AFP Sports Blog – Tuesday, Feb. 17, 2009

– News: Virginia Tech to host ACCHL hockey tourney, Tuesday, 5:35 p.m.
– News: Miss America to sing before JMU women’s basketball game, Tuesday, 5:35 p.m.
– News: Morgan is UVa.’s ACC Legend, Tuesday, 5:35 p.m.
– News: UVa. to honor 1984 Final Four team, Tuesday, 5:35 p.m.
– News: JMU softball duo honored, Tuesday, 5:35 p.m.
– News: Tech wrestler honored by ACC, Tuesday, 10:45 a.m.
– News: UVa.’s Courtney named ACC tennis player of the week, Tuesday, 10:45 a.m.
– News: UVa. to open women’s lax season against Virginia Tech, Tuesday, 10:45 a.m.
– News: Radford women down High Point, Tuesday, 9:15 a.m.

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News: Virginia Tech to host ACCHL hockey tourney, Tuesday, 5:35 p.m.

The Virginia Tech Ice Hockey Club team is hosting the Atlantic Coast Collegiate Hockey League (ACCHL) Division II Tournament at the Roanoke Civic Center in Roanoke, Va.

The tournament will be held on Friday, Feb. 20 through Sunday, Feb. 22. The Virginia Tech Hokies, who clinched the regular season title with a win over Georgetown University on Feb. 7, are ranked No. 1 in the ACCHL standings.

This year’s tournament will include six teams: Virginia Tech, the University of Virginia, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Duke University, North Carolina State University, and Georgetown University.

The ACCHL is a Division II member within the American Collegiate Hockey Association. Virginia Tech started its ice hockey team in 1984 as a Roanoke adult league team. The last time Virginia Tech was ranked No. 1 going into an ACCHL Tournament was back in its first season of competition. The team has seen incredible growth in recent years and is poised to finish its best season ever. The team is comprised of 29 students seeking an ACC Championship title.

“The team is looking forward to hosting this tournament for a second consecutive year. It’s great to have a home ice advantage, hopefully the team can benefit from having lots of Hokie fans in attendance,” said Alan Glick, assistant director of Sports Clubs and Marketing at Virginia Tech. “The Roanoke Civic Center gives all of the teams an opportunity to play in a professional venue. Fans will see some outstanding collegiate club hockey.”

The tournament will be played Olympic-style, which guarantees each team at least two games. Multiple games will be played Friday and Saturday. The bronze medal game will be held at 11 a.m. on Sunday, while the 2 p.m. game will be for the gold. Miss Virginia Tara Wheeler will sing the National Anthem for the championship games. Carrying the No. 1 seed into the tournament, the Hokies will play their first game Feb. 21 at 6 p.m. The team will play the winners of the Friday night game between North Carolina State versus the University of Virginia.

“We are excited coming off our most successful season ever, it will be a big help going into the tournament ranked No. 1, especially at home,” said Ryan Chafe, Virginia Tech Club Ice Hockey president.

The team has gone undefeated in ACCHL play this year and will finish out their regular season games this weekend, Feb. 13 and 14 at the University of North Carolina and Duke University. The Hokies will return home to rock the Roanoke Civic Center.

All Virginia Tech students with a Hokie passport and children under age 12 will receive free admission. Adult admission is $3 per session. Holiday Inn University-Blacksburg and VitaminWater are sponsors for all 29 Virginia Tech Sport Clubs. Find more information on the ice hockey team and the tournament online www.hokiehockey.com. Ticket information is available on the Roanoke Civic Center website. www.roanokeciviccenter.com.

 

News: Miss America to sing before JMU women’s basketball game, Tuesday, 5:35 p.m.

Miss America 2008 Kirsten Haglund will attend the Dukes’ Feb. 19 home women’s basketball game vs. UNCW. During halftime she will sing “America the Beautiful” to honor all breast cancer survivors. Her mother, Iora, is a breast cancer survivor. After Haglund’s halftime performance she will sign autographs and have photos taken with fans for the remainder of halftime, near entrance E of the Convocation Center.

Haglund is speaking at JMU Friday, Feb. 20, (8 p.m. Grand Ballroom of the Festival Conference and Student Center) as part of the school’s observance of National Eating Disorders Awareness Month. A former sufferer of anorexia for several years, she created the Kirsten Haglund Foundation for Eating Disorders.

 

News: Morgan is UVa.’s ACC Legend, Tuesday, 5:35 p.m.

Former Virginia standout guard Richard Morgan is the Cavaliers’ 2009 Atlantic Coast Conference Men’s Basketball Tournament Legend. ACC Commissioner John Swofford announced Tuesday (Feb. 17) the 2009 ACC Basketball Legends who will be honored at the ACC Tournament next month. The tournament is scheduled for March 12-15 in Atlanta, Ga.

The 2009 ACC Tournament Legends also include Danya Abrams (Boston College), Randy Mahaffey (Clemson), Jim Spanarkel (Duke), Ron King (Florida State), Brian Oliver (Georgia Tech), Al Bunge (Maryland), Bill Foster (Miami), Charlie Scott (North Carolina), Monte Towe (NC State), John Wetzel (Virginia Tech) and Frank Johnson (Wake Forest).

Morgan lettered four times for the Cavaliers from 1986-89 and was a three-year starter. He ranks eighth on Virginia’s career steals list (160), 10th on the career field goals made list (605) and 15th on UVa’s all-time scoring list with 1,540 points.

Morgan was a first-team All-Atlantic Coast Conference selection and an honorable mention selection to The Sporting News’ All-America team as a senior in 1989 when he was a team captain. He led the Cavaliers in scoring (20.4 ppg.), free throw percentage (86.4 percent, 121-140) and steals (55) for the 1988-89 season, and was fourth in rebounding (4.1 rpg.). Morgan led the ACC in free throw percentage that season and was fourth in scoring. The 673 points he scored during the 1988-89 season ranks fourth on UVa’s single-season scoring list.

He scored in double figures in 32 of Virginia’s 33 games in 1988-89, scored at least 20 points in 16 games that season and scored at least 30 points in five games. He scored a career-high 39 points against North Carolina on Jan. 15, 1989, at Virginia’s University Hall.

Morgan averaged 12.3 points a game in 1986-87 and 10.1 points a game in 1987-88. He was named the ACC Rookie of the Week three times as a freshman during the 1985-86 season.

He led the Cavaliers in steals and three-point field goals for three seasons during his career and scored in double figures 76 times.

Virginia participated in the NCAA Tournament three times during Morgan’s career, reaching the Midwest Regional finals his senior season in 1989.

A native of Salem, Va., Morgan is now an assistant basketball coach at Appalachian State in Boone, N.C.

 

News: UVa. to honor 1984 Final Four team, Tuesday, 5:35 p.m.

Virginia’s 1984 Final Four men’s basketball team will be recognized at halftime of the UVa-Wake Forest game on Feb. 28. The recognition on the 25th anniversary of the team’s run to the Final Four is part of Virginia’s annual Men’s Basketball Reunion activities. All Virginia men’s basketball alumni are invited to attend the annual reunion that features a 2 p.m. game between the Cavaliers and the Demon Deacons.

Several members of the 1984 team, which made a magical run in the NCAA Tournament, are expected to be in attendance on Feb. 28. The members of that team include Rick Carlisle, Kenton Edelin, Kenny Johnson, Ken Lambiotte, Dan Merrifield, Jim Miller, Tim Mullen, Olden Polynice, Tom Sheehey, Anthony Solomon, Ricky Stokes and Othell Wilson. The coaching staff was comprised of head coach Terry Holland, assistant coaches Jim Larranaga and Dave Odom, and graduate assistant coaches Seth Greenberg, Jeff Jones and Tom Perrin.

The 1984 UVa team finished the season with an overall record of 21-12 and reached the semifinals of the NCAA Tournament before losing to Houston 49-47 in overtime at the Kingdome in Seattle, Wash.

Virginia was the seventh seed in the NCAA Tournament’s Eastern Regional and won the regional championship with victories over Iona (58-57), Arkansas (53-51 in overtime), Syracuse (63-55) and Indiana (50-48). In East Rutherford, N.J., a leaning jumper in the lane by Wilson with six seconds remaining provided the Cavaliers with their victory over Iona and Carlisle hit a 10-foot baseline jumper with four seconds remaining in overtime in the win against Arkansas. In Atlanta, Ga., Wilson scored 17 points and Edelin had a career-high 14 rebounds in the regional semifinal victory over Syracuse. Virginia defeated Indiana for the Eastern Regional Championship behind 19 points from Miller, and five points and two key rebounds from Edelin in the game’s final 1:27. Miller was named the regional’s Most Outstanding Player.

The Cavaliers rallied from six points down in the final 3:03 to tie the national semifinal game with Houston 43-43 before losing in overtime. Miller and Wilson each scored 12 points for Virginia.

Reserved seat tickets for the Wake Forest-Virginia game are available at a cost of $30 each and Feb. 28 is also a Family Day at John Paul Jones Arena. Family Day packages that include four tickets, fourhot dogs, four 22-ounce sodas and four popcorns are available for $96. Additional tickets may be added at $24 each.

 

News: JMU softball duo honored, Tuesday, 5:35 p.m.

James Madison softball seniors Kaitlyn Wernsing (Clemmons, N.C./West Forsyth) and Jenny Clohan (Ashburn, Va./Broad Run) have been named Colonial Athletic Association Player and Pitcher of the Week respectively for the week ending Feb. 15. Amanda Davenport of UNC Wilmington joined them as the CAA’s Rookie of the Week

The duo helped lead JMU to one of its most successful weekends in program history as the Dukes went 5-0 at the College of Charleston Classic over the weekend. Madison had never before gone undefeated in a weekend where they played as many as four games in a weekend. In 2004, the Dukes went 5-1 in a tournament at East Carolina and last year they went 3-0 at the Elon Phoenix Classic.

Wernsing sparked the JMU offense hitting a team-high .571 and is currently riding a five-game hitting streak. The senior second baseman went 8-for-14, including two doubles and a triple, while also contributing two runs scored, two RBIs, a walk and a stolen base. In Madison’s walk-off win over Syracuse, Wernsing provided the game-winning hit with a slow chopper up the middle to plate the winning run.

Clohan appeared in four of the five games over the weekend and recorded a victory in all five appearances. She went 4-0 with a 0.47 ERA, while limiting opposing hitters to a .218 batting average against. In total the senior right-hander threw 15 innings, allowing 12 hits, three runs, one earned run, walked six and struck out five. Against Akron, she threw her 39th-career complete game and seventh-career shutout as she blanked the Zips 2-0.

Wernsing, Clohan and the Dukes will return to action this Friday as they travel to Columbia, S.C. to play in the Gamecock Invitational on the campus of South Carolina. The Dukes will Sacred Heart on Friday at 3 p.m and Chattanooga at 7 p.m. On Saturday they’ll play North Florida at 5 p.m. before wrapping up the tournament with a 11 a.m. Sunday game against Eastern Illinois.

  

News: Tech wrestler honored by ACC, Tuesday, 10:45 a.m.

Virginia Tech’s Chris Diaz has been named Atlantic Coast Conference Wrestler of the Week after winning two matches – in two different weight classes – to help the Hokies complete a perfect 5-0 season in conference dual meet competition.

Wrestling at 141 pounds, 19th-ranked Diaz scored an 11-8 win over N.C. State’s 18th-ranked Joe Caramanica as Virginia Tech blanked the Wolfpack 50-0 on Sunday afternoon. Later that evening, Diaz moved up to the 149-pound weight class and pinned Duke’s Mike Bell in just 41 seconds to key the Hokies to a 28-15 victory.

The wins improved Diaz, a sophomore from Camden, Del., to 29-8 overall on the year, 15-5 in duals and 4-1 in ACC matches. This marks the second time Virginia Tech (20-1 overall) has posted an unbeaten mark in ACC dual meets since joining the conference. The Hokies went 5-0 in the ACC in 2004-05 as conference dual meet champions.

 

News: UVa.’s Courtney named ACC tennis player of the week, Tuesday, 10:45 a.m.

Virginia’s Drew Courtney has been named Atlantic Coast Conference Men’s Tennis Player of the Week after his performance in ITA National Team Indoor Championships last weekend.

Courtney led the fifth-ranked Cavaliers as they captured the Men’s Indoor Championships in Chicago, Virginia’s second consecutive title and only the second in ACC history (last season’s title was the first). The Cavaliers (12-0) defeated 12th-ranked Tulsa, fourth-ranked UCLA, eighth-ranked Tennessee and third-ranked Georgia en route to claiming the trophy.

Courtney, a freshman from Clifton, Va., went 4-0 competing at No. 6 singles, including winning the championship-clinching the match against Georgia. The win over the Bulldogs’ Josh Varela was in comeback fashion, as Courtney rebounded after losing the first set 6-0 for a 0-6, 6-0, 7-5 win. He has now won eight consecutive matches and is 9-1 overall in dual match play. He teamed with Lee Singer to go 2-1 at No. 3 doubles, including the doubles point clinching win over Tulsa.

 

News: UVa. to open women’s lax season against Virginia Tech, Tuesday, 10:45 a.m.

The No. 4 Virginia women’s lacrosse team will open its season on Wednesday hosting in-state rival Virginia Tech in an Atlantic Coast Conference game played in Klöckner Stadium. Opening draw is slated for 4 p.m., and live stats can be found on VirginiaSports.com.

Coming off a third-straight Atlantic Coast Conference Championship, the Cavaliers return seven starters from the 2008 campaign and welcome the No. 2-ranked recruiting class in the nation to Charlottesville to help fill the void of last season’s departed seniors and create a squad full of talent.

Boasting the nation’s third-ranked scoring defense a year ago, Virginia will look to the experience of its four senior All-Americans to win another conference title and make a run in the postseason for the 13th-consecutive season.

Senior All-American and co-captain Blair Weymouth returns to spearhead the attack and will be joined by senior All-Americans Jenny Hauser and Ashley McCulloch to form a talented trio of attackers.

As the three leading point contributors on the team a year ago, Hauser topped the squad in goals, netting 36, while McCulloch dished out a team-best 34 assists. Weymouth, despite missing a portion of the season due to injury, finished third on the team – behind Hauser and McCulloch – with 46 points.

Behind the trio, the Cavaliers have a wealth of talent in redshirt junior Whit Hagerman, juniors Marye Kellermann and Caity Whiteley and sophomore Molly Millard that will help form a dominant supporting cast in the offense.

On the opposite end of the field, senior All-American and co-captain Jen Holden and junior Brittany Kalkstein will anchor the Cavaliers’ defense. Holden will look to unify and strengthen a revamped defensive unit, which welcomes Kalkstein, last season’s team leader in draw controls and caused turnovers, to her side from the midfield.

Alongside Kalkstein, Holden brings solid play and experience to the backfield and after a solid first season, sophomore Liz Downs, a member of the national All-Rookie team last year, brings another familiar face back to the nationally ranked defensive unit.

Others that will be used on the back line are seniors Sarah Hackman and Katie Shannon and sophomores Molly McClintic and Marghi Walters.

To help transition the ball, Virginia will rely on a fast and athletic midfield. An All-ACC honoree, junior Kaitlin Duff, will lead a young and diverse corps of midfielders in pressuring defenders and increasing the pace of play.

Duff led a competitive ACC in ground balls a season ago and will be joined by a mixture of teammates that are capable of filling any role on the field.

Looking to help round out the midfield will be junior Yeardley Love, redshirt freshman Ainsley Baker and Kalkstein, in addition to some freshmen that will be able to work their way into the mix and shake things up.

In the absence of 2008 ACC Championship MVP Kendall McBrearty, senior Sara Hairfield and redshirt sophomore Lauren Benner have been battling for the duty of guarding the net this spring.

According to Inside Lacrosse, the incoming Cavaliers are ranked behind only four-time national champion Northwestern in their recruiting class. Included in the group are four of the top prospects from the state of Maryland, Caroline Cochran, Bailey Fogarty, Julie Gardner and Josie Owen, in addition to Annie Taylor from northern Virginia. Gardner will look to bolster the midfield, while Cochran and Owen will step up front as attackers and Taylor will help out defensively. Fogarty will be used as a midfielder or defender.

  

News: Radford women down High Point, Tuesday, 9:15 a.m.

Three players scored in double figures and Radford’s defense recorded a season-high 17 steals as it defeated High Point, 76-60, Monday evening from the Dedmon Center. Sophomore Taleia Moton (Fort Washington, Md./Suitland) scored a game-high 18 points and junior Kymesha Alston (Hampton, Va./Manhattan) tossed in 17 points and pulled down six rebounds as the Highlanders (7-15, 6-5 Big South) snapped a three-game slide and moved back into a tie for third place in the Big South.

Moton was 7-for-15 from the field and 4-for-4 from the line with five rebounds and four assists. Alston was 5-for-9 from the floor and 7-for-9 from the charity stripe. The Highlanders as a team shot 46 percent (26-56) and 75 percent (21-28) from the free throw line.

“There was a lot of energy and enthusiasm tonight,” said head coach Tajama Ngongba. “We came out of the gate strong, communicating well. There was a good flow to our offense and defense all game.”

Mackenzie Maier led the Panthers (11-14, 7-5 Big South) with a 17-point, 11-rebound double-double and three steals. Shamia Brown also tallied a team-best 17 points with seven rebounds.

Trailing 5-2, Radford went on a 24-6 run over a 9:10 span to take a 26-11 lead at 6:36 of the first half. Alston started it with a pair of free throws as the Highlanders would hit 11 of their 13 straight charity tosses during the run. Alston, along with freshman Kahealani Vick (Virginia Beach, Va./Princess Anne) scored six points over that stretch.

After senior Rachel Morris (Stanley, Va./Page County) drained a three from the corner at 3:22, the Panthers closed out the final 2:24 with a 10-2 spurt to get within, 36-29, going into halftime. High Point went 6-for-6 from the line during the run and after missing its first freebee of the game, hit 13 straight charity tosses. The Panthers finished the game 16-for-19 (84 percent) from the free throw line.

Radford, who shot a blistering 63 percent (17-27) in the second half, countered High Point’s half-ending run by scoring the first nine points of the second stanza to push its lead back to double-digits (45-29) just 3:08 into the second half. Alston sparked the early surge. She tallied the first five points which included an old-fashioned three-point play.

High Point managed to cut Radford’s advantage to 12 points three more times over the next five minutes, but Radford continued to answer any comeback attempt getting 14 of its season-high 28 bench points in the final 14 minutes of the game.

“We received tremendous production off the bench, getting 28 points,” Ngongba stated. “We’ve been looking for that all season and it showed up tonight.”

Senior Johnette Walker (Columbia, S.C./Irmo), Vick and junior Davida Dodson (Silver Spring, Md./Eleanor Roosevelt) combined to score 26 points off the bench. Walker had 11 points, four assists and four steals. Vick netted a career-high eight points to go along with a team-best seven rebounds and four steals. Dodson chipped in with seven points, five rebounds and three steals.

Frances Field added 10 point and four assists for the Panthers.

Radford won the turnover battle for the eighth time in nine games, forcing 20 and committing just 14. High Point outrebounded Radford, 39-33 which included 22 offensive boards.

uva basketball team of destiny
Team of Destiny: Inside Virginia Basketball’s Run to the 2019 National Championship, by Jerry Ratcliffe and Chris Graham, is available for $25.


The book, with additional reporting by Zach Pereles, Scott Ratcliffe and Scott German, will take you from the aftermath of the stunning first-round loss to UMBC in 2018, and how coach Tony Bennett and his team used that loss as the source of strength, through to the ACC regular-season championship, the run to the Final Four, and the thrilling overtime win over Texas Tech to win the 2019 national title, the first in school history.
 
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