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A Year to Savor

Cavaliers claim national, ACC titles

The 2009-10 academic year earned a special place in the hearts of UVA sports fans. Four programs boasted national championships and seven won ACC championships—the most in University history. In addition, the Cavaliers claimed their 100th title in ACC history, and the University finished third in the national Learfield Sports Directors’ Cup rankings, the highest in school history. Here’s a blow-by-blow look at the accomplishments.

Men’s soccer
In November, the men’s soccer team claimed the year’s first ACC title by defeating North Carolina State 1-0 at Cary, N.C. The Cavaliers went on to achieve the ultimate goal, an NCAA championship, with a 3-2 penalty kick shootout victory over No. 1-ranked Akron. Coach George Gelnovatch was named National Coach of the Year.

Only one team in UVA history can claim to have won the University’s 100th ACC title, and the rowing squad did it by sweeping every race on Clemson’s Lake Hartwell on April 24. A month later, Cavalier rowers won their first NCAA team championship. Kevin Sauer was named ACC Coach of the Year and National Coach of the Year by the Collegiate Rowing Coaches Association, which also honored UVA associate head coach Steve Pritzker (GSBA ’05) as the National Assistant Coach of the Year.

Men’s tennis
One day after the rowing team’s ACC victory, the No. 1-ranked men’s tennis squad won its fourth consecutive ACC championship and its sixth title in seven years with a 4-2 win over Duke. Michael Shabaz (Col ’11) and Drew Courtney (Col ’12) later won the NCAA doubles title, and Brian Boland was named ACC Coach of the Year.

Women’s swimming and diving
ACC titles are nothing new to this program, but the team achieved a high-water mark in UVA history—three conference championships in a row. First-year Lauren Perdue was named ACC Freshman of the Year and fourth-year Mei Christensen was tagged ACC Swimmer of the Year.

Men’s swimming and diving
Scant days after the women’s feat, the men also claimed the University’s third consecutive ACC title, and the 13th overall in program history. Third-year Scot Robison was named the meet’s most valuable swimmer. Mark Bernardino (Com ’74, Educ ’78) was named ACC Coach of the Year for the women’s and men’s programs.

In March, UVA wrestlers edged favored Maryland and Virginia Tech to win UVA’s first ACC title since 1977. Steve Garland (Col ’00) became the first UVA wrestling coach to be named ACC Coach of the Year.

Men’s lacrosse
A memorable sports weekend in April was capped by the No. 2-ranked Cavaliers’ 10-6 victory over Maryland just hours after the men’s tennis ACC win, giving the men’s lacrosse program its sixth ACC crown overall and UVA its seventh conference title of the season. The team lost to Duke in the semi-finals of the NCAA tournament.

Other Highlights

Softball: The team finished second in the ACC, the program’s highest finish since 1997, plus made its first NCAA appearance.

Men’s track and field: All-Americans Lance Roller (Educ ’12) and Sintayehu Taye (Col ’12) won ACC individual outdoor titles in 800 meters and 1500 meters, respectively. In March, Robby Andrews (Col ’13) won the NCAA indoor title in the 800, capping an undefeated season in the event.

Golf: Both the men’s and women’s programs finished second at their respective ACC championship tournaments. Ben Kohles (Col ’12) was named ACC Co-Player of the Year and men’s coach Bowen Sargent was selected ACC Coach of the Year.

Cross-country: The men finished second at the ACC championship meet behind a first-place finish by All-American Emil Heineking (Col ’11). Catherine White (Educ ’11) was named the NCAA Southeast Region Athlete of the Year, a UVA first.

Field hockey: The team won 20 games, the most in program history, and reached the semifinals of the NCAA championships. Coach Michele Madison was named national Coach of the Year by CaptainU.

Baseball: The team won a program-record 51 games, and Brian O’Connor was named ACC Coach of the Year.