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Fans flocked to John Paul Jones Arena to passionately root on Virginia in a tightly contested Smithfield Commonwealth Clash matchup last weekend. However, the Cavalier faithful were not there to support the men’s or women’s basketball teams as usual — instead, they were treated to an intense five-set victory for Virginia’s volleyball team over rival Virginia Tech.
The Paramount Theater hosted more than just a screening Saturday night. “Go On, Be Brave” was instead a celebration of endurance and tenacity. The nearly full house was treated to a pair of films that showed how pushing limits and breaking boundaries in the face of adversity can lead to empowerment and triumph.
With four games under its belt in the 2023 season, No. 6 Virginia field hockey looks primed to take a leap forward, even as the standard for the program is remarkably high. Though the Cavaliers (3-1, 0-0 ACC) regularly field a top 10 squad that dominates in the regular season, postseason woes have defined their recent years. Their main opposition has come in the form of conference rival and reigning NCAA Champions No. 2 North Carolina. The Tar Heels (3-1, 0-0 ACC) have stifled Virginia’s ACC Championship aspirations four times in the past six seasons. However, this year the Cavaliers have shown that they have a chance to change the narrative and reclaim the conference title for the first time since 2016 — and maybe go further still.
Following the November shooting on Grounds that claimed the lives of Virginia football players Lavel Davis Jr., Devin Chandler and D’Sean Perry, the athletic department has worked tirelessly to ensure their legacies are honored. Ahead of Saturday afternoon’s kickoff that marks the Cavaliers’ first time taking the field since the tragedy, the team announced jersey patches for players wearing the numbers 1, 15 and 41 — the former numbers of Davis Jr., Chandler and Perry.
No. 7 Virginia baseball clinched a berth to the College World Series over the weekend, marking its sixth appearance in Omaha, Neb. in program history. While the Cavaliers (50-13, 19-11 ACC) dominated the competition for most of the season, the path to compete for a national championship was not always certain. What at one point looked like a disappointing repeat of the 2022 season where Virginia could not overcome late season struggles and fell in the Regional round turned into exhilaration at Disharoon Park Sunday afternoon.
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.