Weekend Previews: Nov. 18-20
“The Skinny” on weekend action for volleyball, men’s cross country and women’s basketball
What: Virginia (7-21, 4-12 ACC) vs. No. 6 North Carolina (24-3, 16-1 ACC) and North Carolina State (17-12, 10-7 ACC)
Where: Chapel Hill, N.C. and Raleigh, N.C.
When: Friday, 6 p.m. and Sunday, 2 p.m.
The Skinny: The Virginia volleyball team hits the road this weekend for a pair of key matchups. First, the Cavaliers are set to face off against the No. 6 Tar Heels Friday. Then Sunday they will head to Raleigh to face the Wolfpack of NC State. Virginia will look to carry momentum into this game following a successful weekend of away games in the midwest.
After a heartbreaking loss against Boston College Nov. 6, Virginia rebounded with two massive wins against opponents the team had not yet faced. Against Louisville (9-17, 4-12 ACC), the Cavaliers controlled play and ended the match in three straight sets.
Two days later against Notre Dame, the momentum from the Louisville win seemed to have faded, as Virginia found itself down 2-0 against Fighting Irish (19-9, 10-6 ACC). However, the Cavaliers demonstrated their resiliency and fought back to win the match, 3-2. This pair of wins could provide confidence for Virginia at a crucial time in the season, as the team prepares to face a few of their toughest opponents of the season.
Following a thrilling comeback win against Georgia Tech (21-7, 12-4 ACC) Saturday, North Carolina faced NC State Wednesday, defeating the Wolfpack in straight sets.
Virginia’s recent run of form should offer increased confidence going into both weekend matches.
—compiled by Sam LeFew
Men’s Cross Country
What: NCAA Championships
Where: Terre Haute, Ind.
When: Saturday, 12 p.m.
The Skinny: The Virginia men’s cross country team will compete at the NCAA Championships Saturday for the fifth consecutive year.
The No. 16 Cavaliers qualified for the NCAA Championships by placing second at the Southeast Regional Championships last Friday. Virginia finished with a team total of 105 points, just behind then-No. 27 North Carolina State, who won the meet with 90 points. The top two teams at each regional meet qualify for the NCAA Championships, in addition to 13 selected at-large teams.
Virginia was led by senior Zach Herriott, who finished ninth with a 29:17.0 10K time. Close behind were teammates freshman Lachlan Cook and junior Chase Weaverling, who took 12th and 14th, respectively. The Cavaliers’ top three runners earned All-Southeast Region honors.
Rounding out Virginia’s top five were redshirt freshman Matthew Novak, who placed 32nd, and sophomore Brent Demarest, at 38th. Demarest’s time was only 0.3 seconds ahead of the 39th place finisher and allowed the Cavaliers to hold on to their one-point lead over third place Furman.
Last fall, Virginia placed 22nd at the NCAA Championships. Two-time defending ACC Champion Syracuse took the NCAA Championship title again in 2015, but the Orange are currently ranked at No. 5. Northern Arizona, Colorado, Stanford and Brigham Young are all ahead of Syracuse.
Of Virginia’s top five regional finishers who competed in last year’s NCAA Championships, Weaverling, Demarest and Herriott all raced and finished 55th, 166th and 171st, respectively.
The Virginia women’s cross country team placed sixth at regionals and did not qualify for the national championships this year.
—compiled by Julia Thompson
What: Virginia (3-0) vs. Rutgers (0-3)
Where: John Paul Jones Arena
When: Sunday, 6 p.m.
The Skinny: After a hot start to the season, the Virginia women’s basketball team will look to keep rolling against Rutgers Sunday.
The Cavaliers have received contributions from many players, both veteran and young, en route to a three-game win streak to start the season. Freshman guard Jocelyn Willoughby and freshman center Felicia Aiyeotan started their collegiate careers hot, helping the team comfortably win against Middle Tennessee State and Coppin State, respectively, in its first two games.
When production from the rookies lacked in the team’s third game against Richmond, junior forward Lauren Moses stepped up for a career-high 27 points to lead the team in a close victory. The Cavaliers have multiple weapons that have carried them thus far, which should be troublesome for Rutgers to contain.
Sitting at 0-3, the Scarlet Knights have struggled to start their season. Most recently, the team dropped a game at Wake Forest, 55-43. Rutgers took down Virginia, 60-48, at the Paradise Jam Tournament in the U.S. Virgin Islands last season, ultimately finishing the season at 19-15 (8-10 Big 10).
—compiled by Alec Dougherty