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Around the Corner 9/5: Danielle Collins wins, women’s soccer dominates, Josh Ahern impresses

Week 3 of ATC!

2022 US Open - Day 6 Photo by Elsa/Getty Images

Well hello there my fine friends and welcome back to another week of Around the Corner, giving you all you need to know in Virginia Cavaliers sports news. This was a pretty good weekend for the Wahoos and was an absolute pleasure to cover. So here we go.

Notable news

Key second-half stops give Virginia defense confidence — Daily Progress

Saturday’s game was, in a couple of ways, a tale of two halves. The offense was altogether efficient in the first half, but then sputtered out a bit in the second. The defense got gapped for big gains via the running game in the first half, but then found its feed in the second. Hopefully UVA can put those two things together come Saturday against Illinois.

Elliott: ‘Ahern, he’s a football player’ — Wahoos247

One guy who helped to turn the tides for the UVA defense in that second half was linebacker Josh Ahern. After having to sit out the first half due to a targeting call from the Virginia Tech game last year, Ahern came on strong in the second half and made a number of plays which stifled the Spiders. Clearly, he was an upgrade over James Jackson — who was the starting outside linebacker next to Nick Jackson on Saturday — and will be sliding into the second starting spot come the Illinois game.

Perris Jones is proving to be the answer to Virginia’s running game woes — Streaking the Lawn

Shameless self plug yada yada yada. One of my favorite stories that I’ve written recently actually. But Perris Jones’ story is too good to pass up. And he came up absolutely huge against Richmond. Realistically, if he hadn’t been playing Virginia probably would’ve been in serious danger of dropping that game. And that says a lot about what he can bring to the table for Des Kitchings’ offense.

Jablonowski and Hopkins Score Two, No. 5 UVA Women’s Soccer Downs No. 23 Memphis 5-0 — Cavaliers Now

Whew boy there goes that team. Women’s soccer stayed undefeated yesterday courtesy of a schellacking of 23rd ranked Memphis. The scoring was quiet early but eventually UVA broke the dam and flooded the Tigers with four second half goals. We’ll have more on the result and the women’s team coming shortly.

Collins out-duels Cornet in Round 3 at 2022 US Open — US Open

Danielle Collins just keeps racking up wins in the US Open. She now advances to the fourth round (only 16 women remaining) of the US Open where she’ll face sixth seed who Collins is 0-3 against in her career with two losses coming in the US Open back in 2021 and 2018.

But, for now, it’s just awesome to see Collins on a winning streak and making a push to reach the final few rounds of play.

“Honestly, I’m having the time of my life,” said the 19th seed, who won 87% of her first-serve points (39 of 45). “This is what we dreamed of when we were kids, playing these night matches. I grew up watching Venus and Serena winning most of their matches. They gave me a lot of inspiration. Being here is so special. I feel so much at home.”

UVA men’s lacrosse gets commitment from #1 recruit in the 2024 class — Streaking the Lawn

To piggyback on all the other good news for UVA sports this weekend, UVA men’s lacrosse got a yuuuuuge commitment from the top-ranked recruit in the 2024, Ryan Duenkel. If the name rings a bell, it should. Ryan’s older brother is a kicker on the football team as they both grew up as UVA fans since their dad played for the football team back in his day.

But, moral of the story is, Lars Tiffany stays winning.

Social media dive

Love to see Tony Elliott get his first win. He’s a great guy and clearly fits the culture at UVA and in Charlottesville perfectly. Here’s to hoping that continues to translate to the on the field product.

AND HEY!! THE STUDENTS SHOWED OUT ON SATURDAY. Was it only for a half before they ditched to go dri... I mean study? Sure, but it’s Richmond and the ‘Hoos were up big so I’ll let it slide.

And, in other football attendance news, UVA basketball’s lone 2023 commit Blake Buchanan was on Grounds for the game. As was one of Tony Bennett’s top remaining targets in the class, shooting guard Elijah Gertrude. Hopefully Buchanan and Gertrude are planning on spending a lot more time together in the UVA Athletics’ facilities.

Student perspective

This was honestly a really fun weekend on Grounds. Exhausting, but exhilarating. I didn’t get to cover football games in person last season so — not counting the spring game — Saturday was my first one and it didn’t disappoint. I tried to get out consistent content throughout the game with notes/a recap from the first quarter, takeaways after the first half, five takeaways shortly after the game, and then the Jones story after we got to chat with the players and coaches.

For the coming games — the next home game against ODU in particular — I’m considering doing a live commentary article with fairly consistent updates including my notes. No idea if that interests people or not, but I’m just trying to experiment with game-day coverage to provide you all with the best content possible. With that said, let me know what type of stuff you want to read from me! Would love to hear the feedback.

Of course, with all the excitement on Saturday, I also had what I’m calling my rookie moment as I knocked over a bottle of water onto my lap while writing after the game. Fortunately the press box had cleared out a bit. But to any and all who watched me rush to the bathroom cursing myself and with a big wet spot on my pants, I promise it wasn’t what it looked like.

I also got the chance yesterday to cover my first women’s soccer game. Frankly, as someone who grew up going to tons of these games, I think women’s soccer is easily the most underrated program and entertainment level among UVA sports. The ‘Hoos are constantly in the top-10 and the skill level is off the charts. If you get a chance to, I encourage everybody to try and make it out to a few matches this fall. This team is legit and I’m pumped we’re covering them here at STL.

Beyond the world of sports, I was more focused on sustaining myself this weekend than anything else — although I did treat myself with dinners from Kuma and Fry’s Spring Station. With our editorial calendar my mother is often the one to text me and remind me to eat, sleep, and all that good stuff. But who needs life essentials when there’s UVA sports as sustenance?!?!

Be sure to come back tomorrow morning to get your fill (apologies, I crack myself up) of Wahoo news and, until then, Go ‘Hoos!