Shake it off, Hoos. Last night was what you’d call ‘not fun’, but that’s the way the cookie crumbles in the ACC this year. This week, the Lars Tiffany era began on the lacrosse field, men’s tennis continued on their road to a three-peat, and women’s basketball got an OT win as men’s basketball dominated #4 Louisville. Not a bad week of work. Let’s get to the details!
-Women’s Basketball claimed a 60-57 overtime victory over Wake Forest behind 12 overtime points by Dominique Toussaint. Toussaint hit two crucial free throws down the stretch to secure the win en route to a season-high 19 points. The Hoos are now 16-9 (5-7 ACC).
Next up, Virginia will host #6 Florida State on Thursday at 7pm.
-Men’s Basketball used a huge second half to cruise to a 71-55 win over #4 Louisville, completing the season sweep of their assigned “rival”.
The Hoos trailed by two at the half, but used a huge run to open the second half to pull away for the dominant victory. London Perrantes led with 18 points, and Isaiah Wilkins recorded his first career double-double with 13 points and 11 rebounds in the win.
Next up, the Hoos welcome Duke to JPJ on Wednesday in a pivotal game in the ACC standings. Tipoff is at 9pm because ESPN hates us and wants us to stay up way too late.
-Virginia’s #1 tennis team posted a 5-2 win over #6 Florida as they improved to 4-0 (1-0 ACC) on the season. The Hoos won the doubles point to open an early 1-0 lead on the Gators and picked up wins by Thai-Son Kwiatkowski (which I can now spell first try after just 3+ seasons), Carl Soderland, JC Aragone, and Henrik Wiersholm to secure the win.
No rest for the weary (or the top-ranked) as the Hoos host #16 Illinois on Valentine’s Day before hosting the ITA National Team Indoor Championship February 17-20.
-If this doesn’t make you smile, you’re either dead inside or not a Virginia fan.
In some great news earlier today, the Hornets announced they’d be signing Big Mike to a second 10-day contract. Yay!
-Congrats to all the Wahoos that made the All-ACC academic team!
-Shoutout to Jimmy Stanger for having a big week as he was named to the Ben Hogan Award watch list and earned a sponsorship exemption so he can compete in the PGA tour March 9-12!
-This was naaaaasty. More on the big lacrosse game later, but enjoy:
-Former Virginia Baseball player Javier Lopez retired this week after an epic career that saw him win four World Series rings.
Team of the Week
Virginia Lacrosse opened the Lars Tiffany era by picking up a huge road win at #5 Loyola on Saturday. For the first time in 24 years, Dom Starsia wasn’t on the sidelines for the Hoos, instead new head coach Lars Tiffany patrolled the field as his up-tempo, fast-paced system helped the #15 Cavaliers squeak out a 16-15 win in front of over 4600 raucous fans.
First year Dox Aitken paced the Hoos with four goals in his collegiate debut, and Ryan Conrad had a great day in the new system with three goals - including the game winner. Conrad spent a lot of time on the field as a two-way middie and finished with five ground balls and one caused turnover. First year Michael Kraus got the start on attack, finishing with two goals and three assists. Zed Williams, a midfielder-turned-Tiffany-attackman had a goal and three assists, including a nifty behind the back dish to Conrad for the game winner.
Defensively, fifth-year Tanner Scales clamped down on potential Tewaaraton Award finalist Pat Spencer, holding the super-talented attackman to just two assists (both in the fourth quarter). Will Railey got the start in goal, making 11 saves. It was an impressive team performance, and a great stepping stone for the season. The full highlights are a must-see:
Next up, the Hoos host Drexel for the 2017 home opener. The game starts at 1pm and will be broadcast online on ACC Network Extra.
Wahoo of the Week
This was a tough one. Isaiah Wilkins with a double-double was a good option. Dominique Toussaint’s heroics also in the mix. Dox Aitken kicking off his career with tons of goals in a huge upset win? Very impressive.
However, I’m going with a relatively new Wahoo in Lars Tiffany. Tiffany had to take over the Virginia program from his mentor and former coach (Dom Starsia) after a not-so-pretty breakup. He brought his fast-paced lacrosse to Charlottesville and has already made an impact with a huge upset win to open the season. With inherited players (granted, some really good ones), he has rejuvenated the Virginia program and has received buy-in from all the players.
"It is something we believe in, and that is the way we're going to play moving forward," Tiffany commented after the Loyola win. "The men in this program have bought in. They recognize how hard we have to work in practice to be able to play hard and play fast all day, and prove that you can play hard an entire game ... That's really hard to, and I'm not sure we quite proved it today, but that will continue to be our quest."
Obviously, one game does not a legacy make, but if the season opener was any indication, Virginia fans are going to have some fun at Klockner.