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BLACKSBURG – The Virginia Tech Athletics Department entered into its first year with men’s and women’s basketball staffing support provided by Rhino Sports & Entertainment Services, and through a combined effort, the Virginia Tech ushers were named the “No. 1 Usher Team” in college basketball by Ephus 21, an independent third-party evaluation company.
Ephus 21 is the industry leader in measuring the effectiveness of collegiate athletics programs’ management of the game-day experience through a service named VenueChek. During the 2015-16 basketball season, VenueChek visited more than 30 venues and the Virginia Tech game experience ranked at the top of the list.
This partnership with Rhino resulted in a great experience for Hokies fans and it also provided part-time employment opportunities for approximately 1,000 individuals from Blacksburg, Roanoke, and surrounding areas in Southwest Virginia.
“It makes me proud when we can provide this level of service to a great institution like Virginia Tech, which is what they have been looking for,” Rhino Vice President Brett Hickman said. “We have great staff who enjoy working in a fun environment and that results in a fan-friendly atmosphere. I am excited to continue hiring more part-time employees from the Blacksburg area so that we can achieve similar results during the 2016 football season.”
On Saturday, a job fair and “quick interview” session will be conducted at Roanoke’s Valley View Mall in the West Court. Interested applicants should arrive between 1 p.m. and 4 p.m. In addition, Rhino will hold a second job fair on Saturday, May 28 at the New River Valley Mall in Christiansburg from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m.
In addition to working with Virginia Tech at Cassell Coliseum and Lane Stadium, Rhino also will assist the Hokies with events at other Virginia Tech venues throughout the year.
“Hiring from the communities that we serve is a priority for us,” Rhino owner Billy D. Prim said. “We want to provide employment opportunities in the local areas that are so important to our partners. Our customer service training not only benefits our clients like Virginia Tech Athletics, but also is a valuable tool for our employees to use in their full-time jobs. Rhino staff will be seamlessly integrated into the game-day experience and proudly say, ‘Go Hokies’ alongside other fans.”
Applicants also may contact the Rhino hiring headquarters by sending an email to employmentVT@rhino-ses.com or by calling 540-784-1955.
With a 3-pointer in the third quarter against Florida State, Vanessa Panousis became the 24th player in Virginia Tech women’s basketball history to reach the 1,000-point milestone and just the ninth player to do so as a junior. Congratulations Vanessa!
Former Virginia Tech standout Uju Ugoka has inked a new deal to play for Lavezzini-Parma in Parma, Italy as part of the Italian Serie A1 league. Last season Ugoka competed for Vassalli 2G Vigarano where she averaged 18.2 points, 11.4 rebounds and 1.7 steals per game to lead the team. Ugoka dropped in a season-high 34 points against Battipaglia. In addition, she had a single-game high of 35 rebounds versus Trieste.
She finished the season ranked fourth in the league in scoring and rebounding, earning her Eurobasket.com All-Italian A1 Honorable Mention honors. Vassalli finished 11th last season in the standings while Lavezzini was 10th.
Ugoka also competed in the spring for First Bank in the Nigerian D1 league, helping the team to an 8-0 record.
Here's a look back at the Hokies win over NC State in the opening round of the ACC Tournament. It marked the first win over the Wolfpack in program history. Thank you to all our fans for their support and encouraging words! Tech takes on Pitt tonight in the second round of the tournament at 6 p.m.
VIRGINIA TECH PHOTO GALLERY
Check out the News-Record's gallery of the win: http://t.co/TKszrolsvE— VT Women's Hoops (@VT_WBBall) March 4, 2015
@VT_WBBall Congratulations!— Sorka5650 (@Sorka5650) March 4, 2015
Great win for @VT_WBBall !— Maryland Hokie Club (@mdhokieclub) March 4, 2015
Congrats to @VT_WBBall! ACC 1st round tourney WIN over NCState.— VT Equipment (@VTEquipment) March 4, 2015
Great win @VT_WBBall!! Rest up and recover for the next one!— VT Sports Nutrition (@HokieFuel) March 4, 2015
Way to go, @VT_WBBall! Congrats!— Ann Cassell (@asc7c) March 4, 2015
Congrats @VT_WBBall !! Great win!❤️🏀👍— Kelly Babcock (@kwbab3_kelly) March 4, 2015
The Hokies visited a local elementary school while in Greensboro, N.C. for the 2015 ACC Women's Basketball Tournament.
The four students pictured with the team submitted a video about teamwork to the conference office to win Millis Road Elementary the visit from the Hokies. The team interacted with the students giving away Virginia Tech and ACC prizes, answered questions from the group and signed autographs.
The Virginia Tech women's basketball team thanks the Hokie Hardwood Club for all of its support over the years. This season the club presented head coach Dennis Wolff with a check for $54,810 from all of the club's fundraising efforts over the past year. In addition to raising funds for the women's basketball team, the Hardwood Club enjoys several social events with the team throughout the academic year.
One of the club's major fundraising events is the Annual Hardwood Club Auction hosted at the German Club. Check out the gallery from this year's Hardwood Club Auction which raised over $40,000 to support the women's basketball team. Thanks to Rock Roszak for providing the photos.
The Virginia Tech women’s basketball gave back to the community last week, traveling to Christiansburg to help out with the 2014 Montgomery County Christmas Store.
“I think it’s a great opportunity to come and give back to the community,” said sophomore Samantha Hill. “Every day we go to practice, go to school and there’s so much more than that. Being here gives us the opportunity to see that.”
The Hokies went to the store, which is set up much like a department store, to volunteer their time and give back to the surrounding community. After being given a tour of the facitlityes, the players were then assigned to various departments where they assisted families with their shopping and restocked shelves when items ran low.
In addition to working at the store, the Hokies held a donation game last weekend when Tech hosted Michigan State. Fans were encouraged to bring new toys to donate for the Christmas store. The Virginia Tech Student-Athlete Advisory Committee collected over 270 toys for donation.
The Montgomery County Christmas Store began in 1982 and served 267 families that first year. It has grown tremendously since then and serves over 1,500 families in need during the holiday season. The store is an all-volunteer, community-wide, nonprofit organization, which assists low-income families in Montgomery County during the Christmas season by providing a shopping experience characterized by choice and dignity. Serving families with children is the first priority.
Virginia Tech signee Kelly Koshuta has been named to the American Family Insurance All-USA Preseason Girls Basketball Team as announced by USA TODAY High School Sports. The team is selected by USA TODAY High School Sports' reporter Jim Halley.
The Hokies hosted their first open practice to recognize 2014-15 season ticket holders as well as members of the Hokie Hardwood Club on Monday evening in Cassell Coliseum. A few hundred people came out to get a first look at the team before the upcoming season. Head coach Dennis Wolff was mic'd up throughout the event and walked those in attendance through the drills, explaining why the team benefitted from the particular drill. At the end Coach Wolff took questions from the audience and the team signed posters, basketballs, etc. for the fans.
Check out a gallery of the event on the Virginia Tech Athletics Facebook Page:
Members of the Virginia Tech women's basketball team volunteered at Color Me Rad Blacksburg on Sunday morning. Color Me Rad is a 5k run/walk in which participants are splattered with colored powder as they move through different stations throughout the course. The unique event also gives back to the surrounding communities as the Blacksburg run benefitted Special Olympics Virginia.
The Hokies interacted with Special Olympians who were out on the course helping to support the runners/walkers along the 3.1 miles. In addition, the team participated in "coloring" the runners and walkers as well as in the end-of-race Color Bomb which caps off each Color Me Rad event in a full explosion of color.
The Hokies also took some of the color back to Hahn-Hurst following the event, stopping by to visit head coach Dennis Wolff in his office.
The Virginia Tech women's basketball team spent Saturday afternoon supporting Dr. Timothy Sands by cheering him on during his pick-up game with other Tech students, faculty and staff as part of #enterVTSandsman installation events over the weeked. Dr. Sands was installed on Friday as the 16th president of Virginia Tech.
Fans coming to Virginia Tech men’s basketball, women’s basketball, wrestling and volleyball contests will hear a big improvement in sound quality at the events as the athletics department recently completed the installation of a new state-of-the-art sound system.
Clair Solutions installed the approximately $190,000 system over the past week and it will debut on Sunday for the volleyball match against rival Virginia.
The sound system is JBL Equipment, but includes components from Crown, BSS, Mid-Atlantic and others. It is similar to what was recently installed at Penn and in one of the auxiliary arenas at Madison Square Garden.
Clair Solutions subcontracted with Extreme Tree Company to assist with getting the speakers and wiring into the rafters of Cassell.
It took over two miles of wiring and has an added feature that will allow for expanded camera capabilities including the option to hang a center mounted camera for above the court shots. The speaker set-up gives the department the option to zone sound as well as isolate and direct the sound to specific locations around the arena.
The new sound system is one of several upgrades planned for Cassell Coliseum.
Ieva Kublina’s impact on the women’s basketball program at Virginia Tech is still easy to see … all you have to do is look at the Hokies’ record book. The former center from Riga, Latvia, is currently ranked among the top 10 players in 15 of the 20 major career individual statistical categories at Tech and still remains among the top five in 10 of those listings.
Kublina appeared in 31 games as a freshman in 2000-01 and went on to play in all 126 games of her Tech career. She started 98 of those games, including the last 95 in a row. As a sophomore, she posted career bests of 15.8 points per game and 7.8 rebounds a contest. She was named the BIG EAST Conference’s Most Improved Player that season and was picked to the WNIT All-Tournament team after helping the Hokies to the semifinals.
Tech won more than 20 games and went to postseason tournaments all four years Kublina played. The Hokies posted wins in six of their 10 tournament games, with Kublina earning first-team All-BIG EAST honors in 2003 and second-team recognition in 2002 and 2004. She is still first all-time at Tech in blocked shots (256), second in rebounds (845) and games played (126) and third in points (1,647).
Kublina was a third-round pick of Indiana in the 2004 WNBA Draft. She also played for Latvia in the 2008 Summer Olympics. She currently lives in Ramava, Latvia, and has been playing professionally in FIBA EuroLeague Women since 2005.