Friday, May 1, 2009

Hoos risin'

Being a fan of the University of Virginia can sometimes be tough, especially if you focus on the big name sports of football and men's basketball. In the world of UVA football, a big surprise win one Saturday is often followed by a disappointing loss the next. A few years back, I finally gave up the live-or-die by the latest game mentality - and have been a happier, if a bit less passionate fan. Basketball has mostly been a downer the past couple of years, but I have my hopes for the new coach, the style of play he'll bring, and the players he'll recruit. We should all give him several seasons of breathing space to put a successful program together.
Springtime, however, is bright for the Hoos where a number of the teams are nationally ranked and provide some of the most exciting sports in the Commonwealth.
  • Men's tennis is ranked #1
  • Baseball is ranked #11
  • Women's lacrosse is ranked #9
  • Men's lacrosse is ranked #4 and has been #1
  • Women's golf is #3
  • Women's rowing is #15
Men's lacrosse coach, Dom Starsia, seems in awe of the Cavaliers' across-the-board successes:
This spring has been astonishing in a lot of ways. It does create a competitive atmosphere that is healthy for everybody.
UVA has done it with hard work by athletes, quality coaches, and providing full funding for all sports. That means teams have full coaching staffs and the maximum number of scholarships for every sport. Donors put up big bucks to build a baseball stadium and indoor tennis facility, among other improvements, that didn't make the headlines of JPJ Arena or Scott Stadium. It wasn't always this way - as recently as 2001 a UVA committee recommended dropping baseball and men's tennis to club status. There's more in Spring Sports Flourishing at Virginia.
It seems to me that UVA athletics is doing many things right and successes will also bloom in the marquee sports that grab fans' attention. I'm waiting for that year when I can just smile, or smirk, when I greet one of my many friends who are rabid VA Tech supporters. ;>)


Gene Hart said...

Go Hoos!

Unknown said...

I'm no Hoos fan, but I attended a Women's Lacrosse match a couple of weeks ago when MY team, Northwestern, was in town. At the time, UVA was ranked #10 and Northwestern #1, the Hoos played a great match and came close to an upset. I was impressed.

(Northwestern's spring sports are pretty nice, too: Women's Lacross #1, Women's Tennis #1, Softball #11.)