The Cavalier Daily
Serving the University Community Since 1890

ROUNDTABLE: Assessing the homestretch of the spring semester for Virginia sports

Writers from The Cavalier Daily’s sports desk give their analyses on the Cavaliers’ championship aspirations and shining student-athletes

<p>Freshman attackman McCabe Millon will be a key player for Virginia men's lacrosse in the postseason.</p>

Freshman attackman McCabe Millon will be a key player for Virginia men's lacrosse in the postseason.

As the spring semester enters its final few weeks, several Virginia sports teams look poised to bring conference and national glory back to Charlottesville. With so much for Cavaliers fans to be excited about and postseason play right around the corner, three sports staff writers break down the teams, players and games to keep an eye on.

Which Virginia sports team has the best chance to win a national title this spring?

Michael Liebermann, Senior Associate: 

Here comes the men’s lacrosse team — just the way they planned it. The No. 2 Cavaliers have cruised through most of their schedule, vanquishing ranked opponents left and right, looking every bit the powerhouse they were forecasted to be. Forget about the lone blemish early in the season against Johns Hopkins, a game that was missing the services of top faceoff man junior Anthony Ghobriel. Heading into the regular season’s final weeks, Virginia looks formidable — the offense dominates every opponent it encounters, the defense nearly tied a program record last week by holding Drexel to four goals and the faceoff unit has proved a welcome surprise. ACC play, growing closer by the day, will expose any lingering kinks, but the Cavaliers seem poised to make it back to championship weekend — and to return to Charlottesville toting a trophy.

Peter Kriebel, Staff Writer: 

Virginia men’s tennis is on the cusp of becoming a dynasty. A third consecutive National Championship would be the Cavaliers’ second three-peat in the past decade. At 16-4, Virginia appears strong just past the season’s halfway point. Just like last season, the team bounced back from a rough February with an undefeated slate of matches in March. Freshman Dylan Dietrich has been a revelation for the Cavaliers with 12 wins and only 5 losses. His excellent play — which has earned him five ACC Freshman of the Week awards — will be integral for Virginia as it looks to make a run in May. While the team’s two losses to No. 1 Ohio State might scare some pundits, Cavalier fans should be confident in placing their faith in a team with championship DNA. 

Grace Gould, Senior Associate: 

With one exception, the No. 4 Virginia women’s tennis team has been unstoppable — the Cavaliers are undefeated in ACC play. Virginia has picked up wins against top teams in the country, defeating then-No. 1 North Carolina last month as well as then-No. 6 Pepperdine. The squad’s only losses have come at the hands of No. 2 Michigan, and their 9-0 ACC start is the best in program history. Seniors No. 22 Hibah Shaikh and No. 59 Sara Ziodato have been absolutely dominant, as has the No. 31 doubles squad of Shaikh and graduate student Natasha Subhash, who boast an 18-4 mark on the season. The Cavaliers have some tough ACC tests down the road, and if they can hold strong for the rest of the season, they may be knocking on the door of the NCAA Championships, where the third time may have to be the charm against Michigan if they hope to compete for the national title.

Which student-athlete has impressed you the most this season?


Junior defenseman Ben Wayer has been sensational on faceoffs this season. Wayer has collected at least four ground balls in each of the men’s lacrosse team’s 10 games. His 46 ground balls lead the team — by an astonishing 18. He also has recorded five goals this season as part of a faceoff unit that relishes the moments when it can charge downfield in search of goals. Wayer appeared in only about two-thirds of last season’s games, as part of a group awaiting this offseason’s 18-player graduation exodus, but this season he has played in every game and has dominated with relentless ferocity. 


Expectations couldn’t have been higher for freshman attackman McCabe Millon entering this season, and yet, he has surpassed them. Millon was the nation’s No. 1 lacrosse prospect in the class of 2023, and the freshman has proven he can handle the pressure of collegiate play. His 26 goals rank second on the team, in front of even Connor Shellenberger, whose talents Cavaliers fans are quite familiar with. Millon’s diving goal in the season opener against Michigan was enough to make even the most deeply entrenched lacrosse hater crack a smile. With four games left in the season, the 9-1 Cavaliers are poised for an NCAA Tournament bid, and until then, Millon will be an integral part of keeping the team on track.


As a junior, many would assume that Jenny Schilling has had plenty of time to develop as a Division I runner. However, prior to this season, Schilling had never run a Division I race. After bursting onto the cross-country scene in the fall to earn All-American honors at the 2023 NCAA Cross Country Championships, it seemed as if her journey from club runner to Virginia track and field had come full circle. However, as is evident by this past weekend, Schilling is still hungry for more. She smashed a 36-year-old school record in the 10,000 meters — held by Patty Matava since 1987 at 32:58.64 — clocking in at 32:44.19 in the event. Schilling, still in the early stages of her career, will be one to watch as the outdoor season continues to heat up.

What is one game that Virginia fans must watch in the closing weeks of the season?


Men’s lacrosse against Notre Dame is the game of the season. It’s a rematch of last year’s Final Four thriller and a season finale that could decide the ACC regular-season title. The eyes of the college lacrosse world will focus on Klöckner Stadium on April 27 to watch the No. 2 Cavaliers confront the No. 1 Fighting Irish in a clash of titans. This is the game — the one every member of Virginia’s program circled when the schedule came out in November and the one every lacrosse fan has been waiting for. This is not just a must-watch game for Virginia fans. This is the most appetizing game on the college lacrosse calendar. 


Pizza and Mustache Day — don’t overthink this one. A beautiful night at Disharoon Park needs no further incentivization as Virginia baseball takes on North Carolina April 4. Throw in free pizza for the first 500 students and the finest facial hair Charlotteville has to offer, and it becomes a can’t-miss event. But don’t let the baseball get lost in the spectacle — this is a rivalry affair and will most likely be a heavyweight ranked matchup. The Cavaliers have relied on their high-powered offense that has scored 292 runs so far this season, the most in the ACC. However, it will be strength against strength as Virginia faces a stout Tar Heels pitching staff that ranks fourth in the ACC in earned run average.


Virginia women’s lacrosse hosts VCU April 3 in a matchup that will support Game Hair Havoc, a national online initiative that serves to raise awareness for families affected by cancer. In an effort to raise funds for the HEADstrong Foundation — an organization that supports families affected by cancer — and honor cancer patients who have lost their hair during treatment, athletes will style their gameday hair in braids, power buns, ponytails and other designs. Attending the matchup will be a fun way to support a good cause, but if that weren’t reason enough, the Cavaliers should easily take care of the Rams on the field, who haven’t won a single away match all season. 


Latest Podcast

Today, we sit down with both the president and treasurer of the Virginia women's club basketball team to discuss everything from making free throws to recent increased viewership in women's basketball.