Tech varsity athletics: A guide to the 22-23 season

Sophomore outside hitter Bianca Bertolino rises up to hit the ball during Tech’s October 2021 game against Duke.

With college sports starting up again in a matter of days, knowing when and where Tech’s teams play is important for anyone who wants to support the Institute’s student athletes. Home to 17 varsity teams, Tech hosts athletic events from August until as late as June. Teams typically play in the fall, winter or spring season, though some teams compete all year. 

Fall sports start as early as mid-August, with the main fall teams being football, volleyball and cross country. Football’s home venue is Bobby Dodd Stadium in the southeast corner of campus, a 55,000 capacity stadium that the Jackets have occupied since 1913. Students can buy season tickets to sit in one of the sections along the endzones and enjoy Tech football games all season long. Season tickets this year also include a game in Atlanta’s Mercedes Benz Stadium on Sept. 5.

Volleyball plays in O’Keefe Gymnasium toward the northeast end of campus, near the corner of Techwood Drive and 6th Street. An NCAA Elite Eight team last year, they return the majority of their best players, host two weekend tournaments and boast a schedule packed with the nation’s top teams. Games are free with a Buzzcard and sell out quickly, so arriving early is a must.

Cross country competes all across the country, and typically races in-state at least once. Both men’s and women’s cross country finished in the top 13 at the NCAA South Regional, led by the women’s ninth place finish. Each team had multiple top 50 individual finishers as well, including the now-graduated Nicole Fegans’ 11th overall finish.

Winter sports include men’s and women’s basketball, both of which play at McCamish Pavilion on the north end of campus along Fowler Street. The winter season starts in November and typically wraps up in March. The women’s team has earned two straight NCAA tournament berths and was a Sweet 16 team in 2021. Men’s basketball earned an ACC Championship in 2021 and an automatic NCAA tournament spot as a result. Home games are free with a Buzzcard and often offer giveaways to early fans.

Spring sports consist of baseball and softball, and start in February with play continuing into June. Baseball plays at Russ Chandler Stadium on the corner of Fowler Street and Ferst Drive and is a consistent contender at the conference and national level. Several Tech players were selected in the recent MLB Draft, and the team hopes to reach a fourth straight postseason this year.

Softball reached the NCAA tournament this past season for the first time in a decade and returns a majority of the players who helped to get them there. They play their home games at Shirley Clements Mewborn field at Fowler Street and 8th Street. Both baseball and softball home games are free with a Buzzcard, and weekend series offer three games of action when the teams are at home.

Golf, men’s and women’s swim and dive, men’s and women’s tennis, and men’s and women’s track and field all compete across more than one season. Golf is a consistent national contender, making the NCAA championship final round the last two years and boasting numerous conference championships. While golf does not have a dedicated home match, they are set to play a pair of tournaments in Georgia this year.

Swim and dive competes in the McAuley Aquatic Center in the CRC on the west side of campus, the former 1996 Atlanta Olympics venue that hosted the ACC and NCAA championships last season. Both the men’s and women’s teams sent athletes to the NCAA championships, and three swimmers earned All-American honors. Tech typically hosts multiple meets at the Olympic venue, and both teams boast underclassmen capable of breaking records for years to come.

Tennis plays their home matches at Ken Byers Tennis Complex, an indoor/outdoor venue with a dozen competition courts along Fowler Street. Tech hosts multiple tournaments throughout the year and sends singles and doubles competitors to the NCAA tournament with regularity. Both teams were at least ACC quarterfinalists, and the women’s team made it to the second round of the NCAA tournament last year.

Track and field has an indoor season from roughly December to February and an outdoor season from March through May. Tech typically hosts an event at their home track early in the outdoor season. Teams from all across the country come to compete, and the meet offers a chance to see some of the best college athletes.

With a wide range of sports on campus at several different venues, Jacket athletics has a lot to offer its students. Several of the teams are national contenders on a yearly basis, and with most of the home games being free to students, supporting Tech athletics is an easy way to spend an evening.