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Weekend Previews: April 11-13

"The Skinny" on weekend matchups for baseball, women's tennis and softball

An extensive preview for Virginia “men’s tennis”: this weekend ran in Thursday’s edition of The Cavalier Daily and remains available online.


What: No. 2 Virginia (28-5, 12-3 ACC) vs. No. 14 Clemson (20-12, 9-5 ACC)
Where: Davenport Field
When: Friday, 6 p.m.; Saturday, 2:30 p.m.; Sunday, 1 p.m.

The Skinny: Virginia baseball fans are in for a treat this weekend, as the Coastal Division-leading Cavaliers match up against the talented Clemson Tigers club for a home ACC series. Virginia owns an 18-1 record at Davenport Field and has not lost a weekend series this year. As the Cavaliers’ highest-ranked opponent of the season, Clemson will likely put both of those marks to the test.

The Tiger lineup is deep, with six regular starters hitting better than .300 and another, junior catcher Garrett Boulware, sliding in at .298. Senior second baseman Steve Wilkerson is top on the team and fourth in the ACC in batting average at .347, while junior center fielder and leadoff man Tyler Slaton shares the conference lead in hits at 45. Sophomore right fielder Steven Duggar bats .320 and trails only Maryland redshirt sophomore center fielder Charlie White among ACC base stealers.

Clemson won six games in a row from March 25 to April 5, starting with a 16-4 Tuesday night romp at Georgia and culminating in a 6-1 win against NC State in the Saturday opener of a three-game home series. The Tigers, however, have lost their last three games while scoring only seven runs, the most recent defeat coming against Georgia Tuesday night. Clemson has struggled against top-five competition this year, posting a combined 1-5 record against No. 1 Florida State and No. 4 South Carolina.

Virginia will likely hand the ball to rising star and sophomore left-hander Nathan Kirby for the Friday night opener. Kirby turned in an 18-strikeout no-hitter last Friday night against Pittsburgh, earning National Player of the Week honors from Collegiate Baseball. Fellow sophomore southpaw Brandon Waddell, who shut out the Panthers for eight innings in Sunday’s finale, will likely start Sunday once more.

—compiled by Matthew Morris

Women’s Tennis

What: No. 4 Virginia (15-4, 9-1 ACC) at NC State (7-10, 1-9 ACC); at No. 66 Wake Forest (11-9, 3-8 ACC)
Where: Raleigh, N.C. ; Winston-Salem, N.C.
When: Saturday, 12 p.m.; Sunday, 12 p.m.

The Skinny: After sweeping matches against No. 15 Clemson and No. 32 Georgia Tech last weekend, the Virginia women’s tennis team travels to North Carolina to take on NC State and Wake Forest. Third-ranked sophomore Julia Elbaba earned her second ACC Player of the Week title of the season following her 2-0 singles performance last week.

The Wolfpack went 0-2 during the weekend, falling to No. 1 Duke and No. 44 Boston College. In addition to a seven-game losing streak, NC State is still searching for its second conference win of the season. Senior Joelle Kissell plays top court for the Wolfpack, boasting a notable victory against then-No. 77 Virginia Tech sophomore Ilinca Stoica.

Before facing Virginia Sunday, the Demon Deacons will welcome Maryland Saturday. Wake Forest has struggled in conference play, recently dropping a 5-2 match to Boston College last Friday. Freshman Luisa Fernandez has a pair of notable third-set tie-breaking wins, including a 6-4, 5-7, 1-0 (10-7) victory against then-No. 92 Duke Alyssa Smith.

—compiled by Kristen Cauley


What: Virginia (6-32, 1-16 ACC) vs. Virginia Tech (24-16, 13-6 ACC)
Where: Tech Softball Park, Blacksburg, Va.
When: Saturday, 12 p.m., 2 p.m.; Sunday, 1 p.m.

The Skinny: Virginia travels southward to Blacksburg for a weekend series against bitter rival Virginia Tech. The Hokies are riding a five-game winning streak into the matchup, and the Cavaliers broke an 11-game losing streak Wednesday against Delaware State. Virginia is seeking to end its 13-game conference losing streak that is still intact this weekend.

The Cavaliers notched their fifth and sixth wins of the season Wednesday against the Hornets. Sophomore pitcher Aimee Chapdelaine found her form, throwing two complete game shutouts, while freshman shortstop Madison Labshere went on a tear in the first game of the series, swatting two home runs and driving in three runs.

A potent Virginia Tech offense will strive to put runs on the board against Chapdelaine. Junior second baseman Kylie McGoldrick and senior outfielder Amanda Ake share the team lead with 8 home runs. Additionally, McGoldrick leads the Hokies with a .348 batting average — 48 points above Virginia’s leading hitter in senior second baseman Marcy Bowdren.

Virginia Tech has two options at starting pitcher — sophomores Maggie Tyler and Kelly Heinz. Tyler is 11-5 this year and boasts a 3.18 earned run average. Heinz is 13-11 with a 3.82 earned run average.

—compiled by Matthew Wurzburger


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