A whole heckUVA lot happened this week, so let's get down to business.
- Women's Softball picked up their first win of the season in dramatic fashion, winning 14-5 over the University of Texas-El Paso as part of the Kajikawa Classic. Third year Aimee Chapdelaine bombed a grand slam for the Cavaliers as part of a six run second inning.
- No.10 Women's Tennis defeated No.14 USC 4-2 in the first round of the ITA National Team Indoor Championships. The Hoos won the doubles point and picked up wins from Danielle Collins, Julia Elbaba, and Stephanie Nauta to secure the victory. Virginia eventually fell to Florida in the quarterfinals, but defeated No.20 TCU to go 2-1 in the ITA Weekend. Next up, the Hoos open ACC play on February 21st against Syracuse at Boar's Head. Match starts at noon.
- Men's Tennis took down in-commonwealth rival VCU in a 9-1 drubbing. Currently ranked No.3 in the nation, the Hoos used strong performances from Ryan Shane, Mitchell Frank, Thai-Son Kwiatkowski, Alexander Ritschard, Henrik Wiersholm, Mac Styslinger, Luca Corinteli, and Jonathan Cornish. Unrelated, I no longer wish to spell out all of the tennis names ever again. Next week, the Hoos take their 5-0 record to Chicago for their ITA National Team Indoor Championships.
- Welcome to all the new players that signed with Virginia Football on National Signing Day!
- Speaking of football...this is awesome.
- What's that Twitter? There's Joe Harris news?
- Former Men's Basketball standout Mike Scott has been killing it with the Hawks, culminating in 17 points in a crucial matchup with the Golden State Warriors that many are saying could be a preview of the NBA Finals. Scott has long been a fan favorite in Charlottesville, but others may have doubted his success in the big leagues:
@GottliebShow except for the wahoo faithful!! We believe!— Justin Anderson (@JusAnderson1) February 7, 2015
Justin Anderson knows better, and my guess is Jason King can back up Simba on the Wahoo love for Mike Scott. Seriously, the best comment section EVER.
Also, Mike Scott broke Bradley Beal. Pretty sure they're still picking up the pieces at the Verizon Center.
- Virginia Men's Lacrosse, ranked No.9 in the polls to open the season, went on the road to take on No.7 Loyola for their first game. As we profiled for #LaxWeek, the team features a lot of fresh faces this year, and this game was huge. Well, the good guys did it. The Cavaliers emerged from Baltimore with a tight 13-12 victory to go 1-0 in a season where wins could be tough to find in a near-impossible schedule.
There are so many positives to take away from this game. First, goalie Matt Barrett started with a solid game, nabbing nine saves and anchoring a defense that was fresher than the first batch of Spudnuts on a Saturday morning. If you don't know Spudnuts in C'ville, then shame on you. Google it. I'll wait. Ok, we tracking? Coach Starsia started first years Logan Greco and Scott Hooper and walk-on-turned-scholarship third year Davi Sacco on defense, and they more than held their own. Sacco had the unenviable task of marking Greyhound sharp-shooter Nikko Pontrello, holding him to just one goal and two assists.
In the midfield, everyone had themselves a ball game. The starting three middies of Ryan Tucker (1g, 1a), Greg Coholan (4g, 1a), and Zed Williams (3g, 2a) combined for eight goals and four assists. Matt Emery, the "little" brother of former 'Hoo Rob Emery, scored his first goal as a Wahoo as well. On attack, Ryan Lukacovic shone with two goals and two assists, while Owen Van Arsdale and Joe French each contributed a goal (and French's post goal celebration was awesome).
Virginia hosts No.16 Drexel on Saturday, 14 February, at 5:30 following the Men's Basketball game with Wake Forest. Per an announcement at the Louisville game, ticket holders for the Wake Forest game will be allowed free admission to the lacrosse game. Come over and get loud!
-Men's Basketball had a ho-hum week filled with two top-12 matchups. You know...the usual. First, the Hoos traveled to the University of North Carolina to take on the Tar Heels and hoping to rid that foul memory of Duke defeat from their minds.
Virginia came out to play, going back and forth with the Heels for the first half, and we all got to see fired up Tony Bennett after this play:
This poor call really fired up the mild mannered Tony Bennett https://t.co/oJMUASsb4z— ScoutsFocus (@scoutsfocus) February 3, 2015
In the second half, the Hoos took control, finding ways to score and making it all look so easy. Malcolm Brogdon led an incredibly balanced attack with 17 points, while Justin Anderson added 16, London Perrantes 15, and Anthony Gill 13. My favorite play of the game, hands down, was the Anthony Gill steal from behind Kennedy Meeks which led to the fast break finger roll by Justin Anderson.
After the game, even the Carolina players had nice things to say about Virginia.
UNC guard Marcus Paige on U-Va.: pic.twitter.com/fNNUlytGLI— Isabelle Khurshudyan (@ikhurshudyan) February 3, 2015
The win silenced most doubters after Virginia's late-game falter against Duke, showing the nation that this team can rebound in the face of adversity.
Just tip your cap to Virginia and accept they're legit. Ain't always about you.— Joe Ovies (@joeovies) February 3, 2015
Virginia with bounce-back win at UNC. No surprise at all. Tony Bennett so even-keeled, his kids the same way. Don't get too high, too low.— Jeff Goodman (@GoodmanESPN) February 3, 2015
Um, yeah. Virginia is still the No. 2 team in America.— Myron Medcalf (@MedcalfByESPN) February 3, 2015
Relatedly, can we make this into a thing? #DisapprovingAG
With the 20th win of the season in the bag, the Hoos turned their focus on hosting No.9 Louisville. As expected with two defense-heavy teams, the game was a bit of a rock-fight, but Virginia held on despite losing a key player in the second half.
Although Virginia's offense was..umm..not good, they found enough when it mattered from folks like Evan Nolte and Darion Atkins to put away the Cardinals. Malcolm Brogdon led the team in scoring with 15 points, Anthony Gill added 10 points and eight rebounds, and Atkins and Mike Tobey each threw in nine points.
Oh, and they did this pretty thing:
Simba does it again. https://t.co/I4XULAlGI3— Will Ojanen (@WillsWorldMN) February 8, 2015
As a team, the Hoos only turned the ball over twice, both in the second half. TWICE. Two times.
Louisville forced 2 Virginia turnovers. That's the fewest forced by any Louisville team under Rick Pitino in 481 games.— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) February 8, 2015
Is that good?
The first half, Virginia ran a defensive clinic, holding Louisville to just 19% shooting from the field, and scoreless for the last 10:32 of the half.
Virginia plays beautiful team basketball at both ends of the floor. Five guys moving as one.— Seth Davis (@SethDavisHoops) February 8, 2015
Playing #Virginia must be like waiting for a text...10 minutes after seeing those three dots. Frustrating.— Robert Flores (@RoFloESPN) February 8, 2015
It was also celebrity night at JPJ, with Dick Vitale on the call, Mike Wilbon from PTI in Virginia gear (wife is a Wahoo!), John Grisham in his usual floor seats, former baseball standout and current Nats star Ryan Zimmerman, and former football standout and current Ravens star Chris Canty all in attendance.
Check out the highlights here:
With their 21st win of the season, Coach Tony Bennett became the ONLY active coach to have beaten all the active Hall-of-Fame coaches: Rick Pitino (Louisville), Roy Williams (UNC), Coach K (Duke), Larry Brown (SMU), and Jim Boeheim (Syracuse). And he sang with Lady Gaga at the Grammys! Not too shabby.
In the win, however, Justin Anderson injured his left (shooting) hand severely, needing surgery yesterday to repair the damage. He is expected to be out 4-6 weeks in recovery.
How is this motivational, you ask?
Look no further than Justin's response, or the outpouring of support from his teammates and the Virginia faithful. I've seen #FixSimbasPaw pop up (shout out to my friend Alex Burgess for that one), and innumerable well wishes from the community.
Prayers up for my brother @JusAnderson1 God got your back fam and so do we ✊ love you bro— London (@London_Tyus) February 8, 2015
I have big faith and serve an awesome God! We have the best medical staff ever in my opinion and I will trust the process! Thank you all!— Justin Anderson (@JusAnderson1) February 8, 2015
Great win tonight !! Them boys gonna hold it down !! Last thing I'm worried about, love this team!! Go hoos!!!!!— Justin Anderson (@JusAnderson1) February 8, 2015
Next the Hoos travel to NC State to take on the Wolfpack at 8pm on the ACC Network before returning home to host Wake Forest at 2:30, also on the ACC Network.