulldogs. This season, the Ice Hockey team hopes to make it through regionals and onto nationals while expanding their fan base at Tech.
The Men’s Rugby club at Tech joined a new division last year, the Georgia Rugby Union (GRU), which pit them against Valdosta State as the “team to beat,” says president Trent Davidson. Davidson watched from the sidelines during the game due to injury, but still saw the team “grow exponentially as new players took leadership roles” with “a true awe inspiring desire to win.” The match ended in a 33-12 upset for Tech, lending momentum to what ended up in an undefeated season. On the back of such successes, rugby has continued to expand — Davidson remembers that he was one of 15 team members his freshman year, but the roster is now a whopping 49 players. The team has opted to join the Southeastern Collegiate Rugby Conference this season, a Division I conference, in order to take their competition to the next level.
The Women’s Rugby club returned to the playoffs in the South Independent Rugby Conference for the first time in four years this past season, placing third out of eight teams at the competition in New Orleans. The team’s president Carolyn Majane says that the group hopes “to place even higher in the SIRC and continue onto the DII Nationals” this year. Both rugby teams — men’s and women’s — kicked off their seasons at the beginning of the semester and matches will continue through Nov.
The Swim club at Tech capped off last season with a win at the College Club Swimming National Championship, which took place at Ohio State University back in April. The team arrived as the defending champions, and could potentially make it a three-peat this year. As this year’s president, Jake Grant wants to see “a well run team, with happy and included swimmers.” Grant believes that enjoyment through athletics “goes hand in hand with growth and relationships”.
Tennis club carries accolades such as Nationals Qualifier in the years between 2013 and 2015, as well as the title of Copper Bracket Champion back in 2014. The team won the Southern Sectional tournament in Auburn in 2017 before going on to place eighth nationally in Orlando. Club president Caroline Wakefield says that the team aspires to place in the top ten nationally, but first must “get a bid to nationals by doing well in the Southern tournament in February.” Her most memorable moment from the past year was at the Bulldog Classic in Athens, where the team picked up a win in Tech’s rivalry against UGA.