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Hokies finish fourth at NCAA championships with six All-Americans

The Virginia Tech wrestling squad earned a fourth-place finish at the NCAA championship, a program best, and earned a team trophy for the very first time. Spurred on by redshirt sophomore Zach Epperly and redshirt senior Nick Brascetta, six Hokies finished in the top six in their weight classes. Joining Epperly and Brascetta were Solomon Chishko (6th place), Jared Haught (6th place), David McFadden (6th place), and Ty Walz (4th place), who all earned All-America honors. Brascetta became the second three-time All-American in program history and ended his career with three ACC championships and qualified for the national championships four times.

Dresser named National Coach of the Year

Head coach Kevin Dresser was named the NWCA Coach of the Year at the 2016 NCAA Wrestling Championships over the weekend, the first such honor in Virginia Tech wrestling history. The award came after the Hokies finished a program-best fourth in the team standings, earning a team trophy for the first time. Additionally, a record six Hokies earned All-America honors: Nick Brascetta, Solomon Chishko, Zach Epperly, Jared Haught, David McFadden and Ty Walz. Tech’s fourth-place finish is also the best all-time finish among ACC teams, topping a fifth-place finish by UNC in 1982.

Virginia Tech
Athletes of the Week

Nick Brascetta
(Wrestling • r-Senior • St. Paris, Ohio)
All-American • 157

Solomon Chishko
(Wrestling • r-Freshman • Jeanette, Pa.)
All-American • 141

Zach Epperly
(Wrestling • r-Sophomore • Christiansburg, Va.)
All-American • 174

Jared Haught
(Wrestling • r-Sophomore • Parkersburg, W.Va.)
All-American • 197

David McFadden
(Wrestling • Freshman • West Milford, N.J.)
All-American • 165

Klaudia Nazieblo
(Swimming • Sophomore • Wroclaw, Poland)
First Team All-American • 200 Fly

Ty Walz
(Wrestling • r-Junior • Cleveland, Ohio)
All-American • HWT

Nazieblo earns A-A honors as Hokies finish 25th at NCAAs

The Virginia Tech women’s swimming and diving team concluded its season with a Top-25 finish at the 2016 NCAA Division I Women's Swimming and Diving Championships behind two All-America performances. Klaudia Nazieblo earned All-America honors in the 200 fly while Weronika Paluszek earned Honorable Mention All-America honors in the 200 breast to lead the Hokies and earn a combined 17 points. As a team, Tech finished with 23 points and tied for 25th place. The 400 medley relay team comprised of Nazieblo, Paluszek, Maggie Gruber and Jessica Hespeler scored six points with a 14th-place finish on Thursday.

Tech earns postseason win in Buzz Williams’ second season

The Hokies advanced to the second round of the 2016 NIT before falling to BYU, 80-77, on the Cougars’ home court on Friday night. Tech opened the tournament with an 86-81 overtime win against Princeton at Virginia Tech Carilion Court at Cassell Coliseum on Wednesday night. Zach LeDay led all scorers with 29 points and added 11 rebounds for his 11th double-double of the season, and Jalen Hudson added 28 points and a career-high seven rebounds. At BYU, Seth Allen scored 22 points to lead the Hokies, while LeDay recorded his 12th double-double of the season with 17 points and 14 rebounds. Kerry Blackshear Jr., had 13 points and seven rebounds for Tech. The Hokies finished the season 20-15 overall, marking the team’s first 20-win season and postseason appearance since the 2010-11 campaign.

Women’s basketball team wins postseason game

After making postseason for the first time in nine years, the Hokies advanced to the second round of the WNIT last week. Tech opened with a 68-59 victory over Elon as sophomore Rachel Camp dropped in a season-high 29 points in the game. Sidney Cook added 12 points and nine boards. In the second round, the Hokies squared off against MAC regular-season champion Ohio in Athens. Cook dropped in 22 points against the Bobcats and grabbed 10 rebounds. The Hokies set a couple of records on the week with Chanette Hicks setting a new program record for steals in a season while Hannah Young broke the senior class record for 3-pointers made in a season.

Fuente’s first spring football practice at Tech begins today

It has been a very busy nearly three months since Justin Fuente assumed the head coaching duties, and it is finally today that he and his staff get to coach football on the field. Virginia Tech opens its spring practice at 7 p.m., with player identification and roles topping the list of objectives for Fuente and his staff. The Hokies return 15 starters from the bowl game, so they have a good nucleus in place. But finding the remaining starters and also finding depth is critical. Tech will practice on Tuesdays and Thursdays in the evenings, and Saturdays in the morning. The Hokies conclude spring practice April 23 with the annual Maroon-Orange game, which will kick off at 2:30 p.m., in Lane Stadium.

Hokies sweep ACC series over Eagles

The Hokies prevailed through a waterlogged Saturday to close out game two and secure a run-rule victory over Boston College on Sunday, clinching their second ACC sweep in as many weekends. Maggie Tyler led the Hokies to their 4-0 victory over the Eagles on Friday night, tossing her first no-hitter, one walk away from a perfect game. Kelsey Mericka put the Hokies on the board, slugging a 2-RBI homer to highlight Tech’s offense on Friday. In the resumed game on Sunday, Tech secured its second comeback win of the season led by Lauren Duff and Katey Smith who had three RBI each. Both Breanna Davenport and Caitlyn Nolan slugged homeruns in the final game, resulting in an 11-3 complete game for Mikaela Aiken.

Student-Athlete Q&A

Virginia Tech softball pitcher Maggie Tyler is interviewed by tennis player Freddy Mesmer

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Track & field teams have hot performances in Miami

Freshmen Teagan Rasche and Pavla Kuklova led the Hokies on day one of the Hurricane Invitational with first-place finishes in their collegiate debuts. Rasche’s 47.16-meter (154-09) javelin throw ranks fifth in program history. Kuklova continued Tech’s success with a 58.46-meter (191-09) hammer throw. Tech posted numerous top-five results on day two, highlighted by first-place finishes by Nora McKiver and Aaron Simpson. McKiver ran a 13.73 time in the 100-meter hurdles to not only win the event but also set a new personal best. Simpson took the crown in lane five of the 110-meter hurdles with a 14.78-time, just missing a new personal record. Darius Watkins’ 200-meter dash of 20.96 was the top time of collegians in the event.

Virginia Tech to rename baseball stadium in recognition of Union Bank & Trust

Virginia Tech announced on March 21 that it was renaming its baseball stadium in recognition of a commitment of support to athletics from Union Bank & Trust, the largest community bank headquartered in Virginia. Now known as English Field at Union Park, the stadium is set to receive numerous upgrades thanks to a $3.5 million commitment from the Richmond-based bank. The university’s Board of Visitors approved extending the stadium’s naming rights to Union for 10 years in recognition of the company’s financial support. The Tech athletics department now plans to begin the initial phases of a multi-million dollar baseball facility improvement project of which the final costs won’t be determined until design-and-build bids are analyzed. Projected improvements and upgrades include additional seating, premium seating, modernized concession areas, a new patio, a new entrance to the stadium, additional restrooms, a new team clubhouse, and new scoreboard and video replay boards.

Hokies go 2-1 on the week in ACC matches

The No. 40 Virginia Tech men’s tennis team went 2-1 on the week, picking up a 7-0 win over VCU and a 6-1 victory over Louisville. The Hokies won the doubles point in all three matches. Joao Monteiro, Andreas Bjerrehus, Amerigo Contini, Edoardo Tessaro, and Jai Corbett all picked up singles wins against VCU and Louisville to help Tech secure the team wins. In the match against Florida State, the 23rd-ranked Seminoles edged the Hokies, 4-3. Tech claimed the doubles point, Contini won at three and Aaron Gomez had the win on six.

Tech splits matches in the Sunshine State

Virginia Tech, ranked 32nd nationally, split results on the weekend, falling 6-1 at No. 12 Miami before taking the 4-3 win at No. 60 Florida State. The Hokies point against the Hurricanes came on court three where No. 117 Caroline Daxhelet defeated No. 103 Wendy Zhang 6-2, 4-6, 6-3. Against the Seminoles, the Hokies picked up the doubles point to go up 1-0 early in the match. Tech increased its advantage to 3-0 as Raluca Mita and Elena Cerezo-Codina claimed wins on their respective courts. The Seminoles got on the board with a win in the next completed match, but Tech’s 58th-ranked Francesca Fusinato secured the team win as she defeated 72nd-ranked Daneika Borthwick 6-4, 6-4 on court one.

Tech drops overtime contest to the Tribe

The Virginia Tech lacrosse team lost a tight contest at William & Mary on Saturday in OT, 10-9. The Hokies scored first, led for all but the last 7:42 of regulation time, and never trailed until the game-winner. Meghan Macera scored two goals, had three draw controls and two ground balls. Kristine Loscalzo also scored twice and had two caused turnovers while Tristan McGinley had two goals and five draw controls. The Hokies jumped out to a 5-0 lead to start the game and led 9-5 with 21:40 left in the second half. William & Mary rallied to score the final four goals to send the game into overtime and got the game-winner with 3:06 left in the overtime frame.

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Virginia Tech Athletics presents its weekly video wrap-up of Tech sports, with host Andrew Allegretta filling you in on what you need to know to keep up with the Hokies.

Not satisfied, wrestlers look to build on best-ever NCAA performance

After three long tough days of wrestling resulted in the team’s highest NCAA finish in program history, newly tabbed national coach of the year Kevin Dresser and his Hokie wrestlers held a reception at the team hotel across the street from Madison Square Garden. In the wee hours of Sunday morning, the coaching staff and six All-Americans addressed the throng of Hokie supporters that had traveled to New York City. Ty Walz and the Hokie grapplers celebrated a tremendous accomplishment, but the focus of their words and their energy was on building on this moment and getting even better in the future. With five of the six All-Americans returning next season and other talented newcomers ready to play their part, the future looks bright for Virginia Tech wrestling.