Weekend Previews: Apr. 4-6

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Baseball

What: No. 1 Virginia (25-4, 10-2 ACC) vs. Pittsburgh (15-13, 7-5)
Where: Charles L. Cost Field, Pittsburgh, Pa.
When: Friday, 3 p.m.; Saturday, 3 p.m.; Sunday 1 p.m.

The Skinny: The top-ranked Cavaliers will face ACC newcomer Pittsburgh this weekend — the first time the two have met since 1981. The Panthers won a school record of 42 games last season to finish second in the Big East and are now on a six-game ACC winning streak.

The Cavaliers have prevailed in their last eight overall, including dominating victories in midweek games against Old Dominion and George Washington. Each Virginia starter scored in the 10-0 dismantling of the Colonials Wednesday. The Cavalier pitching trio made up by sophomores Nathan Kirby, Josh Sborz and Brandon Waddell will look for another weekend of quality starts, with freshman reliever Connor Jones and Kirby boasting the two lowest ERAs in the ACC at 0.88 and 1.24, respectively.

The Panthers played a strong stretch of baseball at the end of March, sweeping both Duke and ranked Georgia Tech at home. However, Pittsburgh dropped both of their conference road series at North Carolina and at Virginia Tech, the latter of which the Cavaliers swept last week.

Pittsburgh suffered its first home loss Tuesday in a midweek game against West Virginia, and dropped its second game in as many days Wednesday against Youngstown State on the road.

Junior outfielder Boo Vasquez has driven in 30 runs, matching his RBI total from last season and is tied for the ACC lead. Junior right hander Joseph Harvey tossed eight innings of shutout ball against Georgia Tech last weekend.

—compiled by Alix Glynn

Men’s Tennis

What: No. 4 Virginia (15-2, 6-0 ACC) vs. No. 17 Clemson (17-3, 4-2 ACC), Georgia Tech (7-9, 1-5 ACC)
Where: Clemson, S.C.; Atlanta, Ga.
When: Friday, 11 a.m.; Saturday 1 p.m.

The Skinny: Virginia play ACC rivals Clemson and Georgia Tech on the road this weekend, seeking to remain undefeated in conference play. Last weekend, the Cavaliers trounced Miami, Florida State and William & Mary by a combined score of 19-2. Virginia’s only two losses this season came against programs ranked in the top three, while the team has six wins against top-20 teams, including four in the ACC.

The Tigers are coming off an upset loss last weekend at the hands of No. 25 Wake Forest, who won 4-1. The Cavaliers will look to score early points against a fairly shallow Tiger lineup, whose highest ranked singles player — junior Hunter Harrington — sits at No. 7 of Virginia players currently ranked in the top-100, and they’ll have many opportunities to take advantage of Clemson’s lack of depth.

Georgia Tech, meanwhile, has had a rough past few weeks, suffering three straight losses against No. 11 Notre Dame, No. 25 Wake Forest and No. 42 NC State. The Cavaliers have not lost to the Yellow Jackets since 2002 — coach Brian Boland’s first year at Virginia — and they’ll look to keep both that streak and their 113-match streak in the ACC alive.

—compiled by Krishna Korupolu

Women’s Tennis

What: No. 9 Virginia (13-4, 7-1 ACC) vs. No. 27 Georgia Tech (8-6, 5-3 ACC), No. 15 Clemson (16-3, 8-0 ACC)
Where: Snyder Tennis Center, Charlottesville, Va.
When: Saturday, 12 p.m.; Sunday, 12 p.m.

The Skinny: The Virginia women’s tennis team concludes its home play this weekend, hosting Georgia Tech Saturday and Clemson Sunday. The Cavaliers continue to dominate conference play, having swept Virginia Tech last Saturday.

The Yellow Jackets went 1-1 during the weekend, falling 6-1 to Clemson before bouncing back to defeat No. 70 NC State. Sophomores Kendal Woodard and Megan Kurey rank fourth nationally, the best in a strong doubles lineup for Georgia Tech.

Before travelling to Charlottesville, the Tigers will look to keep their ACC record perfect when they host Florida State Friday. Clemson’s talent has become more and more apparent as the season has progressed, sparking a nine game win streak that dates back to Feb. 23. Senior Yana Koroleva is solid in all phases of the game, standing No. 46 in singles and partnering with junior Beatrice Gumulya for a No. 26 ranking in doubles — both tops for the Tigers.

—compiled by Kristen Cauley

Softball

What: Virginia (4-29, 1-13 ACC) vs. North Carolina (18-16, 9-5 ACC)
Where: The Park
When: Saturday, 1 p.m. and 3 p.m.; Sunday, 12 p.m.

The Skinny: Virginia softball welcomes North Carolina to the Park for a three-game series between old conference foes.

The Cavaliers have struggled all season and are currently mired in an eight-game losing streak. The team dropped both games of a doubleheader against Longwood Wednesday.

The Tar Heels are on a mini losing streak of their own, going winless in their last four. The last outing saw North Carolina fall 4-3 on the road against in-state rival Charlotte.

Sophomore outfielder Aquilla Mateen is one of the most dangerous leadoff hitters in the ACC, leading her team with a .427 average. Additionally, Mateen is a threat to run whenever she’s on base. Her 14 steals account for two-thirds of the Tar Heels’ total.

North Carolina packs power behind Mateen, as their lineup has hit 43 home runs already this season. Sophomores shortstop Kristen Brown and first baseman Jenna Kelly are tied for third in the ACC with nine shots out of the park apiece.

Team ace senior Lori Spingola will be a worthy foe for the Virginia hitters. She is 13-9 on the year with a 3.16 earned run average, and is top five in the conference with 110 strikeouts.

—compiled by Matthew Wurzburger

Women’s Rowing

What: No. 3 Virginia vs. Columbia, No. 9 Princeton
Where: Lake Carnegie, Princeton, N.J.
When: Saturday, 10:30 a.m.

The Skinny: Virginia hits the water Saturday morning to race against Ivy League opponents Columbia and Princeton in the third regatta of the spring. Last weekend at the Pac-12 Challenge, the Cavaliers won 10 of 12 races against a trio of west coast teams, including three out of four against each No. 13 Stanford and No. 6 Southern California.

For their success out west, the Virginia Varsity Eight was named ACC Crew of the Week on Tuesday. The crew is undefeated this spring through seven races, and features seniors captain Elle Murray, coxswain Sarah Jordan, Constanze Duell, Brandy Herald and Fiona Schlesinger, juniors Chandler Lally, Lizzy Youngling and Hemingway Benton and freshman Georgia Ratcliff.

In their first race of the season Saturday, the Princeton Varsity Eight fell by three seconds against No. 9 Brown to surrender The Class of 1987 Trophy for the first time since 2007. The schools split the other four races, as the Tigers’ Second and Third Varsity Eights both won while Brown won both Four races.

Virginia raced against Princeton in the fall as part of the Princeton Chase. The Cavaliers’ top crew won the Varsity Eight with a time of 14:34:417, while the Tigers came in third at 14:50.893.

—compiled by Peter Nance


Published April 3, 2014 in Sports





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