What: No. 23 Virginia (22-14, 7-11 ACC) vs. No. 9 Miami (29-9, 14-4 ACC)
Where: Davenport Field
When: Friday, 6 p.m.; Saturday, 1 p.m.; Sunday, 1 p.m.
The Skinny: From this point on, every conference series is the biggest three games of Virginia’s season. The Cavaliers — the team with the 10th-best ACC record — desperately needs wins to keep their ACC Tournament aspirations alive.
What awaits them this weekend is one of the conference’s juggernauts in Miami. Last year’s regular season champion sits securely atop the Coastal Division standings as the only team above .500.
Virginia will need to perform at the highest possible level to hang with the Hurricanes. Recent reinforcements will only make the Cavalier more competitive.
Nearly out of the blue, junior outfielder Joe McCarthy and freshman second basemen Jack Gerstenmaier triumphantly entered Virginia’s lineup on Wednesday’s game against William & Mary. Both were deemed healthy enough to play within 24 hours of the contest against the Tribe.
The self-branded “Rehab Wrecking Crew” went a combined five-for-seven in the Cavaliers’ 3-2 victory.
McCarthy, a 2014 All-American, combines with senior third baseman Kenny Towns to bolster an already formidable middle of the order, which should take some pressure off Virginia’s struggling weekend rotation.
Friday’s contest begins at 6 p.m. Saturday and Sunday’s games start at 1 p.m.
--Compiled by Matthew Wurzburger
What: Virginia Softball team (15-33, 4-14 ACC) vs. No. 1 Florida State (34-11, 14-3 ACC)
Where: JoAnne Graf Field, Tallahassee, FL
When: Saturday, 4:00 p.m., 6:00 p.m.; Sunday, 11:00 a.m.
The Skinny: The Virginia softball team will return to conference play as it travels to Tallahassee for a crucial series against ACC rivals Florida State that could potentially determine the fate of Virginia’s postseason ambitions.
Virginia currently sits ninth in the ACC standings, just shy of the top eight, which qualify for the ACC tournament. With only two conference series remaining in its regular season schedule, Virginia will need some ACC victories to slide into the conference tournament.
Regardless of whether or not the team makes the tournament, the relatively young Cavaliers have seen a good season, success that isn’t always reflected in the win-loss column. The Cavaliers have shattered the single-season home run record by 11, as they have mashed 51 longballs thus far this season. With what they’ve accomplished already, it’s safe to say that the future bodes well for the Cavaliers.
Now, however, the focus remains on finishing this season strong. The Cavaliers are coming off their doubleheader sweep of Longwood on Wednesday, in which the Cavaliers twice came from behind to overtake the Lancers and win in walk-off fashion. The event marked the end of Virginia’s successful twelve-game homestand, in which they finished 8-4, as well as their overall home schedule, ending their time at the Park with a 10-10 record.
Meanwhile, the Seminoles have had their last three matches cancelled due to inclement weather, including their series finale against fellow ACC member Louisville Monday. Florida State currently sits on top of the ACC standings with 14 conference wins, just above North Carolina’s 13. Having enjoyed a break from play since Sunday, the Seminoles should be well rested as they host Virginia this weekend and hope to secure a No. 1 seed in the ACC tournament.
First pitch is at 4:00 p.m. on Saturday.
--Compiled by Charles Siegel
What: No. 12 Virginia (16-5, 9-3 ACC) vs. No. 38 Virginia Tech (14-7, 6-6 ACC) and North Carolina State (10-11, 1-11 ACC)
When: Saturday, 11 a.m. and Sunday, 12 p.m.
Where: Snyder Tennis Center
The Skinny: The Cavaliers are out of reach for an ACC regular season title; however, they have won four of their last five matches entering this weekend. The only loss during that time period came in a road match at No. 1 North Carolina.
Saturday, the Hokies visit Charlottesville after blanking both of their opponents – North Carolina State and Syracuse – last weekend. Despite the win streak, Virginia Tech has struggled against ranked opponents in ACC play recently. They have lost three of their last four against such teams.
Virginia will follow up their match against Virginia Tech with another home match against NC State Sunday. Although the Wolfpack have had a weak ACC performance thus far, the team recorded its first ACC win this year against Pittsburgh two weeks ago. A week later, the team barely dropped a 4-3 match to Wake Forest.
The Virginia Tech match is scheduled to begin at 11 a.m. on Saturday and the NC State match will start at 12 p.m. on Sunday. After Sunday, the Cavaliers will have just two days off before heading down to Cary, North Carolina for the ACC Championships.
--Compiled by Daniel Fisher