U.Va. men’s polo team celebrating their winning U.S. Polo Association’s National Intercollegiate Championship in 2012
The University of Virginia is a winner in so many areas – from business to baseball – it’s often forgotten that U.Va. excels in “The Sport of Kings.” Polo was first played in early antiquity in Persia, currently is played in 16 countries, and today, a national polo program boasts 107 teams competing at the high school and college levels.
From April 9 through 13, the University’s first-class men’s and women’s polo teamswill defend their titles at the U. S. Polo Association’s National Intercollegiate Championship tournaments in Brookshire, Texas, just outside of Houston. On hand to compete will be some of the best up-and-coming talents in U.S. polo.
First, let’s state the obvious: We can all agree that U.Va. alumna Melissa Stark is gorgeous.
But that’s not why the NFL Network sought her out to host a pre-game show, and is reportedly looking for ways to expand her presence on its network. Stark knows football, and she is a thoroughly professional broadcaster. Her looks may catch your eye, but her knowledge keeps you tuned in.
And she’s doing it all while focusing on raising her children.
In so doing, Bernardino has reached some historic ground.
According to the U.Va. athletic media relations department, “With this title, Bernardino now has 27 ACC championships, passing Frank Comfort of North Carolina for most ACC swimming and diving championships. This is also Bernardino’s 16th men’s title, which passes Don Easterling of N.C. State for the most ACC men’s swimming and diving crowns. He also has 11 women’s titles, which is second-most in the conference.
“Bernardino, who is in his 35th year at Virginia as head coach, now sits in fourth place in ACC history for coaching titles in any sport, behind only track and field/cross country coaches Dennis Craddock (40 for UNC and Virginia), Rollie Geiger (40 for N.C. State) and Jim Kehoe (38 for Maryland).”
The women’s NCAA Championships will be contested March 21-23, while the men’s national meet is March 28-30. Both meets will be held in Indianapolis, Ind.
U.Va.’s sixth straight title matches two streaks by North Carolina (1981-96 and 1991-96) for the most consecutive women’s ACC Championships. For U.Va. head coach Mark Bernardino, this is his 26th conference title — 15 men’s titles and 11 women’s crowns.
It probably won’t get much better for the Cavs’ ACC foes. Perdue was the only fourth-year to score for Virginia in the meet, meaning that Virginia is probably a prohibitive favorite to make it an unprecedented seven in a row next year.
On deck: The men’s championships, to be contested this weekend in Greensboro. Virginia will be looking to extend its streak of ACC titles to six, as well.
It was one of those throwaway lines that speakers use to ingratiate themselves with their audiences, but it caught my attention:
“I will tell you also, I was here a long time ago as an undergraduate,” Secretary of State John Kerry said Wednesday in Old Cabell Hall. “I played lacrosse down on that field over there against you guys, and my first act of diplomacy is literally to forget who won. I have no idea. I don’t know.”
Well, I looked it up. Kerry graduated from Yale University in 1966, and according to historic records posted on the Virginisports.com site, Yale’s lacrosse team indeed visited Charlottesville just once during a presumed four- or five-year career — on April 2, 1966. And ever the diplomat, Kerry conveniently “forgot” that his Bulldogs whipped the Cavaliers, 12-6.
The tributes continue to roll in for Dr. Frank McCue, the former head of the U.Va. Sports Medicine program who died July 8.
Word came last week that the Portsmouth-based Virginia Sports Hall of Fame will award him its 2013 Distinguished Virginian Award, “just the fourth time it has granted this honor to an individual for his contributions to education and athletics in the Commonwealth,” according to the announcement.
The presentation of the award will take place on April 27 as part of the 42nd Annual Hall of Fame Induction Banquet at the Renaissance Portsmouth Hotel & Waterfront Conference Center.
The statewide honor is particularly appropriate, as “Doc” McCue’s impact was significant well beyond U.Va. During more than four decades at U.Va., he treated athletes from several other universities and high schools, even inviting some patients to stay in his home as they recovered from surgery. McCue served as surgeon to the University of Richmond, the College of William & Mary and Virginia Military Institute athletics programs before they had their own doctors.
“A novel could not explain the impact Dr. McCue has had on sports medicine and education,” says Eddie Webb, president of the Virginia Sports Hall of Fame & Museum. “Dr. McCue had received numerous honors prior, and what better way to celebrate his contributions by honoring him with the Distinguished Virginian Award.”
For many of her fans, Beyoncé’s halftime show at Super Bowl XLVII in New Orleans on Sunday was perhaps the game’s finest moment. She brought her A-game to the event, performing a medley of her hits before being joined by Destiny’s Child bandmates.
The show featured plenty of fire, ice and smoke, and used lots of energy to light up the stage. After the power outage during the Super Bowl’s second half, broadcast and online commentators even joked that Beyoncé’s electrifying performance was to blame. (For the record, stadium officials have said that the performance did not cause the outage, as the halftime show brought its own generators.)
Beyoncé appeared on a rising platform, and was clad in an all-black ensemble with heels and a leather get-up. Her outfit, along with the costumes of her numerous fellow dancers and performers, underscored the halftime theme of female empowerment.
She will sign autographs before the U.Va. women’s basketball team’s 1 p.m. game against Georgia Tech in the “Kids Zone,” located in the northeast corner of the lower-level concourse at John Paul Jones Arena.
Perdue won gold with the U.S. women’s 4×200-meter freestyle relay at the 2012 London Olympics, becoming the first Virginia female swimmer to medal since Melanie Valerio won gold with the U.S. 4x100m free relay in 1996, and only the third overall. Only four U.Va. swimmers have won Olympic win gold: Perdue, Valerio, Matt McLean and Ed Moses.
National Girls and Women in Sports Day highlights the achievements of female athletes and their issues facing girls and women in sport. The event is co-sponsored by the U.Va. Athletics Department and the U.Va. Women’s Center.
Fans may purchase tickets through the Virginia Athletics Ticket Office online at VirginiaSports.com, by phone and in person. The Athletics Ticket Office is located in Bryant Hall at Scott Stadium and open weekdays from 9 a.m. until 5 p.m. Telephone purchases can be made by calling 1-800-542-UVA1 (8821) or locally at 434-924-UVA1 (8821).
Single-game ticket prices for all games are $10 for reserved seating, $8 for adult general admission and $6 for youth (18 & under), senior (60 & over) and U.Va. faculty/staff general admission.
That’s her at right. See the long hair? It’s going away soon. Willis is participating in the annual St. Baldrick’s Day event, in which participants pledge to shave their heads in exchange for donations to benefit cancer research. (It’s been one of this blog’s favorite causes ever since this writer participated a few years back; as an already mostly bald, middle-aged guy, I certainly had nowhere near as much to lose as Phoebe does.)
Willis is not giving up her hair for nothing. She’s set a goal of raising $25,000 before the March 21 event at The Biltmore — yep, two months before posing for all of those graduation photos — and has already taken in more than $7,000 in pledges. (Click here to support Willis or any of the other local participants.)
But even that total, while short of a sellout (the arena’s basketball capacity is 14,593), was quite a crowd for a game that began just 12 hours before the start of a work week — and between semesters, to boot. It appeared that many students interrupted their break to trek back to Charlottesville to root on the ‘Hoos, and the crowd was LOUD. The fans were rewarded by seeing North Carolina’s first-ever loss in JPJ, as the Tar Heels became the last ACC team to taste defeat there.
Head coach Tony Bennett noticed the vocal support, as did his players. This morning, the Athletic Department posted a video in which Bennett and star third-year Joe Harris thanked the fans for their support.
The winter issue of the University of Virginia Magazine is out and should be in mailboxes soon. The cover story focuses on the effort to restore the Rotunda roof, putting it into historical perspective. Apparently, the darned thing has always leaked, and this is just the latest attempt to fix it.
College sports fans are all too aware that the landscape is shifting as intercollegiate athletic programs, ever in search of financial stability, seek new conference affiliations.
In our own back yard, the Atlantic Coast Conference first snatched the University of Pittsburgh and Syracuse University from the Big East, a relationship that takes effect next fall. A couple of months ago, the ACC announced a deal with Notre Dame University, a football independent (perhaps THE football independent, and ranked No. 1 this season to boot) and Big East member in other sports, slated to join in all sports except football, and to play a minimum number of football games with ACC teams.
Then came word earlier this month that the University of Maryland, a charter ACC member, would become the first school to leave the conference since South Carolina in 1971, joining the Big Ten. The ACC moved swiftly to invite the University of Louisville, yet another Big East school, to take its place, a move announced yesterday.
All four new members promise to be formidable athletic competitors. But conferences are not always about sports. The ACC sponsors some academically oriented exchanges as well, and individual researchers often have ties to colleagues at other ACC schools.
So we were wondering: What non-athletic ties already exist between U.Va. and Pitt, Syracuse, Notre Dame and Louisville? We’re not talking about your cousin Bill who went to Pitt; more like research partnerships and other exchanges. Drop me a line at firstname.lastname@example.org or leave a comment below; your idea might end up in a future UVA Today story.
Smoke billows from the roof of the under-construction George Welsh Indoor Practice Facility on Monday. (Photos by Matt Riley/U.Va. Athletics)
Black smoke billowed from U.Va.’s George Welsh Indoor Practice Facility Monday afternoon from a fire on the roof. Here’s what we officially know about the incident.
The fire started around 12:30 p.m., sparked by a cutting torch being wielded from underneath. The roof consists of a metal deck, then insulation, then a rubber membrane, over which a metal roof is to be installed. The insulation and rubber are what burned.
All Charlottesville Fire Department units responded. Burning debris fell on the blue field hockey surface next door, but firefighters kept spraying it with water as a precaution. The fire was out by 2 p.m. No injuries were reported. That’s the good news.
Officials will evaluate the steel structure to see of anything needs to be repaired. We’re awaiting word on the damage estimate and whether the timeline for the completion of the facility will be affected. The project is, of course, insured.
Just last month, the Board of Visitors approved the naming of the facility for Welsh, the much respected former U.Va. football coach. The facility, projected to cost between $11 million and $13 million, covers about 78,000 square feet. Construction started in May, and is to be completed in February. It’s about half done right now, according to a Facilities Management website.
Update, 4:12 p.m.: Local photographer Eric Kelley quickly went aloft and posted this photo showing damage to a small portion of the roof.
Later that day, the team announced that it would use the occasion of its Sept. 28 home game against Louisiana Tech to honor former Cavalier standout and 29-year radio analyst Frank Quayle. The team will wear “throw-back” uniforms in the style that Quayle wore back in 1968, when he was the Atlantic Coast Conference Player of the Year, and the helmets will bear a decal honoring him. There will also be on-field recognitions featuring Quayle and his 1968 teammates.
Here’s hoping the invoking the glories of years past will be a boon to the current Cavs as they head off to Fort Worth this weekend for a game against Texas Christian University.
Current Cavaliers LaRoy Reynolds (9) and Oday Aboushi (72) show off throwback uniforms, modeled on the one worn by Frank Quayle in 1968 (right).
So, yesterday’s news about Notre Dame joining the Atlantic Coast Conference got me trying to remember the major moments in U.Va.-Notre Dame athletic history. I knew that Notre Dame eliminated the Cavaliers from last season’s NCAA men’s lacrosse tournament, ending the quest for a repeat national championship, so there was that.
I recalled that we played them in a big men’s basketball game during the Ralph Sampson era, so I Googled it and found, uh, the results weren’t so good:
I thought the ‘Hoos had played them in football at some point, too, so I looked that up. I discovered that U.Va. and Notre Dame met in the 1989 Kickoff Classic in East Rutherford, N.J., with the Irish coming off an undefeated season and Virginia unknowingly bound for an ACC championship that year.
That didn’t turn out so well, either:
OK, so anyone have any GOOD memories of playing Notre Dame in anything?