Monday Motivation: February 10

Akil and Joe know things are looking up. - Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

Another week chock full of Virginia awesomeness.

Another week down, another week that left Virginia fans smiling.

Number fourteen ranked Virginia women's tennis defeated number seven Texas A&M and number twleve ranked Alabama in the consolation bracket of the ITA National Indoor Team Championships.

Wahoo wrestling rattled off yet another win, this time over NC State on the road in ACC action. The Virginia wrestling squad, ranked twelfth in the country, took seven of ten weight classes in the match, improving to a 17-3 overall record (5-1 in the ACC).

The big events of the week, however, included two men's lacrosse games and two big men's basketball games.

Wednesday, Virginia hosted Boston College in their first test after breaking into the rankings for the first time since the week of the VCU game. Well, the Wahoos performed admirably against the visiting Eagles, imposing their will for the majority of the game before it got a little...close....down the stretch.

Malcolm "Hollywood" Brogdon was three assists shy of a triple double, and Justin Anderson was doing Justin Anderson things.


Phony Bennett had a suggestion as to what could be helping JA...


Thursday night, the Virginia men's lacrosse team set off on their 2014 "Forget About 2013" season tour, opening at home against a tough Loyola squad. The Hoos dominated through three quarters, but ended up needing overtime to put away the Greyhounds in what some have declared a top-game candidate already.

After the game, hero James Pannell talked about what it was like waiting for the referees to make a decision on whether Ryan Tucker's game-tying-as-time-expired-oh-my-gosh-could-it-be-any-closer goal would count, and it perfectly summed up what was probably going on in the heads of most Virginia fans:

"We were just trying to get in that ref's ear and be like, 'don't end this game this way', you know?" Panell said with a smile after the game. "That ref would not have had a lot of friends in the parking lot, you know?"

The game was not on television, but ESPN commentator Quint Kessenich would later call the match, "the most watched lacrosse game on Twitter." Several former Wahoos obviously followed along with the action, showing their support following the win.



The highlights for the game received a ton of hits, setting a new record for Virginia Sports TV.


Part of the record number of views could stem from the air time the hightlights got on ESPN's SportsCenter, which was actually a huge deal. It is hard enough for lacrosse to get highlights on the show, let alone early season, midweek, NON televised games (especially non ESPN). That was a huge moment for the folks at Virginia Sports TV, and one that could not be more deserved. They have long been praised (especially in the lacrosse world) for their high quality work, and to see it featured on ESPN is great for them.

Lacrosse had a quick turnaround, playing at Richmond on Saturday in the Spiders' inaugural Division I lacrosse game. It was much closer than many had anticipated, but a talented, young, and amped Richmond team came out blazing and gave the Wahoos all that they could handle. The Hoos, visibly worn down from the physical and emotional Loyola win, did just enough to escape 13-12 and improve to 2-0.

James Pannell matched his performance from the first game with four goals and an assist, giving him eight goals and two assists for the season so far. That puts him past where he was goals-wise at the end of last season (seven goals). He's a monster. His goals were painted to the corners or off-stick, hip-high on the opposing keeper.

Richmond saw an impressive 4,200 fans come out for their inaugural game, and it is good to see another in-commonwealth competitor. Best of luck to the Spiders.



On top of that, the win over Richmond was a big one for Coach Starsia:



You know, just a cool 350 wins. No big deal.

Also on Saturday, men's basketball traveled to Georgia Tech for what many considered one of the biggest "trap" games left on our schedule. Well, the Hoos aced the test, closing the game on a 22-1 scoring run that led to a 64-45 victory.


The Hoos should move up the rankings today, and they're already climbing up other ranking systems:





(We are currently number 7 in KenPom, but I like the enthusiasm.)

Justin Anderson knows what's up.



Believe!

Virginia hosts Maryland TONIGHT at John Paul Jones Arena in the LAST conference matchup in Charlottesville. Don't forget game time was pushed to 9pm (Thanks, Obama) and come out and be loud as Virginia looks to go 11-1 in conference!
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