Today we begin our countdown of the top 11 moments of the 2010-11 Virginia Athletics season with the #11 and #10 moments. It was a year of individual achievements and improbable victories, and today we will highlight a few of those accomplishments.
#11 Men Track & Field: Robby Andrews wins 2nd NCAA title in the 800m & Men’s Swimming: Matt McLean wins 500 Freestyle
The University of Virginia produced two individual NCAA Champions this season. In March, 4th year Matt McLean won only the fourth individual title in UVa history by besting the field in the 500 Freestyle, including the defending national champion Conor Dwyer of SEC powerhouse Florida. After the race, he stated “That was for Fran,” a sentimental nod to former Cavalier Fran Crippen who passed away in October. It was the first individual title since Ed Moses won the 100 & 200 in 2000. The second championship came just a few weeks ago as 2nd year Robby Andrews repeated his NCAA victory from his freshman campaign and took the title again in the 800m. By an ironic twist of fate, he ended up just edging out Charles Jock of UC Irvine (theme?) by 4 hundredths of a second. Andrews is only the second Cavalier to win an NCAA in the outdoor season.
#10 Softball: Virginia 6, Georgia Tech 0, ACC Quarters: Unbelievable Win
This win should be filed under the “never give up” category. The Softball team has a very up and down season, filled with major upsets of top ranked teams like Hawaii, Oregon, and Syracuse, and devastating losses to teams like Fordham and Longwood. As the ACC season progressed, wins were few and far between as the team finished the year 5-14 in conference and placed last of the 8 teams heading into the ACC tourney. With most of the Hoos NCAA Tournament’s starting that weekend, the Softball team looked like a one-and-done team as they went against conference favorite #16 Georgia Tech, the only nationally ranked team in the field. But somehow the stars aligned that day and the Hoos got an amazing pitching performance from 2nd year Melanie Mitchell, who threw a complete game shutout, and won 6-0. It was the first time in the history of the ACC that a #8 beat a #1 in tournament play, and the first time in over a year that Georgia Tech did not score a run in a game. The Hoos would go on to lose to eventual champ FSU in the next round, but the win will go down in Softball history.