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Mathis chooses Cavs over Yellow Jackets

After a lengthy courtship of J.C. Mathis, Pete Gillen and the Virginia coaching staff finally got their man when the 6-foot-8 New York recruit committed to the Cavaliers two weeks ago.

Mathis, a 220-pound forward from John F. Kennedy High School in the Bronx, announced at a May 9 press conference that he had chosen the Cavs over Georgia Tech. He averaged 17.2 points and 10.5 rebounds per game in his senior season, leading Kennedy to a 28-3 record and the Public School Athletic League title.

"We're very excited that J.C. Mathis has decided to join our basketball family," Virginia coach Pete Gillen said in a press release. "J.C. is a versatile frontcourt player. He will fit nicely in our style of play at Virginia."

Mathis joins a Cavalier front line that includes 6-7 bruiser Travis Watson, 6-8 Stephane Dondon and 6-11 Jason Rogers. Colin Ducharme, a 6-9 center, will graduate this weekend but has been working out with the team in the offseason and is expected to return for a fifth season of eligibility.

Virginia received a commitment in November from 6-5 wing guard Maurice Young, a native of Mitchellville, Md., who attended Bishop McNamara High School.

Rammed

The Cavalier men's tennis team (16-10) was ousted in the first round of the NCAA Championships May 13 in Blacksburg, falling to Virginia Commonwealth, 4-0.

Three of the singles matches were suspended, as the No. 19 Rams won the doubles point and the first three singles matches to build an insurmountable lead.

Cav juniors Brian Vahaly and Huntley Montgomery, who will compete in the doubles portion of the NCAA Individual Championships this week, lost at No. 1 doubles to the 19th-ranked duo of Daniel Andersson and Frank Moser. VCU secured the doubles point with a win at No. 3.

Virginia's Tommy Croker, Brian Hunter and Michael Duquette fell at the No. 4, No. 5 and No. 6 singles spots, respectively, sealing the Ram victory.

Vahaly, the nation's fourth-ranked singles player, had his match with No. 2 Andersson suspended. In the teams' regular-season meeting April 6 in Richmond, Andersson crushed Montgomery at No. 2 singles instead of facing Vahaly at No. 1. Vahaly could conceivably get another shot at the 6-2 Swede as they wend their way through the 64-player NCAA singles bracket this week.

Tigers on the prowl

The seventh-seeded Cavalier baseball team stood one loss away from the end of the season after dropping a 9-5 decision to second-seeded Clemson in the first round of the ACC Tournament Wednesday in Fort Mill, S.C.

Results from Virginia's Thursday game in the loser's bracket were not available at press time.

Stars and Stripes

The powers that be at USA Basketball evidently look favorably on the Virginia basketball teams, as three Cavaliers have been invited to try out for a pair of national teams.

Sophomore forward Chris Williams is one of 30 players aged 20 and under who will take part in tryouts for the 2000 USA Basketball World Championship for Young Men Qualifying Team this week. With six players on the list, including three from Duke, the ACC leads all conferences.

Freshman forward Schuye LaRue and sophomore guard Telisha Quarles were invited to the 2000 USA Basketball Women's Summer Development Camp / R. William Jones Cup Team Trials. The list of 45 collegians features only three other ACC players.

A different kind of 'Hoo

The Cav women's basketball team got some bad news as well, however, when associate head coach Shawn Campbell left the program May 1 to assume a similar post at Temple.

Newly installed Owl coach Dawn Staley, a former Virginia superstar, plucked Campbell from Charlottesville less than two weeks after Cavalier coach Debbie Ryan promoted him from assistant coach.

Top dogs

Swimmer Ed Moses and soccer player Angela Hucles were recognized as Virginia's top male and female athletes of the year at the annual Virginia athletic awards dinner May 3.

Hucles also received a pair of awards for her service to the University community. See below for a full list of award recipients.

Head above water

Moses also received the most prized laurel of the ACC swimming community, bagging the conference men's MVP award May 10. Virginia freshman Cara Lane, Moses' fellow 2000 NCAA title-winner, captured the women's MVP award.

In addition, Mirjana Bosevska won the women's Rookie of the Year award and Mark Bernardino was named men's Coach of the Year, as the Cavaliers took four of the six conference awards.

Four Horsemen

Offensive tackle Brad Barnes, middle linebacker Yubrenal Isabelle, fullback Patrick Washington and outside linebacker Byron Thweatt were elected by their peers on the Virginia football team May 5 as captains for the fall season.

The golden ones

Virginia's young throwers continued their season-long success at the JMU Invitational May 13, as four Cavaliers won field events. Freshman Eliese Mitchell extended her school record in the hammer throw with a toss of 54.24 meters.

Junior Hillary Wilson won the discus competition and freshman Inge Jorgensen and sophomore Brian Kollar swept the javelin.

Road to glory

The Cavalier women's lacrosse and men's tennis teams had their postseason runs aborted by in-state foes, but NCAA action still lies ahead for the men's lacrosse, golf and rowing teams.

The second-seeded men's lacrosse team (12-1) will open its national title defense tomorrow at Johns Hopkins against seventh-seeded Duke, which crushed Hobart in the first round, 13-1.

Led by senior James Driscoll, who recently captured his third career All-ACC nod, the golf team is competing in a 27-team field at the NCAA East Regionals.

The rowers, who excelled at the Eastern Sprints in New Jersey last weekend, will return to the Garden State for NCAAs Friday.

Going out with a bang

The Virginia softball team did not receive an NCAA bid but did manage to storm all the way to the finals of the ACC Tournament before succumbing to No. 24 Florida State.

Led by shortstop Ruby Rojas, the freshly-crowned ACC Rookie of the Year, and All-Conference selection Kristen Dennis, the Cavs (27-38) knocked off top-seeded North Carolina on their way to the tourney finals.

1999-2000 VIRGINIA ATHLETIC AWARDS

Presented May 3, 2000 at University Hall

Top male athlete:

Ed Moses, men's swimming

Top female athlete:

Angela Hucles, women's soccer

ACC scholar-athlete awards:

Amy Fromal, women's lacrosse

Austin Ramirez, men's swimming

Gus Tebell Memorial Award (senior male athlete with highest scholastic average in his four years at the University):

Austin Ramirez, men's swimming

Jettie Hill Memorial Award (senior female athlete with highest scholastic average in her four years at the University):

Amy Peay, softball

Craig Fielder Award (overcoming adversity):

Ashley Widger, women's lacrosse

Ralph Sampson Scholarship Award:

Brian Vahaly, men's tennis

Virginia Athletic Department's Student-Athlete Scholarship Award:

Jill Hansen, women's lacrosse

Student-Athlete Mentor awards:

Emily Egge, rowing

Whitney Bilger, volleyball

Ernest H. Ern Memorial Award (outstanding contributions to University student life):

Angela Hucles, women's soccer

ACC Top VI Awards (service to University and Charlottesville communities):

Jason Bernd, wrestling

Doak Finch, men's swimming

Angela Hucles, women's soccer

Thomas Jones, football

Lindsay Larsen, cross country

Kelly McCabe, softball

Bus Male Service Award (service to Virginia athletics):

Gary Fewell, shop supervisor, Virginia athletic facilities

Bob Goodman Memorial Award (service to Virginia athletics as a team manager)

Jenny Holsinger, team manager, men's lacrosse

Jim Abbott Memorial Award (assistant trainer most dedicated to student-athletes)

Ashley Andrew, assistant trainer

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