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Since the novel and film “Moneyball” entered national discourse and advancements in technology enabled big data processing, sports franchises and fan bases have all taken an interest in data analytics and its potential role in improving player and team performance. The majority of research efforts and dollars spent come from professional sports teams who have more resources at their disposal. In fact, today, all major sports leagues have teams with in-house sports analytics teams dedicated to gaining an edge over the competition. With the majority of gains being made in professional sports, how have collegiate athletics responded?
Virginia women’s basketball concluded their season in the second round of the ACC tournament in a loss to Syracuse in early March. Since then, the NCAA decided to cancel all further play due to concerns surrounding COVID-19. Over the course of the shortened season, the talented Cavalier team struggled to find consistency, and now, Virginia must prepare for next season’s newer and younger core of players to take the court.
Virginia enters the last week of the regular season after losing 47-62 to Duke and winning 86-76 against Virginia Tech. The Cavaliers (12-15, 7-9 ACC) struggled to score against Duke (16-10, 10-5 ACC) in a slow, back-and-forth game in which Duke’s defense prevented Virginia from generating any offensive rhythm. Virginia quickly turned around a few days later and had one of its highest-scoring games against Virginia Tech (20-7, 10-6 ACC) in a shocking upset win.
As a swarm of orange Clemson jerseys hastily scramble to set up on defense, there’s a panicking look that overcomes them, as senior guard Jocelyn Willoughby slowly brings the ball up the court. Directing her teammates to their positions, she’s already determined exactly how she’s going to dissect Clemson’s zone defense.
Virginia rallied behind a second-half performance to secure a victory over Miami at John Paul Jones Arena Thursday. The Hurricanes (12-12, 4-9 ACC) built a 22-point lead in the second quarter, but the Cavaliers (11-14, 6-8 ACC) managed to overcome the deficit. Senior guards Jocelyn Willoughby and Dominique Toussaint scored a combined 41 points to put Virginia back in contention.
Coming off a big thirty-point win over Notre Dame at home, Virginia women’s basketball could not string together another win at Carmichael Arena against North Carolina. The Cavaliers (8-13, 3-7 ACC) fell behind early to the Tar Heels (15-6, 6-4 ACC). Despite an explosive second half performance, Virginia was unable to mount a successful comeback.
Virginia faced off against two ACC rivals this weekend, falling at the hands of powerhouse Louisville 56-71 before rebounding and notching the Cavaliers’ most dominant win of 2020 — a 90-60 blowout of the Notre Dame Fighting Irish.
Virginia women’s basketball secured its first home win of the new year at John Paul Jones Arena Thursday night. The Cavaliers (6-9, 1-3 ACC) managed to pull off a come-from-behind victory over Duke (7-8, 1-3 ACC) as senior guard Jocelyn Willoughby led Virginia with 24 points while shooting 55 percent from the field.
The Virginia women’s basketball team came up short against conference foes North Carolina Thursday at John Paul Jones Arena and N.C. State Sunday in Raleigh, N.C. The Tar Heels (11-3, 2-1 ACC) beat the Cavaliers (5-9, 0-3 ACC) 65-47 behind a strong second quarter and Virginia fell to the No. 9 Wolfpack (14-0, 3-0 ACC) 80-60, despite stellar play from senior guard Jocelyn Willoughby.
Virginia traveled to Las Vegas last weekend as part of the annual Duel in the Desert Tournament, played at UNLV’s Cox Pavilion. After a resurgent win against host team UNLV Friday, Virginia fell at the hands of No. 15 Mississippi State to settle at 5-6 on the season. Virginia will look to build upon this tournament’s performance as the Cavaliers enter ACC play next week.
Virginia women’s basketball hosted three teams — James Madison, UCLA and Central Florida — over the weekend for the annual Cavalier Classic at John Paul Jones Arena.
Snapping a two-game losing streak against ranked opponents, Virginia women’s basketball beat Old Dominion in overtime Sunday at John Paul Jones Arena. The Cavaliers (3-3, 0-0 ACC) relied on a breakthrough performance by freshman guard Kylie Kornegay-Lucas to battle back against the Monarchs (3-1, 0-0 ODAC).
A week after the Virginia men’s country team pulled off its best race of the season in the NCAA Southeast Regionals, the Cavaliers have a chance to compete on the biggest stage in college cross country — the NCAA Championships.
In a competitive game from start to finish, Virginia women’s basketball fell short in the closing minutes against Kentucky as the ranked Wildcats (4-0, 0-0 SEC) came away with a 50-47 win. Despite offensive struggles, the Cavaliers (2-2, 0-0 ACC) were relentless on defense, consistently applying pressure and forcing turnovers.
The No. 21 Virginia men’s cross country team won the NCAA Southeast Regional hosted at their home course, Panorama Farms. The Cavaliers’ dominant victory marks their first title since 2014 and their third ever in program history.
In the first of two road games on the West Coast, Virginia lost to Southern California 59-49 Saturday at the Galen Center in Los Angeles. The Cavaliers (1-1, 0-0 ACC) struggled to find their rhythm on offense as only two players recorded double-digit point totals — senior forward Lisa Jablonowski with 13 and senior guard Jocelyn Willoughby with 10.
After an exciting opening night victory for the Virginia women’s basketball team Tuesday, the Cavaliers now travel 2,550 miles to Los Angeles to take on Southern California Saturday afternoon.
In the first postseason meet of the season, the Virginia men’s and women’s cross country teams vied for the top position in the conference. The No. 23 Cavalier men placed fourth overall, edged out by Syracuse, Notre Dame and Virginia Tech. Following the conclusion of that race, the Cavalier women finished 11th.
After finishing the 2018-19 season with a 12-19, 5-11 ACC record, Virginia seeks to improve upon last season’s underwhelming performance during the new season and Coach Tina Thompson’s second year. With six new freshmen players and redshirt freshman guard Amandine Toi’s debut, the Cavaliers start with a deeper and more capable roster than the previous year. With the season just a few days away, it’s time to preview the 2019-20 schedule.
Hoos on First returns for its first episode of season two as hosts Nick Martindale and Alex Maniatis deliver their hot takes for the upcoming basketball season and recap key statistics and plays of the past week in Virginia sports.