Weekend Previews: Sept. 25-27

The Skinny on weekend action for Virginia’s field hockey, men’s soccer, volleyball, men’s golf, cross country and women’s tennis teams

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Junior midfielder Lucy Hyams earned ACC Offensive Player of the Week honors after handing out two assists and scoring a goal in the Cavaliers' 4-2 win against No. 6 Duke.

Marshall Bronfin | Cavalier Daily

Field Hockey

What: No. 4 Virginia (8-0, 2-0 ACC) vs. No. 2 Syracuse (7-0, 2-0 ACC)

Where: Syracuse, N.Y.

When: Friday, 4 p.m.

The Skinny: After sending both Duke and William & Mary home with losses last week, the Cavaliers are looking to continue their undefeated start to the season as they hit the road to face their toughest opponent yet — Syracuse. This battle between two of the country’s four remaining undefeated teams will play a big role in setting the tone of the ACC for the rest of the season.

The Cavaliers enter the game with one of the top offenses in field hockey, driven recently by junior midfielder Lucy Hyams. Hyams played a crucial role in last week's victory against No. 7 Duke, recording two assists and scoring a goal in the 4-2 defeat of the Blue Devils. Hyams earned ACC Field Hockey Offensive Player of the Week honors for her performance.

The impressive Cavaliers offense will have its hands full this week, as it faces a Syracuse defense that has been dominant to start the season. Through seven games, Syracuse has given up an average of 0.86 goals per game, outscoring opponents 26-6 in that period.

Senior goalkeeper Jess Jecko has spearheaded this defensive effort with an 80 percent save percentage and an ACC-leading goals against average of 0.77. She is one of the best goalkeepers the Cavaliers will face all season and will be a true test for Virginia's offense.

A Cavalier victory would mark the first 8-0 start for Virginia since the 2010 season.

— compiled by Spenser Gilliand

Men’s soccer

What: No. 4 Virginia (5-0-2, 1-0-1 ACC) vs. No. 14 Notre Dame (5-2-1, 1-1-0 ACC)

Where: Alumni Stadium, Notre Dame, Ind.

When: Friday, 7 p.m.

The Skinny: The Virginia men’s soccer team returns to action Friday when it faces Notre Dame at Alumni Stadium in Notre Dame, Ind. The Cavaliers are unbeaten so far this season with five wins and two ties and hope to extend their winning streak against the Irish.

Notre Dame has had a relatively rough start to the season with two wins and two losses but will be hoping to use its 4-0 win against Michigan State Tuesday night in East Lansing, Mich. as inspiration. Goals from graduate student defender Max Lachowecki, sophomore forward Jon Gallagher and freshman midfielder Thomas Ueland — along with an own goal — won the game for the Irish, and they will also be fueled by the performance of senior midfielder and reigning ACC Offensive Player of the Year Patrick Hodan.

Virginia won 1-0 against Virginia Commonwealth Tuesday night in Richmond and will be looking to carry that momentum forward. An inspiring 84th-minute goal by freshman midfielder Derrick Etienne won the Cavaliers the game, and the team will be motivated to keep its 12-game unbeaten run going against the Irish.

— compiled by Samyak Dixit

Volleyball

What: Virginia (8-3) at Duke (6-5, 1-0 ACC) and Wake Forest (8-5, 0-1 ACC)

Where: Durham and Winston-Salem, N.C.

When: Friday and Saturday, 6:30 p.m.

The Skinny: The Virginia volleyball team travels to North Carolina Friday and Saturday for its first ACC matches of the season. The Cavaliers (8-3) — who opened the season with four weekends of tournament play — take on Duke (6-5, 0-1 ACC) Friday evening in Durham before heading to Winston-Salem for a Saturday-night match against Wake Forest (8-5, 0-1 ACC).

Ranked No. 25 in the AVCA preseason poll, the Blue Devils have been largely hit or miss to date, with nine of their 11 matches lasting just three sets — of those nine, Duke won six.

The Blue Devils defeated Wake Forest in straight sets Wednesday night at Cameron Indoor Stadium, spurred by senior outside hitter Emily Sklar’s 23 kills and absurd .500 attack percentage.

Sklar leads Duke with 111 kills despite missing two matches. Freshman middle blocker Leah Meyer trails her by 11 and sports a .353 attack percentage, tops on the team among players with 50 or more attempts.

Wake Forest (8-5), meanwhile, punched up seven wins in eight matches Sept. 4-19 but is currently mired in a two-match losing streak. The Cavaliers and Demon Deacons have faced off 44 times since 1980, with Virginia owning a 25-19 series edge. Sophomore outside hitter Kylie Long leads coach Ken Murczek’s team in kills and is second in digs.

— compiled by Matthew Morris

Men’s golf

What: DICK’S Sporting Goods Collegiate Challenge Cup

Where: Kingston Springs, Tenn.

When: Friday and Sunday

The Skinny: The Virginia men’s golf team tees off in its second competition of the young fall season Friday at the DICK’S Sporting Goods Collegiate Challenge Cup hosted in Kingston Springs, Tenn. The Cavaliers have had almost two weeks to prepare since returning home from the Northern Intercollegiate, where they placed fifth earlier this month.

This weekend’s competition features exclusively ACC and SEC opponents among the 12 competing squads, with the two conferences competing against each other. Seven of the 12 teams in the tournament are ranked in the latest Golfweek top-25 poll. The tournament will serve as the Cavaliers’ first encounter with many of their ACC foes, as they were one of only two conference representatives at the Northern Intercollegiate, along with Louisville.

Coach Bowen Sargent expressed excitement regarding the talented field and said that the tournament will show where the team is.

“It will be a very telling tournament for us,” Sargent said. “I think we’ll find out a lot for our team this weekend.”

Virginia will look for another strong performance from sophomore Danny Walker, who led all Cavaliers in individual scoring at the Northern Intercollegiate, taking sixth place overall with a 2-over 218.

The tournament is structured as a conference competition between the ACC and the SEC, with each conference amassing points from match play in the respective matches. Each matchup will pit an ACC program against an SEC program.

Virginia’s starting lineup going into Friday’s first round will consist of Walker, junior Derek Bard, freshman Thomas Walsh, junior Jimmy Stanger and senior Nick McLaughlin.

— compiled by Grayson Kemper

Cross country

What: Virginia/Panorama Farms Invitational

Where: Earlysville, Va.

When: Saturday, 10 a.m.

The Skinny: The Virginia men’s and women’s cross country teams host the Virginia/Panorama Farms Invitational this Saturday at Panorama Farms in Earlysville, Va. The Cavaliers last competed Sept. 2 at the U.Va. Duals — also held at Panorama Farms — where junior Henry Wynne seized victory on the men’s side and junior Brooke Grice starred for the women.

At last year’s invitational, Virginia won both the men’s and women’s meets, with junior Sarah Fakler taking the women’s title and senior Kyle King placing third for the men. Graduate student Iona Lake captured fourth place in the women’s race as the Cavaliers posted a dominant 37-74 victory over second-place William & Mary.

Paced by King and seventh-place junior Zach Herriott, the men edged out Furman and Iona by four and seven points, respectively. Virginia has captured both the men’s and women’s team titles twice in six years at the race.

The Virginia men are currently ranked No. 9 nationally, while the women are ranked sixteenth.

— compiled by Matthew Morris

Women’s tennis

What: U.Va. Fall Invite

Where: Snyder Tennis Center

When: Friday and Sunday

The Skinny: The Virginia women’s tennis team competes in the U.Va. Fall Invite Friday, Saturday and Sunday at the Snyder Tennis Center, hosting its only home event of the fall season. Eight Cavaliers — including seniors Danielle Collins, Julia Elbaba, Skylar Morton and Maci Epstein — will play in the singles and doubles draws, which will include participants from eight collegiate programs.

Junior Victoria Olivarez, sophomore Cassie Mercer and freshmen Meghan Kelley and Erica Susi will also take the courts for Virginia. Elbaba and Morton, Collins and Kelley, Olivarez and Mercer and Epstein and Susi will pair up for the doubles, playing in one of three draws. The singles portion will also consist of three separate brackets.

Arkansas, George Washington, Marshall, Maryland, Miami (Ohio), Old Dominion and Utah will all send players to Charlottesville for the tournament.

The No. 8 Collins is coming off a singles title at the Oracle/ITA Masters Tournament in Malibu, Calif, while Elbaba currently holds the No. 3 ranking in the Oracle/ITA national singles rankings.

First serve is scheduled for 9 a.m. Friday.

—compiled by Matthew Morris

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