Monday, April 26, 2010

3's and 7's

Good things come in threes, goes the saying. Like wins over Maryland by the baseball team. Like goals by Chris Bocklet and Shamel Bratton in a streak-busting win over Duke lacrosse.

Like ACC championships.

Or if you want to get all big-picturey, like "years in a row UVA has won more ACC championships than any other school." Yup: the men's lacrosse, women's crew, and men's tennis teams ensured that no ACC school can catch UVA in the championships department this year, and the seven total championships is a post-expansion record. Stand tall, Hoos, and give this statement of fact some thought: For the third year in a row, the University of Virginia has the ACC's premier athletics department.

Another heady phrase: 100 ACC championships. That mark was reached on Saturday by the crew team; Sunday brought the total to 102. The official site has the awesome breakdown here.

And let's not forget: there's still some baseball (as well as softball) to be played. And some of it was played this weekend, too, although calling what happened on the College Park diamond "competition" is a stretch. Maryland is a doormat when it comes to baseball with one respectable pitcher and few bats, and they were treated as such. I did expect a sweep; I did not expect 27 runs to be posted on Saturday, though it comes as something less than a complete surprise.

Coastal Carolina's pitchers will give us much more trouble than Maryland's, and they're not even throwing their weekend guys. If you follow college baseball, you've heard of Coastal Carolina; if not, you might have anyway, as they're basically baseball's Gonzaga. Coastal's already beaten five ACC squads this season, which is more than Maryland can say, and they're probably the toughest test we'll see until the season finale series against Miami. I think Branden Kline will take the mound, and neither of our top relievers (Arico and Wilson) pitched at all against Maryland and will be available on Tuesday as well. A win tomorrow would do wonders for bringing a super-regional to Charlottesville.


But if I had to pick the best part of the weekend, hell, it wouldn't even automatically be the lacrosse team's ACC championship, although a trophy is a very shiny piece of validation. Frickin' finally beat Duke! For the first time since I graduated. Adam Ghitelman is your tournament MVP, although if that award wasn't cemented when he flung the ball into the open net from 60 yards out, then it ain't worth shit. Goalie goal! That alone is MVP stuff - 16 saves against 6 goals versus Maryland is just gravy. Just my luck it comes in the one part of the year that isn't on TV in these parts, because that would have been the best highlight ever.

(Sheesh, listen to me. Here, true story: it's not that I paid no attention at all to lacrosse while I was at school, but my actual, active fandom dates from the 2006 championship - the semis against Syracuse, specifically - when I turned on the TV just to see what might be on and it literally just happened to be UVA lacrosse. I made it a point to also tune in to the UMass game and since then I've been hooked. I had had no idea they actually televised it; here I am four years later bitching that some of it still isn't. At least there's lousy-res streaming video online.)

Anyhoo. It certainly helped that Maryland sat Will Yeatman, who stands six-foot-seventeen and weighs at least 400 pounds and is the only Terp who can consistently score goals on us without having them waved off. Still, holding a fellow ACC squad to six goals is an accomplishment no matter how you slice it. Really, five, since Maryland's final goal came with 11 seconds to go and Ghitelman probably already trying to decide where to put his MVP trophy.


Other stuff from the weekend:

- Jeff White, as usual, is on top of his game. Indispensible breakdown of maybe UVA's most successful weekend of the past decade.

- White did miss one thing: Chris Cook was the only Hoo taken in the NFL draft, but he went before every Hokie. Tomorrow I'll have the full rundown.

- He missed one other thing, though as a mouthpiece of the school he's really not allowed to talk about it: the Jordan Lomax commitment. Yup, even football had an awesome weekend. I'll update the recruiting board shortly.

- The post-spring depth chart is out, too. Interesting bits: 1) Marc Verica is clearly listed as the starting QB. 2) Perry Jones is the starting tailback - though that comes without competition, yet, from Dominique Wallace. 3) Steve Greer isn't the clearcut starter at MLB. (I expect that to change, though.) 4) LaRoy Reynolds is the starting Sam - and is listed at a meager 215 pounds. 5) No kicker is named.

Now that spring practice is over, I'll be updating the depth chart on the blog here within the week, and pushing the graduated seniors off the edge into the wide world.

- Steps to happiness: 1) Take this Sporcle quiz. 2) Cackle with glee. (You'll figure out why once you've completed the quiz.)

No comments: