Weekend Previews: March 28-30
"The Skinny" on weekend matchups for baseball, men's lacrosse, men's and women's tennis, softball and rowing
What: No. 2 Virginia (20-4, 7-2 ACC) vs. Virginia Tech (12-9, 5-4 ACC)
Where: Davenport Field
When: Friday, 6 p.m.; Saturday, 1 p.m.; Sunday, 1 p.m.
The Skinny: The Virginia baseball team lost just two conference series last season while compiling a 22-8 record in ACC play. One of those defeats came against Virginia Tech April 26-27.
The Cavaliers won the Friday-night opener, 15-6, with then-freshman Brandon Waddell picking up his fourth win despite a rocky five and two-thirds innings of work. The Hokies, though, stormed back Saturday, winning both games of a doubleheader by a combined 16-9 margin. Virginia Tech then dealt Virginia a 10-1 defeat in the ACC Tournament. Waddell took the loss in that game, yielding 10 hits in four innings.
The Cavaliers will look to change up the 2013 script this weekend. Coach Brian O’Connor will likely hand the ball to sophomore left-hander Nathan Kirby Friday, sophomore right-hander Josh Sborz on Saturday and Waddell on Sunday. Kirby and Sborz both pitched out of the bullpen in last year’s series. Kirby struggled in his two-thirds of an inning on the mound, while Sborz retired all seven Hokies he faced.
Now anchors of the staff alongside Waddell — Kirby’s 1.21 ERA ranks second in the ACC behind Cavalier freshman right-hander Connor Jones, while Sborz trails only Maryland junior right-hander Jake Stinnett in batting average against. The two Virginia pitchers will seek their sixth and fourth victories of 2014, respectively, this weekend.
Virginia Tech’s offense is led by redshirt freshman centerfielder and leadoff hitter Saige Jenco, who paces the ACC in on-base percentage at .567 — a mark 71 points higher than that of second-place D.J. Stewart, the Florida State sophomore leftfielder. Jenco bats .364, has stolen 11 bases in 15 attempts and leads the ACC in walks at 28. Senior right-hander Brad Markey (2-3, 3.13 ERA) has been the Hokies best starting pitcher so far.
—compiled by Matthew Morris
What: No. 8 Virginia (8-2, 1-1 ACC) at No. 4 Maryland (7-1, 2-1 ACC)
Where: College Park, Md.
When: Sunday, 12 p.m.
The Skinny: The Virginia men’s lacrosse team has rebounded well from its first losses of the season and is now on a two-game winning streak after a strong week. The Cavaliers play in an important ACC game at Maryland as the teams jostle for a position in the ACC.
Last weekend, Virginia defeated then-No. 9 Johns Hopkins in overtime to capture the Doyle Smith Cup, the trophy given to winner of the annual rivalry game. The Cavaliers followed that up Monday with a dominating 21-3 win against Virginia Military Institute.
At No. 4 in the nation, Maryland will be a considerably tougher opponent than the Keydets. While the Terrapins are coming off their first loss of the season at No. 5 North Carolina, they sport resounding victories against Syracuse and Duke, which are both ranked in the top 10. Maryland was the No. 1 ranked team in the country before its first loss of the season last weekend.
The Cavaliers’ two losses have both occurred on the road, so the team must prove its ability to win consistently away from Charlottesville. The Terrapins are second in a stacked ACC, while the Cavaliers are currently fourth. Virginia can gain significant ground in the standings with a win, or fall out of contention for first with a loss. Only the top four of six ACC teams make the conference tournament this year.
Virginia senior attackman Mark Cockerton leads the team in goals and total points with 32 and 43, respectively, while junior attackman Owen Van Arsdale has tallied the most assists by far at 22. Maryland is led by senior midfielder Mike Chanenchuk in both goals and assists.
Last year, Maryland won the teams’ regular season matchup 9-7 in Charlottesville, but was soundly beaten by the Cavaliers in the ACC Tournament, 13-6.
—compiled by Andrew O’Shea
What: No. 4 Virginia vs. No. 39 Miami; No. 24 Florida State; William & Mary
Where: Snyder Tennis Center, Charlottesville, Va.
When: 3 p.m. Friday; 1 p.m. Saturday; 2 p.m. Sunday
The Skinny: After an extended road trip, the No. 4 Virginia men’s tennis team returns home to host three familiar opponents during the weekend. The Cavaliers are coming off an impressive pair of victories against ACC rivals No. 8 North Carolina and No. 14 Duke.
The Cavaliers (12-2, 4-0 ACC) will host No. 39 Miami (13-4, 3-1 ACC) Friday. The Hurricanes are red-hot, riding a seven-match winning streak. Led by senior Omar Aly, Miami is looking to record its first win against the Cavaliers since 2006. Aly recently jumped to the ITA top-100 after downing No. 20 sophomore Romain Bogaerts of Wake Forest last week. The last time the two teams faced off, the Cavaliers came away with a 6-1 victory against the Hurricanes in Coral Gables, Fla.
The Cavaliers will host No. 24 Florida State (15-5, 3-1 ACC) Saturday. The Seminoles are coming off an impressive upset victory against then-No.18 Wake Forest after having struggled in recent weeks in the doubles portion of their matches. Prior to the team’s victory against Wake Forest, Florida State had dropped six straight doubles matches. The Cavaliers have only dropped the doubles portion of the match three times this year and have yet to be blanked.
Finally, Virginia will close out the weekend against William & Mary Sunday. The Tribe (12-7) has struggled against ranked opponents, going 0-4 this season against ITA top-75 teams. Unlike Florida State, the Tribe has done well in its double portion of matches. Entering the match against the Cavaliers, William & Mary will boast a streak of 10 straight matches in which they have claimed the doubles point.
All matches will take place at Snyder Tennis Courts with start times being 3 p.m. Friday, 1 p.m. Saturday and 2 p.m. Sunday.
—compiled by Krishna Korupolu
What: No. 3 Virginia (12-4, 6-1 ACC) vs. No. 58 Virginia Tech (10-7, 3-5 ACC)
Where: Blacksburg, Va.
When: Saturday, 12 p.m.
The Skinny: Following a sweep of ACC rivals Notre Dame and Pittsburgh, the Virginia women’s tennis team travels to Blacksburg to face in-state rival Virginia Tech this weekend. The Cavaliers are ranked No. 3 for the second time this season, matching a program-best first established in February.
After going 2-0 in singles and doubles play during the weekend, No. 33 sophomore Danielle Collins earned the ACC Player of the Week title for the second week in a row. Both of Collins’ victories came against ranked opponents. Collins clinched the win against Notre Dame by defeating No. 41 sophomore Quinn Gleason 6-4, 6-2. Her victory against No. 114 freshman Audrey Ann Blakely also contributed to the Cavalier’s shutout win against Pittsburgh.
After falling to No. 70 Wake Forest 1-6 Saturday, the Hokies snapped a three-game losing streak by defeating No. 64 North Carolina State Sunday, 5-2. Virginia Tech has struggled against top-25 opponents, dropping all four matches. No. 73 sophomore Ilinca Stoica has contributed strongly to the Hokie’s singles play, notably upsetting Duke’s second-ranked sophomore Beatrice Capra.
—compiled by Kristen Cauley
What: Virginia (4-24, 1-10) vs. Pittsburgh (8-14, 0-3 ACC)
When: Saturday, 1 p.m. and 3 p.m., Sunday 12 p.m.
Where: Pittsburgh, Pa.
The Skinny: Fresh off a two-game drubbing at home at the hands of George Mason, Virginia softball travels to Pittsburgh for a three-game weekend series.
The Cavaliers were unable to put up a fight Thursday against the Patriots (10-13), losing both games by double digits. Sophomore pitcher Aimee Chapdelaine struggled in the circle, giving up 14 runs in two and one-third innings pitched.
This weekend’s series will be the first conference action for the Panthers in two full weeks. Three straight series have been canceled due to inclement weather, and Pittsburgh has played one game since March 16 — a 4-2 loss on the road against Youngstown State.
Junior outfielder Carly Thea leads the Panther offense. She is hitting .350 with three home runs and 11 RBIs. Maggie Sevilla, a redshirt sophomore infielder, has chipped in four homers and 14 RBIs as well.
Pittsburgh struggles inside the circle. Juniors Savannah King and Alexa Larken have platooned the starting pitching spot and post earned run averages of 4.00 and 5.57, respectively.
—compiled by Matthew Wurzburger
What: Pac-12 Challenge
When: March 29-30
Where: Redwood Shores, Calif.
The Skinny: In the second event of the spring season, No. 3 Virginia heads to California to compete in the Pac-12 Challenge against a crop of west coast programs.
The team’s last outing came at the Oak Ridge Cardinal Invite March 15-16, where the Cavaliers swept all 21 races they competed in. This included three wins for each the Varsity Eight, Second Varsity Eight, Third Varsity Eight, Varsity Four, Second Varsity Four and Third Varsity Four. Virginia’s main opponents were Minnesota, Notre Dame and No. 16 Louisville.
This weekend, the Cavaliers will face a tougher slate, including No. 6 Southern California, No. 13 Stanford and Oregon State. Virginia has competed in California the past two seasons at the San Diego Crew Classic, but this is the team’s first appearance at the Pac-12 Challenge.
The Cavaliers hit the water again next weekend in Princeton, N.J. against Columbia and the host Tigers.
—compiled by Peter Nance