Weekend previews: Nov. 17-19

‘The Skinny’ on weekend action for volleyball, squash, women’s soccer, wrestling and diving

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Senior forward Veronica Latsko will look to help Virginia continue to move on in the NCAA Tournament with a win over Pepperdine. 

Mariana Fraser | Cavalier Daily

Volleyball

What: Virginia (7-20, 3-13 ACC) vs. Miami (17-5, 11-5 ACC); Virginia vs. Florida State (14-10, 8-8 ACC)

Where: Memorial Gymnasium in Charlottesville

When: Friday at 7 p.m.; Sunday at 1 p.m.

The Skinny: The Virginia volleyball team heads into the weekend getting ready to host two ACC rivals from down south — Miami and Florida State.

After winning three of four previous matches, Virginia dropped both of its matches last weekend, as both Louisville and Notre Dame swept the Cavaliers, 3-0. One bright spot for Virginia was freshman outside hitter Alex Spencer, who led the team with a total of 24 kills over the two matches.

Virginia’s contest against Miami will begin Friday at 7 p.m. Entering the match at 11-5 in conference, the Hurricanes sit at the fourth spot in the ACC and will surely be looking to bolster their position in the standings as they enter the final stretch of the season. Sitting well above Virginia in the standings, the Cavaliers put up quite the battle when the two teams met in Florida in late September, with the Hurricanes eking out a 3-2 victory.

Florida State will begin its weekend with a Friday evening match against Virginia Tech before traveling to Charlottesville for a Sunday match against the Cavaliers. The Seminoles took three of four sets when they hosted the Cavaliers Sept. 22, thanks in part to a dominant, 20-kill performance by senior right side hitter Milica Kubura.

Both Friday and Sunday’s matches will be played at Memorial Gymnasium.

— compiled by Lucas Fanning-Haag

Squash

What: Home opener matches

Where: McArthur Squash Center, Charlottesville

When: Women: 7 p.m. Friday and 12 p.m. Saturday; Men: 2 p.m. Saturday and 11 a.m., 1:30 p.m. and 4 p.m. Sunday

The Skinny: The Virginia men’s and women’s squash teams will play their first home matches as Division I programs this weekend at the McArthur Squash Center. 

The No. 13 ranked women have two big tests this weekend, as they will take on No. 5 Stanford Friday followed by No. 2 Pennsylvania Saturday. They will look to build upon their impressive 2-0 start to the season.

The No. 17 ranked men have an even busier weekend, as they will play No. 5 Pennsylvania following the women’s match Saturday. Sunday, the Cavaliers host three teams, as they are set to take on Gettysburg at 11 a.m., followed by Richmond at 1:30 p.m. and concluding the day against North Carolina at 4 p.m.

This will prove to be a busy opening weekend for the first six Division I matches at the McArthur Center. Both teams will get a good chance to gauge their own ability at as they take on elite competition.

— compiled by Charlie Lotane 

Women’s Soccer

What: No.12 Virginia (12-5-4, 6-2-3 ACC) vs. Pepperdine (15-2-3, 8-0-1 WCC), second round of NCAA Tournament 

Where: Drake Stadium, Los Angeles, Calif.

When: Friday, 8 p.m.

The Skinny: The Virginia women’s soccer team hopes to advance to the Round of 16 of the NCAA tournament for the second year in a row with a win against Pepperdine.

Virginia enters the match after picking up a 2-0 win in the first round against St. Francis. In the win for the Cavaliers, senior forward Veronica Latsko and freshman forward Taryn Torres were the goal scorers. Both Latsko and Torres lead the team with 17 points. Latsko, who was named to the All-ACC First Team, has seven goals and three assists. Torres, who also picked up honors from the conference by being selected for the ACC All-Freshman team and the All-ACC Third team, has eight goals and one assist. 

Although Latsko and Torres have shined offensively, the rest of the team has found it difficult to find the back of the net this season. Currently, Virginia averages 1.5 goals per game, which is the lowest average the Cavaliers have posted in the past five years. 

Meanwhile, the Waves are averaging 2.3 goals a game this season. Leading the way for Pepperdine is senior midfielder Bri Visalli with 14 goals and six assists. This season, Visalli became the first player from Pepperdine to be named the WCC Player of the Year. Freshman midfielder Joelle Anderson has been an additional offensive weapon for the Waves, with nine goals and six assists. Pepperdine also has a talented defensive backline with junior goalkeeper Brielle Preece and junior defender Hailey Harbison, who were named the WCC Goalkeeper of the Year and WCC Defensive Player of the Year, respectively. 

When Virginia and Pepperdine met last year, Virginia came away with a 2-0 win. In the 2015 season, the teams played to a double-overtime draw. The winner of the second round matchup will move on to the Round of 16 to face the Winner of the UCLA vs. Northwestern game on Sunday. 

— compiled by Emma D’Arpino 

Wrestling

What: Virginia (0-2, 0-0 ACC) vs. Gardner-Webb (0-3, 0-0 SOCON)

Where: Aquatic and Fitness Center, Charlottesville

When: Friday at 7 p.m.

The Skinny: After two losses to start off the season last weekend, Virginia will look to bounce back against Gardner-Webb in the first home match of the season Friday.

The Runnin’ Bulldogs have had similar struggles early in the season, losing to Eastern Michigan, No. 24 Northwestern and Old Dominion this past Sunday.

Look for Gardner-Webb junior standout Tyler Marinelli to pose problems for the Cavaliers in the 157-pound matchup, who is undefeated in duals and 8-1 overall.

The Cavaliers, with several solid individual performances on the mat against Kent State and Rutgers this past Sunday, will look for a more complete performance against Gardner-Webb to secure their first victory. Senior wrestler Andrew Atkinson and junior captain Will Schany led the way for Virginia Sunday, picking up wins in both of their duals.

The two teams will fight for their first victory Friday night in Charlottesville, with action beginning from the Aquatic and Fitness Center at 7 p.m.

— compiled by Zach Zamoff

Diving

What: No. 23 Virginia men (5-1), No. 16 Virginia women (6-0)

Where: Rutgers Aquatic Center, Piscataway, N.J.

When: Friday at 12 p.m., Saturday at 12 p.m., Sunday at 2 p.m. 

The Skinny: The Virginia dive team will compete this weekend in the Frank Elm Invitational at Rutgers in Piscataway, N.J.

The Cavaliers will not send any swimmers to compete in this three-day meet, which will run Friday through Sunday.

Virginia’s men’s divers freshman Tristan Gess and sophomore Bryce Shelton, did not compete in this past weekend’s home meet against Louisville and Princeton due to health issues, which left the team behind 32 points at the start of the meet.

In women’s three-meter diving, Virginia junior Kylie Towbin finished first against Louisville and Princeton, while her sophomore teammate Sydney Dusel finished second. Dusel also finished second to Louisville’s Molly Fears in women’s one-meter diving. 

Freshman Jocelyn Porter and senior Corey Johnson finished fifth and seventh in one-meter diving for the Cavaliers, respectively, while Johnson finished sixth and Porter finished eighth in three-meter diving.

The women’s swim and dive team defeated No. 10 Louisville (1-4) 224-146 and Princeton (2-2) 302-68, while the men’s team beat Princeton (1-2) 255-109, but lost to No. 17 Louisville 197.5-166.5.

Diving events will begin Friday at 12 p.m. in the Rutgers Aquatic Center.

— compiled by Colin Cantwell 

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