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Virginia (Olympic) Winter Sports Recap

Lauren Perdue is the best.
Lauren Perdue is the best.

This winter, while Wahoo fans were busy dissecting the game-by-game performances of the UVA basketball team's opponents' opponents for RPI purposes, other teams competed too. Here's a quick look back at the seasons of the hardworking student-athletes on the women's basketball, wrestling, swimming, and track teams:

Women's Basketball:

Finish: 16-14 (8-10 ACC - 6th place) - Declined WNIT bid

Hat Tip: Ataira Franklin (14.3 PPG, 4.3 RPG)

The results in the second year of Coach Joanne Boyle's tenure were underwhelming, and a brutal barrage of injuries was to blame. After a first-round ACC tournament exit against Boston College, Boyle decided that it simply wasn't worth it to go through the grind of the postseason with a team that was well beyond running on fumes.

The Daily Progress summed up the casualty list: "Guard Kelsey Wolfe tore her ACL and forwards Telia McCall and Jazmin Pitts each had their bouts with concussions. Throw in earlier season-ending injuries to guards Lexie Gerson (hip) and Raeshaun Gaffney (shin) and the Wahoos became rail-thin at times, occasionally dressing just eight players with Franklin being one of them. The All-ACC guard led the league in minutes played despite dealing with the lingering issues of a torn meniscus suffered early in 2011-12."

Despite her own injury issues, Franklin put the team on her back early in the year, as the Hoos got off to a 6-3 ACC start to put itself in good position for a potential NCAA tournament berth. However, the injury-ravaged team sputtered down the stretch, losing 8 of its final 10 games.

The team will lose China Crosby, Simone Egwu, and Telia McCall to graduation; however, senior Lexie Gerson, who made the 2011-2012 ACC All-Defensive team, redshirted and will return for a 5th year. Centered around (a hopefully refreshed) Franklin and Wolfe, the pieces are in place for a 2013-2013 year with more success....and hopefully better luck as well.


Finish: 16-4 (4-1 ACC) - 2nd place ACC Tournament, 21st place NCAA Tournament

Hat Tips: All-Americans Nick Sulzer and Jedd Moore

The wrestling team completed another banner year under head coach Steve Garland. The Hoos finished the regular season ranked 13th nationally. The team's 16-4 final record included two losses to #7 VT, along with defeats against #5 Iowa and #12 Nebraska. UVA also picked up big wins against #11 Central Michigan and at Maryland.

For just the fifth time in the program's history, two Virginia wrestlers qualified as All-Americans when Moore placed 6th and Sulzer 8th at Nationals. At the ACC Championship, the Hoos placed second, finishing tantalizingly close behind the Hokies.

Besides Sulzer and Moore, UVA was led by Matt Snyder, who was stuck in a brutal 125 pound ACC weight class. (For example, he was ranked 9th nationally heading into the ACC tournament, but was seeded 4th in the conference). Snyder will graduate along with Jedd Moore, Derek Valenti, and Mike Salopek. This is another program that the head coach has in perpetually good shape; much of the core will return next season.

Swimming and Diving:

Finish: Men: 1st ACC, 27th NCAA. Women: 1st ACC, 18th NCAA

Hat Tip: Lauren Perdue - ACC Championship's Most Outstanding Swimmer

Yawn. UVA won both men's and women's titles for the sixth consecutive season. We are good at this. Lauren Perdue (remember her? from the Olympics? She took this photo with LeBron, then turned him down when he asked to get dinner with her) anchored the squad once again, as it rolled through ACC competition and to another strong national finish.

On the men's side, Luke Papendick was named the ACC Freshman of the Year (along with teammate Courtney Bartholomew), most recently setting a program record in the 200m backstroke. Sophomore JB Kolod also set a record for best diving finish in program history, taking 12th on the 3-meter springboard.

Overall, Virginia continues to dominate the conference and turn in solid NCAA performances. It's not easy to compete with the Michigans, Californias, and Floridas of the world in swimming, and Virginia is at least flirting with the possibility of doing so.

Track and Field:

Finish: Men: 7th ACC. Women: 7th ACC

Hat Tips: Lavender Brown, Dallas Rose

Cross-country is the fall version of track and field and a sport that UVA excels in. The men's team took 2nd in the ACC and 14th in the NCAA back in November. However, the Hoos are still a step behind in indoor track, where UVA men and women each placed 7th in the conference. Head coach Bryan Fetzer summed it up for "We didn't bring many swords to the fight, but the ones we did cut pretty well. It was a good effort for the Wahoos. We had a lot of individuals step up with their personal bests."

One of those individuals was Lavender Brown, who set a school record of 53.14 seconds in the 400 meters at the ACC Championships. Dallas Rose was the only Hoo to qualify for the NCAA Championships, where she took 13th in the triple jump.

Track is an all-year sport - the outdoor season is already underway.