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Weekend Previews: March 27-29

“The Skinny” on weekend matchups for track and field, baseball, men’s lacrosse, softball, women’s lacrosse, men’s golf, women’s tennis and men’s tennis

<p>Senior attacker Casey Bocklet and the No. 5 Virginia women's lacrosse team battle No. 2 Boston College Saturday in Newton, Massachusetts. </p>

Senior attacker Casey Bocklet and the No. 5 Virginia women's lacrosse team battle No. 2 Boston College Saturday in Newton, Massachusetts. 

A more extensive preview for men’s swimming and diving ran in Thursday’s edition of The Cavalier Daily and is also available online.

Outdoor Track and Field

What: Fred Hardy Invitational

Where: Richmond, Virginia

When: Friday, 12 p.m.; Saturday, 11 a.m.

The Skinny: Spring is here. The outdoor track season is in full swing. Saturday, Cavalier athletes embraced their first home meet of 2015 — the Virginia Cup. They went on to win 20 of 36 track and field events, everything from javelin to the 3000 meter.

The women’s team claimed dual-meet victories over Norfolk State (120-27), James Madison (119-37), Radford (116-40) and Liberty (93-69). Fresh out of indoor competition, junior Peyton Chaney set the tone Saturday. She finished first in the 200-meter dash and also won the 100 meter, beating her senior teammate Jordan Lavender by .09 seconds. Look for Chaney and Lavender to both lead the charge this weekend.

A short-handed men’s team split its two dual-meets, out-matching Norfolk State but falling to Liberty. Having competed at the NCAA Indoor Championships a week before, senior Payton Hazzard, sophomores Nathan Kiley, Mike Marsella, Henry Wynne and Jordan Young, and redshirt-freshman Filip Mihaljevic sat out for the Virginia Cup.

Expect these athletes to make an immediate impact on the men’s team when they return to action, either this weekend in Richmond, Virginia or next weekend in Stanford, California.

—compiled by Grant Gossage


What: No. 12 Virginia (15-8, 3-6 ACC) vs. Notre Dame (16-7, 3-6 ACC)

Where: Notre Dame, Indiana

When: Saturday, 1:05 p.m.; Saturday, 4:35 p.m.; Sunday, 1:05 p.m.

The Skinny: No. 12 Virginia baseball visits Frank Eck Stadium for a weekend series against Notre Dame.

Friday’s opener marks the first time the two teams will meet as conference rivals. Overall, it marks the sixth meeting with the Fighting Irish (16-7, 3-6 ACC), who hold a 3-2 series edge.

Thus far, the 2015 season has been a head-scratcher for coach Brian O’Connor. The play of his team can change drastically on a day-to-day basis.

The Cavaliers (15-8, 3-6 ACC) last two games exemplified this trend. Georgetown — a team with a losing record — shut down the Virginia bats Tuesday and won 1-0. Only 24 hours later, the Cavaliers hung 10 runs and a season-high 15 hits on Liberty — a 2014 regional qualifier.

Senior third baseman Kenny Towns and sophomore catcher Matt Thaiss have been consistent in an otherwise up-and-down season. Thaiss leads the team in batting average, home runs, on-base percentage and slugging percentage. Towns is second in batting average and has driven in two more runners than Thaiss.

Virginia’s pitching staff is falling well short of 2014’s excellence, and an inability to find the strike zone has been the root cause. Last season, Cavalier pitchers walked 200 batters in 626 innings. This year, the staff has issued 101 free passes in only 213.1 innings of work. The increased walks have inflamed the team ERA to 3.08 — compared to 2.23 last season.

—compiled by Matthew Wurzburger

Men’s Lacrosse

What: No. 8 Virginia (7-2, 0-2 ACC) vs. Richmond (6-3, 2-0 Southern Conference)

Where: Klöckner Stadium

When: Saturday, 1 p.m.

The Skinny: After defeating Virginia Military Institute 17-3 Tuesday night, Virginia will face two teams from the Commonwealth of Virginia for the first time since 1986 when it hosts Richmond Saturday.

The Cavaliers are coming off a dominating performance against the Keydets, having scored their 17 goals unanswered en route to victory. Senior attackman Owen Van Arsdale, junior midfielder Greg Coholan and freshman attackman Mike D’Amario each scored a hat trick for Virginia.

But as Virginia learned last season, its next in-state opponent is no pushover.

In the Richmond men’s lacrosse team’s inaugural game last season competing as a Division I sport, the Spiders gave Virginia all it could handle in Richmond, Virginia. The Cavaliers needed all 60 minutes to secure the 13-12 victory for coach Dom Starsia’s 350th career win.

The Spiders, who finished 6-11 a year ago, have proven to be even more competitive this season. The Richmond offense is averaging 12.89 goals per game, good for 11th best in the country. Meanwhile, sophomore goalie Benny Pugh and the Spider defense are sixth nationally in scoring defense, allowing just 7.44 goals per game.

Richmond’s lone losses this season came against No. 4 North Carolina, University of Maryland, Baltimore County and No. 12 Marquette in a game decided in overtime.

Sophomore attackman Mitch Goldberg, who led the Spiders in scoring last season against Virginia with three goals and two assists, is currently second on the team in points with 18 goals and seven assists on the year.

—compiled by Robert Elder


What: Virginia (7-26, 1-8 ACC) vs. North Carolina (21-9, 6-2 ACC)

Where: Anderson Stadium, Chapel Hill, North Carolina

When: Saturday, 1 p.m. and 3 p.m.; Sunday, 1 p.m.

The Skinny: The Cavaliers will travel to Chapel Hill this weekend as they mark their return to ACC play with a three-game series against North Carolina.

After a hiatus from conference competition since the March 15 conclusion of their series against Louisville, the Cavaliers are hoping to resume ACC play with a few victories and to bolster their postseason resume in the process.

Last season, the Tar Heels swept aside Virginia in a three-game series. North Carolina’s pitching muffled the Cavaliers’ hitting, as Virginia mustered just one run over the course of the three games while being shut out twice.

However, Virginia is looking to exhibit a very different offensive team this time around. Although recently somewhat inconsistent, the Cavaliers have demonstrated the punch that they can pack with the bats. As they take on the Tar Heels, Virginia will look to again put up big numbers and consistently produce its swing.

Virginia’s last action came Wednesday in a midweek game against George Washington. The Colonials (14-11, 0-2 A-10) capitalized on defensive errors and leadoff walks to score four runs in the third and lead 5-0 entering the sixth. Virginia had chances to come back in the sixth and seventh innings with runners in scoring position, but could not complete the comeback as it left two on base to end the game.

The Tar Heels will be anxiously seeking a victory after back-to-back losses against Louisville and a sweep at the hands of James Madison.

After making a couple gains last weekend in the U.Va. Home Tournament, the Cavaliers will look to get back on track with a few victories against North Carolina.

—compiled by Chuck Siegel

Women’s Lacrosse

What: No. 5 Virginia (7-4, 1-2 ACC) vs. No. 2 Boston College (10-0, 4-0 ACC)

Where: Newton, Massachusetts

When: Saturday, 1 p.m.

The Skinny: The Virginia women’s lacrosse team enters its top-five showdown against Boston College having won four consecutive games after starting the season 3-4. Meanwhile, Boston College is off to its best start in program history with five wins against top-25 teams.

The Cavaliers are no strangers to undefeated conference rivals, having ended Duke’s undefeated run just last Saturday for their fifth win against a ranked opponent.

Both teams are coming off midweek wins. Virginia senior attacker Casey Bocklet shined again Wednesday after being named National Player of the Week for her performance against Duke, scoring a career and team-high eight points in a 16-6 win against William & Mary. On the other side, Boston College senior attacker Covie Stanwick, sister of former Virginia men’s lacrosse star Steele Stanwick, scored four points in her team’s Wednesday win against Colorado to become the all-time points leader at Boston College.

Stanwick leads the ACC in points per game with 4.75 and for the third straight year was named to the Tewaaraton Award watch list along with teammate senior midfielder Mikaela Rix. Rix currently leads the team in goals while Stanwick leads the team in points.

Stanwick, Rix, sophomore goalkeeper Zoe Ochoa, sophomore midfielder Tess Chandler and junior midfielder Caroline Margolis have all been named conference player of the week this season for the Golden Eagles.

As a team, Boston College leads the conference in shot percentage, making 51.8 percent of its attempts. During their four-game win streak, the Cavaliers have also made 50 percent of their shots. The Golden Eagles commit the least fouls in the conference, 4.75 fewer than the team with the next-fewest fouls.

—compiled by Chanhong Luu

Men’s Golf

What: Hootie at Bulls Bay Intercollegiate

Where: Charleston, South Carolina

When: Sunday-Tuesday, all day

The Skinny: After a fifth-place finish at the Seminole Intercollegiate earlier this month, the Virginia men’s golf team heads to Charleston, South Carolina this weekend for the Hootie at Bulls Bay Intercollegiate.

The No. 26 Cavaliers placed fourth at the 15-team, three-day event in 2014 after leading South Carolina, Auburn and College of Charleston by a stroke entering the Tuesday finale. Virginia shot 8-under 280 to finish the tournament at 6-under 858, but the Tigers fired a blistering final-round 15-under 273 to seize the title.

No. 4 Auburn and No. 7 South Carolina headline the 2015 field, while No. 21 Wake Forest and No. 25 New Mexico round out the top-25 competitors. In addition to Virginia, No. 41 Duke and No. 46 NC State rank in the top 50 nationally.

Charleston Southern, College of Charleston, Georgia Regents, Coastal Carolina, Kentucky, Missouri, Winthrop and Wisconsin will also take their clubs to Bulls Bay Golf Club this weekend. Last year, Wildcats then-senior Ben Stow captured medalist honors after shooting 7-under 209 and defeating Auburn then-senior Niclas Carlsson in a playoff.

Sophomore Derek Bard, senior All-American Denny McCarthy, freshman Danny Walker and senior Ji Soo Park have all recorded top-10 finishes for Virginia this spring.

—compiled by Matthew Morris

Women’s Tennis

What: No. 8 Virginia (12-3, 5-1 ACC) vs. No. 16 Miami (10-3, 6-0 ACC); vs. Wake Forest (12-7, 2-4 ACC)

Where: Snyder Tennis Center

When: Friday, 3 p.m.; Sunday, 11 a.m.

The Skinny: The No. 8 Virginia women’s tennis team returns home for the first time since March 8 this weekend with two ACC home matches.

The Cavaliers (12-3, 5-1 ACC) host No. 16 Miami Friday and Wake Forest Sunday. Virginia will look to bounce back after falling to Duke, 4-3, last Sunday; however, the team has still won seven of its last eight matches.

Entering the weekend, Miami (10-3, 6-0 ACC) has won seven of its last eight matches as well. The Hurricanes’ only loss in that span came to No. 6 Baylor, a team that beat Virginia, 6-1, in mid-January. All-time, the Cavaliers have faced Miami on 19 occasions, only winning five of those matches.

Wake Forest (12-7, 2-4 ACC), on the other hand, has struggled this season since entering conference play. The Demon Deacons have lost four of their last seven and will face Georgia Tech Friday before traveling to Charlottesville for Sunday’s match.

Sunday’s match, which will take place at the Snyder Tennis Center, will be Cavman’s Crew Day. There will be a face painter and balloon artist present. Additionally, the team will hold a free post-match youth clinic.

Friday’s match starts at 3 p.m. at the Snyder Tennis Center, while Sunday’s match begins at 11 a.m.

—compiled by Daniel Fisher

Men’s Tennis

What: No. 8 Virginia (12-3, 5-0 ACC) vs. No. 14 North Carolina (14-6, 3-1 ACC); vs. No. 4 Duke (16-2, 3-1 ACC)

Where: Snyder Tennis Center

When: Friday, 3 p.m.; Sunday, 2 p.m.

The Skinny: There’s a lot riding on this weekend for the eighth-ranked Virginia Cavaliers men’s tennis team. Riding a historic 129-match ACC winning streak, the Cavaliers (12-3, 5-0 ACC) now face one of their toughest tests in their quest for yet another ACC championship.

Friday, they host the 14th-ranked North Carolina Tar Heels (14-6, 3-1 ACC), who have won five of their last six and are currently fourth in the incredibly competitive ACC. While the Cavaliers are first in the conference and have opened ACC play with five straight wins, they’ve struggled against top-20 ranked teams, losing three of five. However, at the ITA National Team Indoors in Chicago earlier this season, Virginia blanked North Carolina, 4-0.

Sunday, the fourth-ranked Duke Blue Devils (16-2, 3-1 ACC) come to Charlottesville riding a two-match win streak, having secured wins over 38th-ranked NC State and 12th-ranked Wake Forest over the past two weeks.

Virginia’s matchups this weekend are the first two of a six-match homestand as the Cavaliers look to not only carry on their early ACC success, but continue the unprecedented streak the men’s tennis program has secured over the last decade.

Friday’s match starts at 3 p.m. and Sunday’s at 2 p.m., with both matches streamed live on

—compiled by Jacob Hochberger


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