Weekend Previews: Feb. 14-16
"The Skinny" on weekend matchups for men's lacrosse, women's basketball, men's and women's tennis, wrestling, indoor track and field, swim and dive, and women's golf
What: No. 7 Virginia (2-0) vs. Drexel (0-0)
Where: Vidas Field, Philadelphia, Pa.
When: Saturday at 1 p.m.
The Skinny: Virginia travels to Philadelphia this weekend, looking for a third straight win to open the 2014 season. Leading the charge for the Cavaliers is sophomore attackman James Pannell, younger brother of former Cornell All-American Rob Pannell, who boasts eight goals and 10 total points through the team’s first two games. Pannell was named ACC Offensive Player of the Week for his efforts, his first weekly honor in his career.
The all-time series between Virginia and Drexel is decidedly one-sided, as the Cavaliers hold a 12-1 edge in games against the Dragons. However, their recent confrontations have been close fought, with the 2012 and 2013 games each being one-goal affairs and none of the last four matchups determined by more than three goals.
Drexel, which has yet to play a game this year, received votes in the latest Coaches’ Poll but wasn’t able to crack the top 20. The team needs to find a replacement for now-graduated Robert Church, the Dragons’ leader in both assists with 24 and points with 57 in 2013. Senior midfielder Ben McIntosh, Drexel’s leading goal-scorer from last season, will be expected to fill some of the lost production, as will junior midfielder Ryan Belka who finished third in total points behind Church and McIntosh.
—compiled by Peter Nance
What: Virginia (12-11, 5-5 ACC) at Georgia Tech (16-8, 6-5 ACC)
Where: McCamish Pavilion, Atlanta, Ga.
When: Friday at 7 p.m.
The Skinny: For Georgia Tech, it all starts with senior guard Tyaunna Marshall. She was named espnW’s National Player of the Week last Sunday after torching Pittsburgh, No. 17 North Carolina and Miami with averages of 26.3 points, 8.7 rebounds and 4.0 steals in the Yellow Jacket’s three consecutive conference wins. Marshall dropped 32 points against the Tar Heels to surpass one-time WNBA swingman Kisha Ford as Georgia Tech’s all-time leading scorer. Marshall is now 20 points from becoming the first Yellow Jacket and 23rd player in ACC history to score 2,000 points in her career.
If Virginia is to slow the Ramblin’ Wreck, who average 81.0 points per game and have compiled a 9-3 record at McCamish Pavilion, the team will need to keep Marshall under wraps. Redshirt senior guard Lexie Gerson could be just the defender for the job. Gerson, a 2012 ACC All-Defensive Team selection, leads the conference with 2.7 steals per game, a figure good for 20th in the country. She has been particularly disruptive of late, with 15 steals in the Cavaliers’ last four games. Whatever the means, the Cavaliers will need to keep track of not only Marshall but also freshman guard Kaela Davis, the team’s most prolific three-point shooter and second-leading scorer at 18.0 points per game.
—compiled by Matthew Morris
What: No. 1 Virginia (4-0, 1-0 ACC) at ITA National Indoor Championship Tournament
Where: Downtown MET & Athletic Club, Houston, Texas
When: 4 p.m. Friday, Quarterfinals and Semifinals on Saturday, Finals on Sunday
The Skinny: The Virginia men’s tennis team, defending ITA Indoor champions, will look to win their sixth ITA championship in seven years. The Cavaliers face will face stiff competition from a field that boasts 15 of the top 16 teams in the nation. Virginia opens up against No. 16 Notre Dame (7-1). On the other side of Virginia’s draw is No. 2 UCLA, who the Cavaliers defeated in 2013 to clinch the NCAA Team National Championship.
This year the tournament will use the ITA Division I experimental format, which involves all games being played to six points with no-ad scoring and tie breaks at five points.
The Cavaliers have posted wins against Elon, Navy, Boston College and Indiana this season. After a win against Notre Dame, the Cavaliers will face off against the winner of the matchup between No. 11 California and No. 9 Mississippi State. Virginia is in the midst of a 34 match streak and would break the school record for consecutive wins with three more.
—compiled by Krishna Korupolu
What: No. 10 Virginia (5-1) at No. 16 Alabama (4-2)
Where: Tuscaloosa, A.L.
When: Saturday at 1 p.m.
The Skinny: The Virginia women’s tennis team travels to Tuscaloosa Saturday, where they will play their second away match of the season against Alabama.
Alabama looks to bounce back from its 1-2 performance in the ITA National Team Indoor Championships that included a 4-1 loss to the Cavaliers Sunday. Sophomore Maya Jansen scored the Crimson Tide’s lone point Sunday with a 0-6, 6-3, 14-12 defeat of freshman Rachel Pierson.
After going 3-0 in singles matches last week, sophomore Julia Elbaba continues to lead the Cavaliers and moved up to No. 4 in the national singles rankings. The duo of Elbaba and Pierson also continue to dominate doubles play, ranking No. 3 in this week’s doubles rankings.
—compiled by Kristen Cauley
What: No. 12 Virginia (17-3, 5-1 ACC) at George Mason (6-13, 0-2 EWL)
Where: Recreation Athletic Complex, Fairfax, Va.
When: Sunday at 2 p.m.
The Skinny: Virginia wrestling puts an end to the 2013-14 regular season with a dual Sunday afternoon against George Mason. The Cavaliers are coming off a two-win weekend in which they defeated North Carolina at home and North Carolina State on the road.
The Patriots have improved since their 2012-13 squad, but fell to the Cavaliers 41-3. Sophomore Sahid Kargbo leads George Mason with an 18-10 record, but a challenge awaits him at 141 pounds in ACC Wrestler of the Week and No. 18 redshirt junior Joe Spisak.
A dual win in Fairfax would give the Cavaliers 18 dual meet victories this season, making them the second most successful team in program history behind the 19 win 2010-11 squad.
—compiled by Matthew Wurzburger
Indoor Track and Field
What: Washington Husky Classic, Iowa State Classic, Tyson Invitational and Liberty Quad Meet
Where: Seattle, Wash..; Ames, Iowa.; Fayetteville, Ark.; Lynchburg, Va.
When: All day Friday, Saturday and Monday
The Virginia indoor track and field program has athletes competing in four meets across the nation in a four-day period. Three groups of Cavaliers left town Wednesday headed for the Husky Classic, the Iowa State Classic and the Tyson Invitational, while other Virginia athletes who were snowed in will head Sunday to the Liberty Quad Meet.
The women’s distance team, including three runners ranked in the top-100 nationally in the 300m, will compete in Seattle. The No. 5 distance medley relay team and men’s distance team, including redshirt freshman Connor Rog and sophomore Kyle King, will be heading to Ames. The Tyson Invitational in Arkansas is considered one of the top meets in the country, and Virginia will send a contingent which includes nationally-ranked athletes sophomore distance runner Zach Herriott and junior sprinter Jordan Lavender to it.
—compiled by Matthew Wurzburger
Swim and Dive
What: Cavalier Invitational, No. 7 Virginia women (11-1) vs. Pennsylvania (5-5), Drexel (6-5), James Madison (5-3), Old Dominion (4-5) and William and Mary (7-4)
No. 22 Virginia men (6-5) vs. Pennsylvania (5-5), Drexel (8-2), Old Dominion (2-5) and William and Mary (7-2)
Where: Aquatic and Fitness Center, Charlottesville, Va.
When: Friday: 10 a.m. prelims and 6 p.m. finals; Saturday: 9 a.m. prelims and 5 p.m. finals
The Skinny: In the final regular season event of the season, Virginia hosts the Cavalier Invitational this weekend in Charlottesville. This will be the second straight week that Virginia has had a home meet. Only a select group of swimmers will compete for the Cavaliers, as coach Augie Busch looks to rest his swimmers that will be competing in the ACC Championships in the coming weeks. For those not advancing to the ACC Championships, this is the final event of the season.
Among those likely to rest are freshman Leah Smith and junior diver JB Kolod. Smith, for the second time this season, was named ACC Female Swimmer of the Week for her efforts against Pittsburgh last weekend. Smith set the school record and best time of the season in the country on the 1,000-yard freestyle. Cavaliers have now won ACC Female Swimmer of the Week for four consecutive weeks. Meanwhile, Kolod was named ACC Male Diver of the Week as he won the 1-meter and 3-meter diving events, breaking his own school record on the 3-meter diving with a score of 428.10.
Last season, while also resting many swimmers, the Virginia women placed third and the Virginia men placed fourth at the Cavalier Invitational.
For Virginia, both the women’s and the men’s ACC Championships will be held in Greensboro, N.C., with the women competing Feb. 19-22 and the men competing Feb. 26-March 1.
—compiled by Robert Elder
What: No. 25 Virginia at Florida State Match-Up Tournament
Where: Tallahassee, Fl.
When: All day, Feb. 14-16
The Skinny: Virginia women’s golf tees off the spring season this weekend. One of 12 teams competing in the second annual Florida State Match-Up, the unique format of the tournament pairs teams together for the opening rounds, before pitting them against each other in groups of three for the final round. The field features two other top-25 teams, including No. 13 Clemson with whom the Cavaliers will be paired.
The group of players from Virginia is led by senior Elizabeth Brightwell, who had a 74.64 stroke average in the fall to lead all Cavaliers in the team’s four tournaments. Brightwell was one of three Virginia golfers to compete in all 10 tournaments in the 2012-13 season, and finished 35th in that season’s ACC Championships.
Following the tournament in Tallahassee, the Cavaliers return to the course March 7-9 at the Darius Rucker Intercollegiate in Hilton Head, S.C.
—compiled by Peter Nance