While on campus, students have the opportunity to watch a broad range of Tech sports. Many students make their way to football, baseball and men’s basketball games, but some of the most exciting events on campus regularly come courtesy of the women’s teams. Quality of play is high, the atmosphere at the events is often vibrant and team success is plentiful for Tech women’s teams. In terms of fun activities available to students, these games are as good as it gets.
Volleyball may be the best example of play quality, atmosphere and team success combining for a fun experience over the last couple of seasons. O’Keefe Gymnasium, where the volleyball team plays, has sold out for nearly every game as the team’s dominant runs through the ACC and deep into the NCAA tournament played out. The gymnasium fills with students well before the first set and stays loud until the final point. Tech volleyball made the second round of the NCAA tournament last season and made it to the Elite Eight this season, finishing with the number eight ranking in the country.
Volleyball is a sport full of diving plays, powerful hits and quick, athletic leaps. It has a fast pace and is easy to understand. With Tech being one of the best teams in the country, every match is worth watching. Admission is free to students who arrive before the venue fills, and supporting one of the most successful teams on campus in recent years is a good way to spend an afternoon or evening.
The women’s basketball team is another team on campus that deserves more attention. Ranked in the top 20 for most of this season and a Sweet 16 team last year, they boast the top defense in the country, holding opponents to under 47 points per contest. The elite defensive effort has translated into big wins this year, including the defeat of a ranked Georgia team and a win over third-ranked UConn in which the Huskies
only scored 44 points.
Tech women’s basketball plays in McCamish Pavilion, the same venue as the men’s team that is often referred to as the Thrillerdome. When students fill the student section, the din of many voices and hands banging on metal benches makes for a tough atmosphere for visitors. The more students come to the games, the larger the advantage for the Jackets, shown in the UConn game when the Jackets had the second highest attendance ever for a women’s basketball game at McCamish. With a good finish this season, Tech is set to host NCAA Tournament games.
Volleyball and basketball are not the only women’s sports worth going to, though. The softball team plays in a fairly new, very nice stadium and hosts in-season tournaments regularly. The games move at a brisker pace than baseball and the team currently has young stars that will look to restore the program to its habit of making the NCAA tournament.
Swimming and diving, track and field and tennis all have events on campus at least once a semester. The women’s tennis team is in the top 15 of the ITA team rankings and play at the Ken Byers tennis complex on Jan. 29-30 for the second time this winter. The women’s swimming and diving team helps host the ACC and NCAA finals this year, offering the opportunity to watch some of the best athletes in the country compete. Track and field boasts All-ACC and All-NCAA talent and school records have fallen this month as the team’s winter schedule heats up. Tech will start its outdoor season at home this year with a chance to set more records on home turf.
Despite providing some of the largest achievements for Tech athletics in recent years, women’s sports tend to have lower attendance. Aside from the streak of volleyball sellouts, Tech’s other women’s sports can benefit from the support of the student body and the energy of a home crowd.