Spring sports have always kind of been our thing. Of Virginia's 20 NCAA Championships, 11 have been hauled in by the spring squads. If you include non-NCAA championships (ITA for tennis and USILA for lacrosse), they are 18 of 28. Only men's soccer, women's cross-country, and boxing (I'm assuming that's a winter sport? Either way...it was in 1938. Yikes.) have pulled natty champs outside of the warm confines of the early months.
This year is really no different. Virginia boasts seven ranked teams, and have the No.2 (baseball), No.3 (women's rowing), No.4 (women's tennis), No.5 (men's tennis), No.8 (men's lacrosse), No.10 (men's golf), and No. 16 (women's lacrosse) teams in various polls across the nation. Whoa.
This past week was a good one for the Hoos, kicking off with a 9-3 baseball win over JMU and the men's golf team winning the Jim West Intercollegiate tournament in McKinney, Texas.
In their victory, the golf team broke a litany of records, starting with their 45 under winning score of 819. No, that's not a typo. As a team, they shot FORTY FIVE under par. That mark blew their previous record of 22 under out of the water, and the Hoos beat Iowa State (the second place team) by 29 strokes. Cavaliers David Pastore and Denny McCarthy actually tied for first place at 13 under, but Pastore won in a playoff, taking the tournament title. Also, the Virginia coach's name is Bowen Sargent, which is awesome.
Women's tennis rolled to two victories this week, blanking NC State 7-0, and crushing Wake Forest 6-1. Women's lacrosse upset No.6 Boston College in a 16-14 win, getting big production from a trio of players. Fourth year Maddy Keeshan scored four goals, while fellow senior Liza Blue collected three goals, three assists, and six draw controls. Not too shabby for senior night. Third year Courtney Swan chipped in four goals of her own with two assists and six draw controls.
Baseball won their eighth straight home series, and their seventh straight against Clemson (currently ranked No.14) by way of 3-2 (Friday) and 1-0 (Sunday) victories over the Tigers. 13,947 fans visited Davenport Field over the series, setting a new series record at UVa. Virginia pitching put on a show all weekend with Nathan Kirby, Whit Mayberry, Nick Howard, and Brandon Waddell dealing from the mound.
The biggest star to toe the rubber this weekend for the Hoos, however, wasn't even a member of the baseball team. In this week's 'not ready to let go of Joe Harris (#SWOON)' news, everyone's favorite former (cringe) basketball star took the mound for Friday night's ceremonial first pitch.
News broke on Tuesday, leading to some incredible tweets.
As @cwdarney tweeted, it's true — Joe Harris will be throwing out the first pitch Friday. Naturally, it'll be perfect.— Andrew Ramspacher (@ARamspacher) April 8, 2014
Harris brought the high heat, or as he said, "..probably up to 78", and appeared to clip the edge of the strike zone.
Even Coach O'Connor was impressed.
"I thought it was clean arm action out of Joe Harris. I love his size. He did a heck of a job." — Oak on #UVa's ceremonial first pitcher.— Andrew Ramspacher (@ARamspacher) April 12, 2014
While all the above had great weeks, the best has to go to the men's tennis team. Their 6-1 victory over NC State on Friday night tied the ACC record of consecutive conference victories at 116 straight, held by Duke women's tennis from 1989-2000.
Sunday, at Snyder Tennis Center on Grounds, on Senior Day, the Hoos took sole possession of the ACC record with their 117th straight win in conference. The win, a 7-0 drubbing of No.23 Wake Forest, earned the Hoos their 11th consecutive regular season ACC title. Think about that. One hundred and seventeen straight conference victories. Their last conference loss came as the No.12 ranked team, and was to No. 18 North Carolina on April 3, 2004. Hellboy was the top-billing at the box office, and Usher's 'Yeah!' was the number one song at the time (I BLASTED that jam in my International Residential College dorm room...ah, Lil Jon and Ludacris. Good times.).
Next week, men's lacrosse hosts Bellarmine for senior day on Saturday, while baseball has a huge homestand against North Carolina (the last team to take a conference series from Virginia in Charlottesville). Get out to Davenport field Friday through Sunday and Klöckner on Saturday to support the Hoos.