Although the men's basketball team lost at North Carolina, Virginia's "non-revenue" sports programs saw more success this weekend. Winter and spring sports overlapped, as the wrestling, women's basketball, women's tennis, softball, and track teams all competed. Here's a rundown of what happened:
The 20th-ranked wrestling team went on the road and beat Appalachian State 29-12. UVA won seven of ten weight classes, including six of the first eight, while resting regular starters at 125, 133, and 184 pounds (#11 Matt Snyder, #20 Matt Nelson, and #14 Jon Fausey). In the day's only bout between ranked adversaries, #15 Kyle Blevins shut out Virginia's #16 Nick Sulzer. UVA won on the match's only pin when Vinny Waldhauser stuck his opponent halfway though the second period. The dual meet became the team's 7th consecutive win, and a solid one at that; ASU fell to 11-4, with 3 of its losses coming to ranked opponents. Additionally, the Mountaineers have already clinched the Southern Conference championship. The Cavaliers finish their regular season at home next weekend when #25 Old Dominion and George Mason visit on Senior Day.
Apparently, it's not just the men's basketball team that could play defense. The Lady Hoos smashed Clemson 68-36 at John Paul Jones Arena. The game was part of this weekend's Play 4Kay Initiative, which strives to raise awareness for breast cancer in remembering former NC State coach Kay Yow. The game was a laugher from start to finish, as the team jumped out to a 22-5 lead 10 minutes into the game and never looked back. Chelsea Shine dominated inside, scoring 20 points on 10-13 shooting, and Ariana Moore added 13 points, along with game-highs 7 assists and 6 steals. With the win, Virginia improves to 18-8, 6-6 in the ACC, as it continues to feast on inferior competition - UVA is 1-5 against ranked ACC teams and 5-1 against unranked opponents. Clemson falls to 2-10 in the ACC.
The women's tennis team is hosting the ITA National Team Indoors Championships at the Boar's Head Sports Club this weekend. The team came into the tournament ranked ninth in the nation, but dropped its opener to #12 Northwestern Friday night 4-2, quickly falling into the consolation bracket. Virginia won the doubles point, and #29 Emily Fraser beat her 26th-ranked opponent, but the Wildcats took the three other singles matches in straight sets and led the last when they clinched the win. The team bounced back Saturday, defeating #13 Georgia Tech 4-1, behind another doubles point victory and wins by #30 Lindsey Hardenbergh, #85 Hana Tomljanovic, and the more keyboard-friendly Li Xi. The squad finishes off consolation bracket play against #5 Baylor Sunday evening in the competitive tournament.
Virginia softball started the season off strong, sprinting to a 4-0 record at the East Carolina Pirate Classic. Friday, UVA beat Drexel 5-2 and ECU 3-1 and followed with two more wins, beating Canisius 7-2 and crushing Drexel in a rematch, 14-0. Erica Cipolloni put up video game-type numbers, batting 8 for 13 with 3 home runs, a triple, 6 runs, and 4 stolen bases. On the mound, Rachel Gillen and Melanie Mitchell earned two wins each in the games they started. Sunday's game with East Carolina was cancelled because of the cold weather after a mutual agreement between the coaches. (Seriously.) The team heads back to East Carolina next weekend before hosting a tournament of their own in late February.
The track and field team was split between three meets in Lynchburg, VA, Fayetteville, AR, and Seattle, WA, in what seems like a logistical nightmare. Writing about it is a similar logistical nightmare, so I suggest any track aficionados head over to the results on VirginiaSports.com and analyze the details there. On the women's side, Morgane Gay ran a 4:34.38 mile, qualifying for the NCAA Championships and missing the school record by under a tenth of a second. Marcus Robinson broke the UVA record with his 16.63m triple jump, and Mark Amirault also set a school mark, finishing the 3,000 meters in 7:54.90, edging a record that had stood for 25 years. Next up for the team will be the ACC Indoor Championships, held in Boston from February 23rd-25th.