By graduating 71.4 percent of its freshman class of 1994-95, the Virginia football program received commendation from the American Football Coaches Association for its academic achievement. Though Syracuse, which graduated 100 percent of its players, grabbed the AFCA's Academic Achievement Award, Virginia was given honorable mention recognition for graduating 70-percent or better of its class. It was the 17th consecutive year the program was honored.
Three other ACC schools joined Virginia as honorable mentions: Duke, Clemson and Wake Forest. Being recognized for academics isn't necessarily a boon to a program, though: only two of the top 10 teams in the final 1999 AP poll (Wisconsin and Marshall) and only six of the AP's top 25 graduated 70 percent or more of their players.
Tennis rakes in rankings
Though both Virginia tennis teams ended their seasons in defeat, they still managed high rankings in the final national and regional polls. The women's team (13-10), which lost in the ACC quarterfinals, finished fourth in the east region and 54th in the nation in its final rankings. Their counterparts on the men's side did slightly better nationally, ranked 40th, and finished fifth in ITA Region II.
The men ended the year with their ninth NCAA Tournament appearance, but lost in the first round to Virginia Commonwealth. Brian Vahaly was named an All-American and a member of the six-man USA Tennis Collegiate Team after advancing to the NCAA quarterfinals in singles.
Baseball aims for fences
What a finish the Virginia baseball team had. Sure, they finished the regular season with a subpar 24-29-1 record and sure, they were seeded seventh in the ACC Tournament, but the team's performance there put a sweet end on an up-and-down season.
Now, after the Cavs surged all the way to the semifinals of the conference tournament - eliminating defending champion Wake Forest along the way, the postseason honors are rolling in. First baseman/catcher Jon Benick, who led the club in RBIs, was named first-team All-ACC, while shortstop/pitcher Tim LaVigne and second baseman Robbie Marvin were named to the second team.
In their final games as Cavaliers - a 12-5 loss to Clemson in the semis - LaVigne and Marvin combined to go 6-for-11. However, Virginia pitchers surrendered six extra-base hits to the Tigers, who lost to Georgia Tech for the conference championship.
Swimmer named to Olympic Team
At least one former Virginia swimmer will participate in the 2000 Sydney Olympics. Shamek Pietucha, a 1999 grad, qualified for Canada's team in the 200-meter butterfly with a time of 1:59.79 at the Canadian Olympic Trials.
Ed Moses, the United States' top breaststroker, will compete in the U.S. Olympic Trials in mid-August, five months after he set a pair of world records at NCAAs.
Throwers star at NCAAs
Two Virginia track and field athletes ended their seasons at the NCAA Championships. Brian Kollar was second in the men's javelin with a throw of 236-feet, 10-inches, only 17 inches behind the national champion. Inge Jorgensen finished 19th in the women's javelin.