Weekend Previews: Oct. 16-18

“The Skinny” on weekend matchups for swimming and diving, cross country, rowing, field hockey and men's golf

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Senior captain Sam Casto, a CRCA First-Team All-American last season, will row in the Championship Eights this weekend at the Head of the Charles Regatta.

Full previews for football, women’s soccer, men’s soccer and volleyball can be found online and in Thursday’s Cavalier Daily.

Swimming and Diving

What: Virginia vs. Tennessee

Where: Aquatic & Fitness Center

When: Friday, 3 p.m. (Diving at noon)

The Skinny: The Virginia men’s and women’s swimming and diving teams both open their seasons Friday when they host Tennessee.

The women’s team is coming off a 2014-15 season that featured an eighth consecutive ACC championship and a program best fifth-place finish at NCAA’s. Junior Leah Smith won individual national titles in the 500 and 1,650-yard freestyle events, while the Cavaliers notched four second-place finishes at the NCAA meet.

Meanwhile, the Cavalier men disappointed a season ago. Virginia placed eighth at the ACC championships – it’s worst finish in program history. The team’s 33rd place finish at NCAA’s a month later was its worst since 1987.

After a hazing lawsuit filed by former swimmer Anthony Marcantonio marred the offseason, Virginia will square off against a NCAA power at the Aquatic & Fitness Center to open fall competition.

The Tennessee men finished fourth in SEC last season and placed 14th at the NCAA championships last season. The Volunteer women also took home fourth in the SEC championships, while taking 11th at NCAA’s.

Tennessee competed Thursday against Missouri, with the women winning, 164-136, and the men defeating their SEC rival, 176-124.

Diving competition will start at noon, while swimming will begin at 3 p.m.

—compiled by Robert Elder

Cross Country

What: Wisconsin adidas Invitational

Where: Thomas Zimmer Championship Cross Country Course; Madison, Wis.

When: Friday, 12 p.m.

The Skinny: The Virginia cross country teams travel to Madison, Wis. to face an elite national field at the Wisconsin adidas Invitational.

Sitting at No. 7 in both the USTFCCCA and Saucony/FloTrack 50 polls, the Cavalier men are one of 16 teams ranked in the top-30 of the coaches’ poll competing on Friday, including No. 2 Syracuse, No. 4 Stanford, No. 5 Iona, No. 8 Michigan and No. 9 BYU.

The 13th-ranked Virginia women face an equally stacked field — 19 of the 30-best teams in the nation will be present. Headlining this list is New Mexico, the top-ranked program in the nation. Also present will be No. 3 Providence, No. 6 Boise St., No. 8 Iowa and No. 10 Washington.

The men are making their first appearance at the Wisconsin adidas Invitational since 2012, when they finished 27th out of 45 teams. Graduate student Zach Gates paced the Cavaliers with a 24th-place finish.

Virginia’s women squad is making its second straight trip to Madison. Last year, the Cavaliers finished in a ninth-place tie. Graduate student Morgan Kelly finished first for Virginia in 21st place.

Both men’s and women’s teams claimed team titles at the Virginia/Panorama Farms Invitational three weeks ago — their last competitive outing. Graduate student Iona Lake — who finished 48th in Wisconsin last season — won the women’s five-kilometer race. Junior Henry Wynne was the men’s top finisher at fifth place.

The Wisconsin adidas Invitational will be the last meet for the Cavaliers before the ACC Championships October 30th in Tallahassee, Fla.

—compiled by Matthew Wurzburger

Rowing

What: The Head of the Charles Regatta

Where: Charles River, Boston, Mass.

When: Sunday, all day

The Skinny: This Sunday in Boston, the Virginia women’s rowing team competes at the Head of the Charles Regatta, where the Cavaliers have claimed top-collegiate-boat honors each of the past four years. The Head of the Charles is Virginia’s first regatta of the fall season, with the Princeton Chase and the Rivanna Romp following in November.

The Cavaliers will take part in the Championship Fours and Championship Eights races, and a Virginia boat will also compete in Saturday’s Alumni Eights event.

Rowing for coach Kevin Sauer’s team in the Championship Fours will be juniors Jo Gurman, Ellen Pate and Marijane Brennan and senior Hannah Solis-Cohen, as well as sophomore coxswain Rachel Dick. Pate, Brennan and Solis-Cohen were all members of Virginia’s 2014 NCAA champion Varsity Four boat.

In the Championship Eights, junior Colette Lucas-Conwell will serve as coxswain, with senior captains Sam Casto and Tessa Dikkers, fellow senior Mackenzi Sherman, juniors Ali Zwicker, Erin Briggs and Georgia Ratcliff, sophomore Eliza Spilsbury and freshman Heidi Long manning the oars. Casto was a CRCA First-Team All-American last season.

The Championship Fours is slated for a 2:16 p.m. start, and the Championship Eights begins at 2:44 p.m. Nineteen programs will compete in the Championship Fours and 33 — including California, the NCAA Championships’ overall runner-up five of the past seven years — in the Championship Eights.

—compiled by Matthew Morris

Field Hockey

What: No. 5 Virginia (11-3, 3-2 ACC) at No. 15 Delaware (11-3, 2-1 CAA)

Where: Newark, Del.

When: Sunday, 1 p.m.

The Skinny: Virginia closes out its last long road trip of the season at Delaware Sunday. The Cavaliers have gone 6-2 away from Charlottesville thus far in 2015, with the two losses coming to then-No. 2 Syracuse and in a double-overtime setback at Old Dominion.

The Cavaliers are coming off a 4-3 win at in-state rival and eighth-ranked Liberty. That contest marked the sixth top-10 matchup for the season for Virginia; it has gone 4-2 in those games, with both losses coming at the hands of higher-ranked teams.

Delaware, meanwhile, has dropped two of its last three contests. The most recent loss came at the expense of the Flames, by a score of 6-2.

If the Blue Hens hope to turn this late season skid around against the Cavaliers, they will have to stop sophomore midfielder Tara Vittese, who has terrorized defenses all year long. The Cherry Hill, N.J. native leads the team in both goals and points, with nine and 26, respectively. Vittese’s fellow junior Lucy Hyams has 23 points, making the Cavaliers’ offense one of the most potent in the country.

—compiled by Ryan Taylor

Men’s golf

What: U.S.Collegiate Championship

Where: Alpharetta, Ga.

When: Friday-Sunday

The Skinny: The Virginia men’s golf team travels to Alpharetta, Ga. to participate in the U.S. Collegiate Championship, the most prestigious collegiate tournament of the fall season, this weekend at the Golf Club of Georgia.

The field promises to be the most talented the No. 25 Cavaliers will face this season, with 16 of the 17 teams competing ranked in the top 50 of the latest Golfweek poll.

Virginia has experienced measurable success at the Golf Club of Georgia in the past, with the team finishing second in the tournament last season and junior Derek Bard taking the individual title with a 15-under 201, the lowest score ever recorded at the tournament.

Bard expressed great confidence in the team’s ability to match up to the talent it will encounter this weekend.

“It does give me some confidence [having won last year],” he said. “This is the strongest field we see all year, but I think we have a good enough team to go down there and win the thing.”

Coach Bowen Sargent stopped short of Bard’s optimism, but harped on the significance of the team’s strong showing at the course in the past.

“I don’t think we played our best last week. We’ll have to play a lot better in order to finish in the top five,” Sargent said. “There is definitely some confidence knowing you’ve played there and been successful.”

The starting lineup will consist of Bard, junior Jimmy Stanger, sophomore Danny Walker, senior Nick McLaughlin and freshman Thomas Walsh — the same lineup that led Virginia to a tie for first place at the Dick’s Sporting Goods Collegiate Cup Challenge in late September.

Virginia tees off Friday morning and competition runs through Sunday.

—compiled by Grayson Kemper

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