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Virginia and college athletics royalty assembled in John Paul Jones Arena Saturday afternoon to commemorate former Virginia men’s basketball coach Terry Holland’s life, share fond memories and celebrate his many achievements. Holland passed away in late February at the age of 80 after a prolonged battle with Alzheimer’s disease.
Jacob Tisdale: Hi Ben, thanks so much for taking the time to talk with us. A D1 basketball player’s schedule is surely a ton to handle, so it means a lot. How are you doing?
The ACC announced Wednesday how it will demonstrate solidarity with Virginia’s football program in the wake of Sunday night’s shooting that claimed the lives of Lavel Davis Jr., D’Sean Perry and Devin Chandler. All three were members of the Virginia football team. Two other students, including junior running back Mike Hollins and Marlee Morgan, were also injured in the shooting.
Graduate student forward Sam Brunelle is no stranger to John Paul Jones Arena. She grew up a short drive away in Greene County, Va. and became a Virginia women’s basketball fan at the tail end of legendary Coach Debbie Ryan’s tenure. As she grew up, Brunelle made frequent trips to John Paul Jones with her family, getting so close to the program that she even served as a ball girl, dreaming of the day she might get the chance to take the court herself in an orange and blue uniform.
Kim Kirschnick has been leading Virginia’s football team onto the field on horseback as the mounted Cavalier for over two decades. When Kirschnick announced he would be stepping down last year, an extensive hunt for his replacement went underway. As it turns out, his successor had been spending her weekdays as the interim dean of students.
The Virginia men’s and women’s track and field teams sent several student athletes to Eugene, Ore. to compete in the NCAA Track and Field Championships from Wednesday through Saturday. The Cavaliers earned various accolades, the greatest of which came from junior thrower Claudio Romero, who won an NCAA Championship in the discus throw event.
When Diana Ordoñez was selected sixth overall by the NC Courage in the 2022 NWSL Draft, she was sure to have her family by her side. The former star Virginia forward and Prosper, Texas native explained that her family was instrumental in introducing her to the sport and getting her to her current position as the 19th Cavalier taken in the National Women’s Soccer League Draft’s 10-year history.
The Virginia men’s swimming and diving team placed tenth overall at the 2022 NCAA Championships at the McAuley Aquatic Center in Atlanta, Ga. The Cavaliers scored 154.5 total points, breaking numerous Virginia records in their final meet of the season.
Following a run at the ACC Swimming and Diving championship that led to four American records and a conference championship victory for the women’s swim team, Virginia’s swimming and diving teams now look ahead to the NCAA championships — which are taking place between Wednesday and Saturday — to compete at the highest collegiate level. With Coach Todd DeSorbo at the helm, the sky is the limit for the Cavaliers, especially the women who are looking to become back-to-back NCAA Champions after capturing their first national team title a year prior.
For the third consecutive year, the Virginia women’s swimming and diving team will take home an ACC Championship after setting three American records over five days at McAuley Aquatic Center in Atlanta, Ga. The women finished with 1418 total points, winning 14 events en route to their 18th total ACC Championship. The men finished in fourth place overall with 1041 total points, setting an American Record of their own in the process.
Class of 2016 alumna Danielle Collins fell to Australian native Ashleigh Barty in the final of the Australian Open Saturday morning. Collins, the No. 27 seed, dropped both sets, 3-6 and 6-7(2), to No. 1 seeded Barty in Melbourne.
Quin Blanding remembers exactly where he was on Nov. 29, 2019 — the date of Virginia’s Commonwealth Cup matchup against Virginia Tech two years ago. The Cavaliers had dropped the last 15 games in the rivalry series, but that didn’t matter to Blanding. The Hampton Roads native and former star safety for Virginia was a member of the Carolina Panthers practice squad at the time, but even in Charlotte, N.C., he always made time for key matchups concerning his alma mater.
No. 17 Virginia will host No. 9 North Carolina Friday to bring the regular season to a conclusion. The Cavaliers (10-6, 3-2 ACC) ride a three-game win streak into the matchup and maintain a razor-thin advantage of one non-conference win over the Tar Heels (9-6, 3-2 ACC) in the ACC. The outcome of the contest will determine seeding for both the ACC and NCAA Tournaments.
No. 17 Virginia won two crucial matches this weekend, winning 2-1 over a highly-touted No. 12 Syracuse team on the road Friday before securing a 4-1 victory over Drexel Sunday afternoon. The Cavaliers (10-6, 3-2 ACC) hold fast at third in the ACC standings heading into a clash with No. 9 North Carolina Friday with heavy seeding implications for both the ACC and NCAA tournaments.
No. 14 Virginia weathered the storm Friday at Turf Field in Charlottesville in an intense battle against No. 20 Duke en route to a 3-2 double-overtime victory. The Cavaliers (6-3, 2-1 ACC) were propelled past the Blue Devils (4-6, 0-3 ACC) by senior back Amber Ezechiels who scored two goals in the match.
Virginia has experienced highs and lows over the past two weekends as it took on four different ranked opponents. The Cavaliers (record) opened ACC play on the road Sept. 17 against the Cardinals (8-1, 2-0 ACC) in a narrow 1-0 defeat before traveling to Ohio State on Sept. 19 and picking up a big 2-1 win against the Buckeyes (6-2, 1-0 Big 10). Days later, Virginia earned its first conference win of the season against the Demon Deacons (4-4, 1-1 ACC) by a score of 3-1 before experiencing a heartbreaking come-from-behind effort resulting in a loss at the hands of the Monarchs (6-2, 1-1 Big East) 2-1 Sunday afternoon.
No. 8 Virginia picked up two wins this weekend, triumphing over two CAA teams. The Cavaliers (3-1, 0-0 ACC) smothered William & Mary in a 5-0 rout in Williamsburg before overpowering Towson 3-0 in a commanding home victory.
Expectations are high for No. 8 Virginia, especially considering last year’s cumulative record of 7-11 (4-7 ACC) and its failure to qualify for the NCAA Tournament in the spring. Despite their underwhelming performance on account of a difficult schedule in 2020-2021, the Cavaliers are projected to return to form this fall. Once again, the schedule presents challenges at every turn — however, the Cavaliers’ seasoned roster is well-equipped to handle their opponents and make a deep playoff run — hopefully one that’s reminiscent of 2019’s Final Four squad. The ACC coaches poll has Virginia finishing third in the conference and so far, Virginia has experienced mixed results — losing a tough season opener to No. 16 Penn State 3-2 in overtime before defeating No. 17 Delaware 3-1 on Sunday.
Virginia Athletics reported two positive COVID-19 results Monday after administering 944 total tests. This produced a 0.2 positivity percentage over the past week, compared to the 0.7 total positivity percentage since student-athletes returned to Grounds July 5. The athletic department has reported 220 total positive cases since that date.