AFP Sports Blog – Monday, Feb. 19, 2009

– News: Landesberg named ACC rookie of the week, Monday, 5:40 p.m.
– News: UVa. tight end named to All-ACC Academic Team, Monday, 5:40 p.m.
– News: JMU soccer player training with Team Canada, Monday, 5:40 p.m.
– News: W&L senior named ODAC track and field athlete of the week, Monday, 5:40 p.m.
– News: VCU take down JMU women, Monday, 9:30 a.m.
– News: JMU softball wraps 5-0 weekend, Monday, 9:30 a.m.
– News: W&L women’s swimming takes ODAC, Monday, 9:30 a.m.



News: Landesberg named ACC rookie of the week, Monday, 5:40 p.m.

Virginia freshman guard Sylven Landesberg (Flushing, N.Y.) is the Atlantic Coast Conference Rookie of the Week for the sixth time this season. Landesberg was honored Monday (Feb. 16) for his play in Virginia’s games with Florida State and Clemson last week.

Landesberg’s sixth ACC Rookie of the Week award ties him with Bryant Stith (1988-89) for the most by a Virginia player and ties him with five players, including Stith, for the third most received by a conference player. Kenny Anderson (Georgia Tech, 1990) and Tyler Hansbrough (North Carolina, 2006) both received the award 10 times.

In UVa’s two games last week Landesberg scored 37 points and had 10 rebounds. He was 17-40 from the field and 3-6 from the free throw line in the two games. He also had six assists and five steals in 83 minutes of playing time.

In Virginia’s 68-57 loss at nationally-ranked Florida State on Feb. 10, Landesberg scored a team-high 14 points and had six rebounds. He was 6-19 from the field and 2-4 from the free throw line. He also had three assists and two steals in 38 minutes of action.

In Virginia’s 85-81 overtime victory over nationally-ranked Clemson at John Paul Jones Arena on Feb. 15, Landesberg scored a game-high 23 points and had four rebounds. He was 11-21 from the field and 1-2 from the free throw line. He also had three assists and three steals while playing all 45 minutes in the game. Landesberg’s layup with 13.4 seconds remaining in regulation tied the game at 74-74 and he scored six of Virginia’s 11 points in the overtime period. It’s the 12th time this season he’s scored 20 or more points in a game.

Ty Lawson of North Carolina was named the ACC Player of the Week.


News: UVa. tight end named to All-ACC Academic Team, Monday, 5:40 p.m.

Virginia redshirt freshman tight end Andrew Devlin (Pittsburgh, Pa.) was named to the All-Atlantic Coast Conference¹s Academic Football Team today. The 40-player squad was announced by ACC commissioner John Swofford.

To be eligible for consideration, a player must have earned a 3.00 grade point average for the previous semester and maintained a 3.00 cumulative average during his academic career. All 12 ACC schools were represented by at least one selection on the team.

Devlin appeared in all 12 games in 2008, starting twice. He had three receptions for 22 yards, including a pair of catches for 16 yards in UVa¹s win against East Carolina.


News: JMU soccer player training with Team Canada, Monday, 5:40 p.m.

James Madison women’s soccer player Corky Julien (Williamstown, Ontario/Char-Lan District) is training with the Canada National Team in California this week.

The Dukes’ All-America forward was invited to join the training camp for its final three days, Feb. 16-18.

The camp, which began on Feb. 8, has approximately 25 players participating.

It’s the first training opportunity for the Canadian players under newly-appointed head coach Carolina Morace (pronounced Morr AH chee), a former player and national team coach for Italy.

Julien, the 2008 Virginia co-Player of the Year and Colonial Athletic Association Player of the Year, led the Dukes in scoring with 16 goals and 35 points, both of which were school season records for goals and points by a junior. Last fall she also set school records for consecutive games scoring a goal (9) and a point (9).

The junior forward was an All-America third team selection by the National Soccer Coaches Association of America and the website Soccer Buzz. She was also named to the Soccer America MVP second team and the Team of the Season second team.

“Carolina Marace is the Kristine Lilly of the Italian women’s soccer team,” said JMU head coach Dave Lombardo. “I think she’s looking for some new blood, and it’s a great opportunity for Corky.

“We’re very proud of Corky. This is well-deserved with the kind of the year she had. We’re keeping our fingers crossed that she gets the opportunity to get pulled up (for the national team) and if not, stays on the radar screen.”

The next competition for Canada is the Cyprus Cup, scheduled for March 5-12.


News: W&L senior named ODAC track and field athlete of the week, Monday, 5:40 p.m.

Washington and Lee senior Elizabeth Webb (Middleburg, Va./Wakefield) garnered the Old Dominion Athletic Conference Athlete of the Week honor for women’s track & field for the week ending February 15.

Webb’s weekly ODAC selection marks the third for the W&L women’s track & field team this season. Senior Stacy Doornbos (Roswell, Ga./Lassiter) and junior Maggie Sutherland (Sewickley, Pa./Sewickley Academy) have already claimed the award this year for their performances in the pentathlon.

Webb placed first among Division III athletes as she crossed the finish line in a school-record and NCAA-qualifying time of 5:00.91 in the mile at the Lafayette-Rider Winter Games on Friday evening. She also recorded another first-place mark in the 800 meters (2:20.63).


News: VCU take down JMU women, Monday, 9:30 a.m.

And now there are two.

For two-plus weeks, the Virginia Commonwealth University women’s basketball team found themselves tied atop the Colonial Athletic Association standings with Drexel and James Madison.

On Sunday afternoon, in front of a crowd of 2,000-plus, the Rams made it just a two-way tie with a 61-43 pounding of the Dukes.

Senior Radoslava Bachvarova (Varna, Bulgaria) led a balanced attack of four players in double-figures as the veteran notched her ninth straight double-digit performance with 16 points on the afternoon.

With the win, the Rams improve to 21-4 overall and 11-2 in conference play. The victory is the 16th straight at the Alltel Pavilion at the Stuart C. Siegel Center. James Madison suffers only its second loss in the past 10 games falling to 17-7 on the year and 10-3 in CAA action.

“It was a physical, grind-it-out game and we kind of expected that coming into today,” Head Coach Beth Cunningham said. “I’m really proud of the way our kids responded when everyone knew how much was at stake in today’s game.”

Even without the CAA’s leading scorer Dawn Evans, James Madison got off to a fast start as a jumper from Sarah Williams gave the Dukes a 6-2 advantage with 18:17 showing on the first half clock.

“I thought we did a good job defensively in what they were trying to do,” Cunningham said. “I was a little concerned early in the first half the way they were offensive rebounding, but our kids hung tough and really took over towards the end of the first half.”

Eight points from Bachvarova ignited a 12-4 VCU run that gave the home team a 14-10 lead with 12:34 remaining before halftime.

“We struggled to settle in early on and did not to a good job of looking for the right shot,” Bachvarova said “Once we adjusted and played the style of offense that we know we can play, the game turned in our direction.”

Nina Uqdah’s lay-up with 6:38 to play in the first half brought the Dukes within two at 20-18.

That would be the closest JMU would be the rest of the stanza as the Black & Gold reeled off a 12-0 run behind six points from senior Quanitra Hollingsworth (Chesapeake, Va.).

The Dukes would not go quietly Courtney Hamner and Kanita Shepherd tallied baskets within the final minute as VCU headed into the locker room with a 32-22 advantage.

The teams would trade baskets over the first five minutes of second half action before Uqdah dropped in an offensive put back to bring James Madison within eight at 40-32.

Six points from junior Kita Waller (Gainesville, Ga.) led a 12-1 Black & Gold run that pushed the lead to 52-33 with 6:16 remaining in regulation.

JMU would get no closer than 11 the rest of the way, shooting just 29.8% from the field on the afternoon and just 18.2% from beyond the arc.

In addition to Bachvarova’s offensive output, she grabbed a career-high nine rebounds. Hollingsworth registered her 48th career double-double with 12 points and 14 rebounds, while Waller and junior La’Tavia Rorie (Charlotte, N.C.) each added 11 points in the victory.

Rebounding has been a staple of the Rams’ success this season and Sunday was no different, out rebounding JMU by a margin of 47-34. Along with Hollingsworth’s 14 rebounds, freshman Courtney Hurt (Conyers, Ga.) added 11, six of which were offensive.

“We knew that winning the battle on the glass would be a big key to the game,” Cunningham said. “Our kids did a great job settling in and taking over that aspect of the contest.”

Uqdah was the only Duke in double-figures with 10 points, while grabbing 10 rebounds on the afternoon.


News: JMU softball wraps 5-0 weekend, Monday, 9:30 a.m.

The James Madison softball team wrapped up a perfect 5-0 weekend with a 9-3 win over the College of Charleston on Sunday.

JMU improved to 6-3 with the win, while the Cougars dropped to 2-5 in the loss.

Senior right-hander Jenny Clohan (Ashburn, Va./Broad Run) picked up the win for Madison to improve to 5-1 overall and 4-0 in the tournament. She pitched 4 innings of relief, giving up five hits, two runs, one of which was earned, walked one and struck out none. In the tournament she threw 15 innings, allowing 12 hits, three runs, one earned run, walked six and struck out five.

The Dukes took a 3-1 lead after scoring two runs in the top of the sixth inning. Junior first baseman Shannon Moxey (Church Road, Va./Mills Godwin) drew a one out walk before being pinch run for by senior Megan Forbes (Fincastle, Va./Lord Botetourt). A pair of singles by senior third baseman Amber Kirk (Hamilton, Va./Loudoun County) and junior right fielder Courtney Simons (Richmond, Va./Deep Run) loaded the bases for Madison. Cougar starter Terri Mesko was chased from the game by the bases-loaded jam but Charleston reliever Laura Jeroszko was called for an illegal pitch, chasing home Forbes and giving Madison the 2-1 lead. Junior center fielder Brittney Dyson (Waldorf, Md./Thomas Stone) drove in the Dukes third run of the game on a fielder’s choice to the shortstop.

The Cougars answered with a run of their own in the bottom half of the inning, loading the bases with one out on a walk, and two singles ahead of a sacrifice fly by designated player Shannon Howard. Clohan induced a fly out to left field to escape without any further damage.

Senior right-hander Meredith Felts (Greenville, N.C./J.H. Rose) started the game for JMU, pitching the first three innings. She allowed four hits, one unearned run, walked one and struck out five.

The College of Charleston opened the scoring in the bottom of the third inning. Left fielder Tiffany Harmon led off with a double and with one out, advanced to third on an infield single by shortstop Christal Kotchman. She scored after designated player Shannon Howard lifted a short fly to right field that was caught by Simons. The Richmond, Va. native bobbled the ball during the exchange though, allowing Harmon to score.

The Dukes responded immediately in the top of fourth. Dyson recorded a one-out walk. She advanced to second on a passed ball and scored on an RBI single to centerfield by junior left fielder Chel’sea Ryan (Sandston, Va./Henrico).

JMU added six insurance runs in the top of the seventh. Kirk and Simons led of the inning with back-to-back doubles ahead of walks to senior catcher Julia Dominguez (Sterling, Va./Park View) and Dyson. Freshman Gillian Giarrizzo (Suffolk, Va./King’s Fork) recorded her first career at bat and RBI after being hit by a pitch to drive in Simons. After a strikeout by Cougar reliever Stormie Henderson, senior second baseman Kaitlyn Wernsing (Clemmons, N.C./West Forsyth) laced a single to left field for an RBI single. The ball skipped through the Charleston left fielder’s legs for an error allowing Dyson and Giarrizzo to score. Freshman pinch hitter Casey Mansfield (Suffolk, Va./Isle of Wright Academy) capped off the inning with her first-career RBI, driving in Wernsing on a fielder’s choice.

Kirk paced the JMU offense, going 3-for-3 with two runs scored. Wernsing added two hits, a run scored and an RBI. Dyson finished the game with two runs scored, two RBIs, two walks and her ninth stolen base of the season.

JMU returns to action next Friday in Columbia, S.C. as they will play in the Gamecock Invitational on the campus of South Carolina.


News: W&L women’s swimming takes ODAC, Monday, 9:30 a.m.

The Washington and Lee women’s swimming team wrapped up its 19th Old Dominion Athletic Conference Championship on Sunday evening.

The Generals won the three-day meet with 1,010 points, while Randolph-Macon took second with 707 points.

Senior Lindsey Strachan (Midlothian, Va./Governor’s School) led the way on the final day as she captured a pair of individual races, taking the 200 fly in 2:16.13 and the 200 back in a school-record time of 2:05.71.

In the 1650 free, it was sophomore Tess Hayden (Winnetka, Ill./New Trier) repeating as meet champion, claiming the event in 18:04.60.

Junior Sarah Simpson (Charlotte, N.C./South Mecklenburg) won the 100 free with a time of 54.57, while senior Susan Mahoney (Richmond, Va./St. Catherine’s) captured the title in the 200 breast with a mark of 2:28.24.

First-year Dana Fredericks (Yorktown, Va./York) was right behind Mahoney in the 200 breast as she finished second with a time of 2:29.32 and junior Lynn Bazzel (Atlanta, Ga./Lovett) completed a 1-2-3 sweep for W&L as she captured third in 2:30.64.

W&L also grabbed victory in the final event of the meet as the 400 free relay team won with a time of 3:39.62 to set another school record.

Strachan was named the ODAC Swimmer of the Year for second-consecutive year, while head coach Kami Gardner was tabbed as the Coach of the Year and first-year Lauren Starnes (Harrison, Tenn./Girls Preparatory) was named as ODAC Rookie of the Year.

Washington and Lee returns to action at the NCAA Championships which are being held at the University of Minnesota. The NCAA meet is slated to begin on March 18.

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