If this wasn’t a 18 Tums weekend, I don’t know what was. With so many sports happening over three days, Hoos fans could have used 1 our 2 laughers to make the time go by a little less stressful. But that’s not what UVa sports is all about, and each and every team had reasons to cause some serious heartburn. Some teams have time to work on some things, some don’t. So what went down?
Saturday: Maryland (W, 71-44)
There are wins and there are needed wins. This falls in the later category. After dropping a bad loss on the road to Clemson, you could have heard most of the fair weather fans jumping off the bandwagon. Whether it was UVa defensive domination in the 2nd half or Maryland not coming out to play is kind of a mute point (I watched it again last night and it was about 50/50), the win actually moved the Hoos into a tie for 4th with NC State and Miami in the ACC, with Virginia holding both tiebreakers. Scott had a personal ACC high 25 points and the stout UVa defense allowed 13 total points on 20.8% shooting in the 2nd half to pull away. Sammy made some key 3s early and Malcolm Brogdon poured in 14 off the bench to help the ailing Joey Hoops (who still had 6). It does not get easier for the Hoos with a Tuesday road game at Virginia Tech and a home match against UNC this weekend. 9-7 is feasible, but that VT game has to be a must win.
Baseball (at Caravelle Resort Tournament)
Friday: Boston College (L, 5-3)
Saturday: Coastal Carolina (W, 9-3)
Saturday: JMU (T, 4-4)
One of the most sobering parts of this weekend was following the Baseball team. When you are used to the Hoos winning, mainly because the pitchers taking care of business on the bump. This weekend, we quickly learned that the bats are going to need to help us out a lot more this year.
Game 1 against Boston College started out smooth, but it was apparent about the middle of the 3rd inning that Kline was still adjusting to the starting role. He worked out of runners in scoring position in the 1st and 3rd, but 2 wild pitches in the 4th allowed 4 unearned runs. And after his first earned run was plated in the 5th, he was pulled for Kyle Crockett, who finished the game. The bats awake early, with Jared King and the 1st years stepping up, but they were quickly silenced after the 3rd, and couldn’t dig out of the hole.
Game 2 saw what Cavalier fans were used to. A strong outing by Whit Mayberry (6 IP, 2 ER, 4 K, 0 BB) leading into the pen shutting down the opposition. The Hoos were still in an offensive funk early, but 3 run homers by the vets Jared King and Chris Taylor in the 7th and 8th gave the good guys more than enough runs to beat Coastal Carolina.
Game 3 sets up one of the most intriguing situations that will play out later this year. JMU was a team that Virginia will see two more times, and for it to end in a tie, especially after the back and forth game that transpired from the 4th inning on until it was called in the top of the 9th due to rain. The Hoos scored first on a Mike Papi double, but then the Dukes scored 2 in the bottom of the inning after the error on Branden Cogswell. Virginia tied it in the 7th and took the lead 4-2 after the 8th, just to see JMU tie it up in the bottom of the 8th.
Virginia gets William & Mary on Tuesday, maybe, depending on the snowfall in C’Ville clearing up, before Monmouth comes to town on Friday before a 3 game set. Virginia will need to use this 9 game home stand to sort our all these new pitchers and players before they get to conference time.
Men’s Tennis (at ITA Indoor Nationals, Charlottesville)
Friday: #16 Auburn (W, 4-0)
Saturday: #9 Stanford (W, 4-1)
Sunday: #3 Ohio State (L, 4-1)
All good things must come to an end. The quest for an unprecedented 5th straight ITA Indoor title was throttled by the Buckeyes Sunday night by a final of 4-1. The Hoos did what they normally do in the early rounds: let their depth at singles take over and wrap up matches quickly. None of the #1 singles went final against Auburn and Stanford. but after OSU squeaked out the doubles point, the singles had an opportunity to shine again. But when OSU went took 2 of 3 singles results, it writing was on the wall. and when Domijan fell 6-3 in the 3rd set, that ended the run. The Hoos will get back into it this Sunday at Virginia Tech before heading to Mississippi to take on MSU and Ole Miss. But don’t let this discourage you, the Hoos will still be ranked #3 when this is all said and done and should still have a great shot at a clean record all the way to the NCAAs in May.
Saturday: @ #20 Drexel (W, 9-8)
Like I said, nothing came easy this weekend. We talked about Drexel being a very defensive team, but it was the Drexel offense that out shot Virginia 41-24 on the evening. This game was back and forth all day, and with 7:58 to go, the game was tied at 8. The winning goal came from Rob Emery, assisted by Colin Briggs with just under 5 minutes to go. It was a day where Steele Stanwick did not record a point, showing just how good a job the Dragons did on the All-American. Virginia will get VMI on Tuesday, which should boost them up a little before Stony Brook comes to town on Saturday.
Saturday: @ #7 Loyola (W, 14-9)
It was a textbook opening for the Women’s Team as they headed to Maryland and defeated the Greyhounds. They used a great defensive 2nd half to pull away after the break and got a big win over a higher ranked team on the road. Mark this as one of the matches they will point to when the NCAA selection committee is looking around at the end of the year.
Softball (at ECU Pirate Clash)
Friday: Fordham (L,2-1)
Friday: #21 Louisville (L, 2-1)
Saturday: Hofstra (W, 7-2)
Saturday: Fordham (W, 7-4)
A season after the Hoos pulled one of the biggest upsets in ACC Tournament history, the Softball team was preseason ranked #4 in the ACC (out of 8) and a decent chance to make the NCAAs. They have jumped out to a 6-2 start to the season after spending the last two weekends in Greenville, NC for Invitationals, including the 2-2 marking this past weekend at the ECU Pirate Clash. They will host the Cavalier Invitational this coming weekend with teams like Ohio, Colgate, and Saint Joseph’s in the field.
Sunday: #23 ODU (W, 31-3)
Sunday: Geroge Mason (W, 29-7)
We don’t try to know every sport well enough to break down wins, but we can tell you how important these two wins were to VIrginia. The Hoos wrapped up the ACC season back in January with a 4-1 record in duels, so the past month have been warmups to get ready for the Virginia for the trip to UNC for the ACC Championships. ODU represented only the second ranked win on the season for the Hoos (2-1 overall vs. ranked teams) and they finished the year 11-1 in duels, the highest win percentage in the programs history. The Cavs should be a factor in the 6 team ACC and should put a lot of wrestlers in the NCAAs as well.