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Weekend Previews: April 25-27

"The Skinny" on weekend matchups for men's lacrosse, baseball, women's rowing, and softball

Men’s Lacrosse

What: No. 8 Virginia (9-5, 1-4 ACC) vs. No. 6 North Carolina (10-3, 2-3 ACC)
Where: Chester, Pennsylvania
When: Saturday, 7:30 p.m.

After not qualifying for the regular ACC Tournament when they both failed to become one of the top four teams in the conference during the regular season, Virginia and North Carolina will play in the ACC Showcase this weekend as part of the ACC Tournament.

North Carolina had four more wins than Notre Dame, now the No. 4 seed in the tournament, but both teams had the same conference record. The tiebreaker was a head-to-head matchup March 1, which Notre Dame won 11-10.

The Cavaliers and Tar Heels previously faced each other earlier this month in Chapel Hill, with Virginia falling 11-10 in the final minutes, its fourth straight loss in the series. The Cavaliers went on to lose to Duke 17-15 the following weekend, but won on senior night against Bellarmine this past weekend.

On Wednesday, Virginia senior attackman Mark Cockerton was named All-ACC for the second time in his career. Cockerton is fourth in the nation in goals scored with 41 and second in the ACC in goals per game, averaging 2.93 per game.

Junior attackman Jimmy Bitter, junior midfielder Chad Tutton, junior attackman Joey Sankey and senior midfielder Ryan Creighton represent the Tar Heels on the all-conference squad. The honor is Sankey’s second, but first for the others. Sankey is North Carolina’s leading offensive man, leading the team in goals, assists and points.

—compiled by Chanhong Luu


What: No. 1 Virginia (35-7, 16-5 ACC) at No. 4 Florida State (32-9, 16-5 ACC)
Where: Tallahassee, Florida
When: Friday, 6 p.m.; Saturday, 6 p.m.; Sunday, 1 p.m.

This weekend, two of the most talented ball clubs in college baseball will collide at Mike Martin Field inside Dick Howser Stadium. The Cavaliers and Seminoles count seven Baseball America Preseason All-Americans among their combined rosters — including the reigning Heisman trophy winner in sophomore closer Jameis Winston.

The Florida State lineup is highly productive, with a .283 batting average and an ACC-best .405 on-base percentage. The Seminoles easily top the conference in runs scored (294), walks (243) and RBIs (274). Coach Mike Martin’s squad runs conservatively but certainly knows how to steal a base, with a 79.5 percent success rate in 44 attempts.

Sophomore left fielder DJ Stewart and junior first baseman John Nogowski lead the Seminole bats. Stewart’s .364 batting average and .560 slugging percentage pace the ACC, and Nogowski’s 38 RBIs trail only Duke redshirt junior first baseman Chris Marconcini’s 39.

Stewart broke the Florida State record for consecutive games reaching base in last Friday’s 7-1 win against Wake Forest. The streak currently stands at 61 games.

The Friday-night opener will feature a pair of standout starting pitchers: Florida State will turn to junior right-hander Luke Weaver, while Virginia will counter with sophomore left-hander Nathan Kirby. Both hurlers are in the ACC’s top-10 in wins, strikeouts and innings pitched. Weaver is coming off a complete game three-hitter, Kirby a 12-strikeout quality start.

Virginia coach Brian O’Connor will give the ball to sophomore right-hander Josh Sborz for Saturday’s tilt and sophomore left-hander Brandon Waddell for the Sunday finale.

—compiled by Matthew Morris

Women’s Rowing

What: No. 5 Virginia vs. Michigan State, No. 17 Syracuse
Where: Lake Monticello, Virginia
When: Saturday, 9 a.m. and 1 p.m.

Coming off the ACC/Big Ten Challenge, the Virginia rowing team plays host to the Spartans and Orange this weekend in the last competition before the ACC Championships in mid-May.

In their last outing, the Cavaliers posted a solid performance against No. 7 Michigan and No. 3 Ohio State on Belleville Lake, picking up nine wins in 12 races. But the Virginia Varsity Eight crew lost to both the Wolverines and Buckeyes by 1.5 and 4.6 seconds, respectively, likely a major factor in the team’s drop from 4th to 5th in the rankings.

The Cavaliers will have a chance to regain some momentum Saturday against Michigan State and Syracuse. The two teams met at last weekend’s Clemson Invitational, braving extremely windy conditions to get out on the water. At the race, the Spartans’ Varsity Eight beat out the Orange by 5.7 seconds for a second place finish behind No. 14 Washington State.

—compiled by Peter Nance

What: Virginia (8-40, 1-22 ACC) vs. Boston College (25-19, 9-11 ACC)
When: Saturday, 1 p.m. and 3 p.m.; Sunday 12 p.m.
Where: Shea Softball Field; Boston, Mass.

Virginia softball puts an end to its long season with a three-game road series with Boston College. The Cavaliers are riding the momentum of a two-game sweep of Liberty Wednesday.

Sophomore pitcher Aimee Chapdelaine has found her form in the closing week. In two games against James Madison and the Flames, Chapdelaine has allowed only eight runs in 25 innings, and her earned run average has dropped to around seven — nearly a point better than earlier in the season.

The Cavalier bats also seem to have figured things out. The team exploded for 13 runs in only five innings in the series finale with Liberty.

Freshman third baseman Lindsay Mayer paced Virginia with five runs batted in — including a three-run game-ending home run.

The Eagles have enjoyed a solid 2014 campaign — taking two of three against a very strong North Carolina State team.

A solid pitching staff is one key to Boston College’s success. Led by graduate student Nicole D’Argento, the staff earned run average rests at 3.21.

—compiled by Matthew Wurzburger


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