​Weekend Previews: Oct. 14-16

“The Skinny” on weekend action for cross country, volleyball and golf

Day three of the 2016 NCAA Women's Golf Championships at Eugene Country Club in Eugene, Oregon on May 21, 2016 (Eric Evans Photography) Gregory Scott and Gregory Scott | Cavalier Daily

Men’s Cross Country

What: Penn State National Open

Where: State College, Pa.

When: Friday, 12:15 p.m.

The Skinny: The No. 19 Virginia men’s cross country team is traveling to Penn State Friday to race against various schools from across the country.

The Cavaliers head to Pennsylvania coming off a third place finish at the Virginia/Panorama Farms Invitational, where they only came behind two of the nation’s top teams, No. 2 Syracuse and No. 3 BYU.

Once again, the Cavaliers will race against very difficult competition, with teams such as No. 9 Oklahoma State and No. 10 Mississippi in the line-up for Friday’s meet.

Virginia, led by sophomore Brent Demarest and seniors Zach Herriott and Mike Marsella, is looking for an especially strong performance in their last meet before the ACC Championships, which will take place next week in Cary, N.C.

Women’s Cross Country

What: Pre-National Invitational

Where: Terre Haute, Ind.

When: Saturday, 11 a.m.

The Skinny: In its last meet before the ACC Championships, the No. 22 Virginia women’s cross country team will head to Indiana for a Pre-National Invitational.

Led by sophomore Emily Mulhern, who received All-ACC accolades last year, the Cavaliers recorded a fourth place finish in their most recent meet, the Virginia/Panorama Farms Invitational. The only teams to finish ahead of the Cavaliers in Earlysville, Va. a few weeks ago were BYU, Southern Methodist and Syracuse, all of whom are ranked in the top-25 in the country.

The experience against elite opponents will be useful for Virginia as it plans for Saturday’s race against some of the top teams in the country, including No. 2 Colorado and No. 7 Stanford,

— compiled by Emma D’Arpino

Women’s Volleyball

What: Virginia (4-14, 1-5 ACC) vs. Wake Forest (7-11, 3-4 ACC) and Duke (12-5, 6-1 ACC)

Where: Winston-Salem and Durham, N.C.

When: Friday and Saturday

The Skinny: For the first time in a while, the Virginia volleyball team (4-14, 1-5 ACC) has the ability to get a win streak going. An impressive win over Clemson last Saturday has the Cavaliers excited for a crack at two more ACC opponents this weekend so they can begin to make a statement in their conference. After weeks of building and tweaking their game, the team looks to build off some well-deserved momentum.

The Cavaliers will hit the road for two matches in North Carolina this weekend against familiar foes. The team first faces Wake Forest on Friday night in Winston-Salem, after which they will travel to Durham to take on Duke.

The Demon Deacons (7-11, 3-4 ACC) take on Virginia amid their six game homestand, in which they have gone 1-2 thus far. Wake Forest has been a mixed bag this season, matching wins with losses rather than going through the normal hot and cold streaks. The Demon Deacons defeated Virginia in Charlottesville in late September.The Blue Devils (12-5, 6-1 ACC), meanwhile, have been red-hot as of late, winning four ACC games in a row to put them near the top of the conference ranking. Duke also took down the Cavaliers in late September.

Virginia will look to make the best out of a tough road trip as they continue to approve. First serve in Winston-Salem Friday will be at 7:30.

— compiled by Alec Dougherty

Women’s Golf

What: Ruth’s Chris Tar Heel Invitational

Where: Chapel Hill, N.C.

When: Saturday-Monday

The Skinny: The Virginia women’s golf team will compete this weekend in the Ruth’s Chris Tar Heel Invitational tournament. The three-day tournament begins on Friday morning and will be played at the Finley Golf Course in Chapel Hill, N.C.

The Cavaliers will again face off against a nationally elite level of competition in this tournament. The 17-team tournament includes in its playing field Alabama, who is ranked No. 1 in the country according to golfstat.com, and North Carolina, who at No. 12 is ranked as the ACC’s second best team.

Last year, Virginia competed in the Tar Heel Invitational and finished ninth out of 18 teams.

The players to watch for on the Cavaliers are the sophomore duo of Anna Redding and Morgan Gonzales. Redding currently holds the team’s best stroke average this season, averaging 71.5 strokes per round. Gonzales played strongly in the Tar Heel Invitational last season as a freshman, finishing with a total score of 224 that was second best on the team and tied for 29th overall out of 96 golfers.

Men’s Golf

What: Bank of Tennessee Intercollegiate

Where: Johnson City, Tenn.

When: Friday-Sunday

The Skinny: The No. 7 Virginia men’s golf team will compete this weekend in the Bank of Tennessee Intercollegiate tournament. The three-day tournament will be played on the Blackthorn Club course in Johnson City, Tenn.

The Cavaliers, who rose up 14 spots in the GCAA Coaches poll following their impressive season opening victory in the Carpet Capital Collegiate, enter the tournament as the highest ranked team. However, the 13 team tournament features some strong opponents, including last year’s Bank of Tennessee Intercollegiate champion Penn State.

Virginia competed in the Bank of Tennessee Intercollegiate last year and finished in fourth place out of 15 teams.

Virginia will look to its senior captain Derek Bard to lead the team. Bard enters the tournament with the best stroke average for the Cavaliers this season, shooting an average round score of 70.17.

Another player to watch for is junior Danny Walker. Walker was the team’s top performer at the Bank of Tennessee Intercollegiate last year, finishing tied for fourth overall individually out of 84 golfers.

Virginia will tee off at 9:20 a.m. Friday.

— compiled by Jack Gallagher

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