This past Wednesday marked National Signing Day, and the Virginia Tech football program compiled a 27-member recruiting class that many in recruiting circles ranked among the top 25 nationally. Devon Hunter, a defensive back from Chesapeake, Virginia, and Dylan Rivers, a linebacker from Sherando, Virginia headlined a group that included seven prospects from the commonwealth. Tech’s class includes balance, as the coaching staff signed five defensive linemen, four linebackers, three receivers, three tight ends, three offensive linemen and three defensive backs. Nine players in the class enrolled at the university for the spring semester and will participate in spring practice which starts in March. The annual Maroon-Orange Spring Game will be played April 22 at Lane Stadium.
Various members of Virginia Tech’s track and field teams competed at two meets over the weekend – the Doc Hale Elite Meet at Rector Field House and the Camel City Invitational held in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. The Hokies combined to record eight first-place finishes, four each on the men’s and women’s sides. For the men, Torben Laidig won the pole vault, while Diego Zarate (mile), Aaron Simpson (60-meter hurdles) and Brent Musselman (3,000) also claimed top spots in their respective events. On the women’s side, freshman Kayla Richardson won the 3,000 for her first collegiate win in track, while Tessa Riley (mile), Shannon Quinn (800) and Arlicia Bush (400) also won. The Hokies will again split up this weekend, as various members of both teams will compete at both Vanderbilt and Liberty.
Swimming in the final home meet of her career, Caroline Buscaglia won both the 50- and 100-yard freestyle events to headline the Virginia Tech swimming and diving team’s performances at the Virginia Tech Invitational held at the Christiansburg Aquatic Center, the Hokies’ home, over the weekend. Buscaglia’s time of 50.77 seconds in the 100 marked the best of her career and came in her final swim. Baillie Cameron (100 and 200 breaststroke) and Jessica Beattie (200 and 400 IM) also won multiple events, along with Nick Schwegel (200 and 400 IM) on the men’s side. Both teams now get ready for the ACC championships, with the women’s team competing in Atlanta on Feb. 13-16 and the men’s team on Feb. 27-March 2.
Virginia Tech wrestler David Bergida has been getting the most action at 165 pounds in David McFadden’s absence and will be a part of the Hokie squad that takes on NC State this Saturday in a match that will determine the ACC’s dual meet champion. We asked him a few questions to allow fans to get to know him as more than just a talented student-athlete.
Q: What is your dream vacation?
DB: A trip to Greece and Italy.
Q: What’s your favorite place to eat?
DB: The Bagel Barn Deli in New Jersey.
Q: What is your favorite city that you've visited?
Q: If you could play another sport, what would it be?
Q: Why did you choose Virginia Tech?
DB: Because of the atmosphere. Everyone is very friendly and loves being a Hokie!
Q: If you could live anywhere, where would it be?
Q: If you could trade places with someone for a day, who would it be?
DB: Rob Gronkowski
Q: What are you listening to these days?
DB: Hip-hop/rap like Kanye West, Kid Cudi, Logic and alternative rock like Blink-182
Q: What is the talent you’d most like to have?
DB: Photographic memory
Q: What is your favorite thing about being a Virginia Tech athlete?
DB: Interacting with our great fans!
The Virginia Tech women’s tennis team played its first true road match of the season when it traveled to West Lafayette, Indiana to face Purdue, and the Hokies rolled to a 7-0 win to move to 4-1 overall on the season. The tandems of Caroline Daxhelet and Elena Cerezo-Codina and Katherine Butler and Francesca Fusinato won in doubles to take the doubles point, and then the Hokies cruised in singles. Freshman Natalie Novotna provided the winning point when she won 7-6, 6-4 in the No. 4 spot. The Hokies return home this weekend and will play both Marshall and Radford at the Burrows-Burleson Tennis Center on Sunday starting at 10:30 a.m.
A young Virginia Tech men’s tennis squad has gotten off to a slow start this season, but senior Jai Corbett came up big in the Hokies’ 4-3 loss to No. 10 Texas on Saturday when he beat Christian Sigsgaard, the No. 6-ranked player in the nation. Corbett won in three sets, losing the first set 6-1, but coming back to win the final two sets 7-5 and 6-4. The Hokies look to get on the right track when they return home for their home opener this Saturday. Tech plays a doubleheader at the Burrows-Burleson Tennis Center, taking on St. Bonaventure and Davidson starting at 1 p.m.
(Men's Tennis • Senior • Melbourne, Australia)
Corbett knocked off the nation’s sixth-ranked tennis player over the weekend, as the Hokies battled No. 10 Texas in Austin, Texas. Playing at the No. 1 spot in the lineup, Corbett beat the Longhorns’ Christian Sigsgaard 1-6, 7-5, 6-4 to pick up the victory.
Both the Virginia Tech lacrosse and softball teams start their seasons this week, as the lacrosse squad opens Wednesday at 4 p.m. against Gardner-Webb at the indoor practice facility, while the softball team plays Indiana State on Friday at the Sportco Tournament in Las Vegas. The lacrosse program begins a new era under head coach John Sung, who guided Winthrop to Big South titles and NCAA championships appearances in each of the past two seasons. The softball team was picked to finish fifth in the 11-team ACC and will be led by last year’s ACC Freshman of the Year Lauren Duff. A catcher, Duff started 49 games and hit .347 last season, with five homers and 20 RBIs. The softball team’s home opener is March 10 against Florida State.
The rigors of playing in the ACC have caught up with the Virginia Tech women’s basketball team, which dropped games to Notre Dame and Georgia Tech over the past week. But Chanette Hicks continues to have an incredible season. She tied her career high with 29 points against the Yellow Jackets, and with her six steals, she moved into the top five all time at Tech in that category. Hicks is averaging a team-best 16.4 points per game for the Hokies, who return to the court Thursday for a game against Louisville that starts at 7 p.m.
Virginia Tech Carilion Court at Cassell Coliseum was the site of the 2017 Special Olympics Southwest Regional Basketball Tournament Saturday and numerous people from the athletic department helped make it memorable. Administrators, staff, coaches, athletes and the spirit corps volunteered their time to participate. Coach Buzz Williams spoke to the participants about having fun and doing your best, and always being grateful. The exciting day for the Hokies embodied the Virginia Tech motto — Ut Prosim — That I May Serve.