For the first time since 2007 and just the third time since 1986, the Virginia Tech men’s basketball team will be playing in an NCAA Tournament, as the NCAA selection committee chose the Hokies with one of its at-large selections. Virginia Tech, which enters the tournament with a 22-10 record, will be a No. 9 seed in the East Region and will take on No. 8 seed Wisconsin on Thursday in Buffalo, New York. The winner potentially could take on top seed Villanova in the second round. The NCAA appearance will be Tech’s ninth as a program, and the Hokies are 6-9 in the NCAA Tournament..
Drew Piazza and Hanna Green finished second in their respective events to headline the efforts of the Virginia Tech men’s and women’s track and field teams at the NCAA Indoor Championships held this past weekend in College Station, Texas. Piazza ran the 800 in a time of 1 minute, 47.62 seconds – just 15-hundredths of a second behind the winner. Piazza, the second-place finish by the distance medley relay team (Daniel Jaskowak, Vincent Ciattei, Greg Chiles, Kevin Cianfarini) and a fourth-place finish in the mile by Neil Gourley carried the Tech men to seventh in the team competition – the highest indoor finish in program history. Torben Laidig and Deakin Volz added points by coming in sixth and 10th, respectively, in the pole vault. Green, the lone competitor on the women’s team, was second in the 800, breaking her own school record with a time of 2:02.12. Green’s finish marked the only points scored by the women’s team, which came in 27th. Both Tech teams start the outdoor season March 24-25 at the Weems Baskin Invitational held in Columbia, South Carolina.
Virginia Tech forward Zach LeDay played arguably the best basketball of his career at the ACC Tournament held at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York, as the senior scored a career-high 31 points in the Hokies’ 99-90 first-round win over Wake Forest and added 22 points in Tech’s 74-68 tournament-ending loss to Florida State in the quarterfinals. Against FSU, LeDay picked up his fourth foul late in the second half and went to the bench for a few minutes. Florida State scored 11 straight points, and the Hokies got no closer than five points the rest of the way. LeDay added nine rebounds against the Seminoles, just one day after a 15-rebound performance against Wake Forest – the most by a Hokie in an ACC Tournament game. Tech has beaten Wake Forest in four of the past five games between the two schools, while losing to the Seminoles for the fifth time in the past seven meetings.
(Men's Basketball • Redshirt Senior • Dallas, Texas)
LeDay scored 53 points and grabbed 24 rebounds in two games at the ACC Tournament last week. Against Wake Forest, he hit 8 of 15 from the floor and 14 of 18 from the free-throw line, and against the Seminoles, he hit 6 of 12 from the floor and 10 of 12 from the free-throw line. LeDay was named second-team All-ACC Tournament – the only player on either the first or second team not to play in the semifinals. LeDay has six double-doubles this season and has scored in double figures in 30 of 32 games this season heading into the NCAA Tournament.
For the 14th time in program history, the Virginia Tech women’s basketball team will participate in postseason play, as the Hokies received an invitation Monday night to play in the Women’s National Invitation Tournament. Tech, which enters the tournament with a 17-13 record, will take on Rider on Friday night at Virginia Tech Carilion Court. Rider, which plays in the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference, has a record of 24-8 and is making its first appearance in the WNIT. The Hokies are making their fifth appearance in the WNIT, including one last season in which they advanced to the second round. This appearance also will mark the 12th postseason appearance for head coach Kenny Brooks, who took James Madison to the postseason on 11 occasions. The winner of the Tech-Rider game moves on to the second round, which will be played between March 18-21. Tickets for Friday’s game can be purchased at www.hokietickets.com.
Virginia Tech women’s basketball player Diandra DaRosa played in 13 games during the regular season for the Hokies. The Pawtucket, Rhode Island native answered the following questions so fans can get to know her as more than just a talented student-athlete.
Q: What is your dream vacation?
DD: Bora Bora.
Q: What’s your favorite place to eat?
DD: My favorite place to eat would be the Cheesecake Factory. I normally order Cajun Jambalaya and salted caramel cheesecake for dessert.
Q: What is your favorite city that you've visited?
DD: My favorite city is Atlanta. I love the city life and great views.
Q: If you could play another sport, what would it be?
DD: I would choose football if it were possible for women to play.
Q: Why did you choose Virginia Tech?
DD: I fell in love with the beautiful campus, and the coaching staff was great.
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?
DD: Teyana Taylor [a recording artist and actress] because she’s so adventurous, outgoing, and we also have the same fashion sense. I would love to spend a day shopping with her.
Q: What are you listening to these days?
DD: In my phone, I have a lot of R&B, soul, rap and punk. It just varies depending on the mood I’m in.
Q: What is the talent you’d most like to have?
DD: Being able to sing.
Q: What is your favorite thing about being a Virginia Tech athlete?
DD: Traveling and the supportive fans.
Kristine Loscalzo scored four goals to carry the No. 14 Virginia Tech women’s lacrosse team to a 15-7 road win over Delaware on Saturday. The game marked the end of a great week for Loscalzo, who, just three days earlier, scored the game winner in an 11-10 overtime victory at George Mason. Behind her, the Hokies won their third straight game and moved to 9-2 overall. Tech has won six of its past seven games and has won all four road games this season. Emma Harden and Tristan McGinley scored three goals each in the win over the Blue Hens, and McGinley leads the team with 35 goals. Tech looks to continue its winning ways when it returns to action Saturday with a home non-conference game against William & Mary.
Seven Virginia Tech wrestlers headed to St. Louis on Monday to begin final preparations for the NCAA Wrestling Championships, which start Thursday at the Scottrade Center in downtown St. Louis. Joey Dance, a senior who led the Hokies to both the ACC’s dual meet championship and the tournament championship, anchors the squad, going into the Championships as a No. 2 seed at 125 pounds. Heavyweight Ty Walz goes in as a No. 3 seed, while both Zach Epperly (174) and Jared Haught (197) are No. 4 seeds in their respective weight classes. The action starts Thursday at noon and can be seen on ESPNU, with the evening sessions being broadcast on ESPN.
Thomas Shinholser won the men’s platform diving event and was one of six Virginia Tech divers to qualify for the NCAA Championships following a string of terrific performances at the Zone A Diving Championship held at the Christiansburg Aquatic Center last week. Shinholser, who is one of 12 men’s swimmers and divers to qualify, recorded a score of 735.20 points to claim the title, while teammates Mauro Castro-Silva came in second and Eduardo Castro-Silva finished fifth. Both Castro-Silva brothers qualified in all three events (platform, 1-meter and 3-meter), while Ben Schiesl qualified in the 1- and 3-meter events. On the women’s side, Ashlynn Peters, who is one of nine women’s swimmers and divers to qualify for the NCAA Championships, qualified in all three events, while Ashley Buchter qualified in the platform event after finishing third with a score of 454.70 points. The women’s NCAA Championships take place this Wednesday and run through Saturday, while the men’s take place next week, both in Indianapolis, Indiana.
Mark Lawrence Jr., shot 3-under-par and finished fourth in the individual competition, leading the Virginia Tech men’s golf team to a fifth-place finish overall at the General Hackler Championship held in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina over the weekend. Lawrence Jr.’s two-round score of 141 was six shots behind medalist Will Zalatoris of Wake Forest. Joey Lane finished tied for 28th, while Sarit Suwannarut and Logan Yates were tied for 45th. Tech returns to action March 24 with the start of the Furman Intercollegiate being played at the Furman University Golf Course in Greenville, South Carolina.
Behind the play of Elizabeth Bose, the Virginia Tech women’s golf team came in ninth at the SunTrust Gator Invitational played over the weekend in Gainesville, Florida. The field featured three teams ranked in the top 25 by Golfstat.com. Bose, a sophomore, shot 8-over-par and finished tied for 14th in the two-day event. Allison Woodward was tied for 35th, while both Whitney Stevenson and Amanda Hollandsworth came in tied for 44th. The Hokies concluded the Florida portion of their schedule and next compete in the 3M Augusta Invitational held in Augusta, Georgia, starting on Friday.
As winter storm Stella was getting lots of attention with meteorlogical terms such as bombogenesis blowing up the news, Seth Allen and the Hokies arrived in snowy Buffalo Monday night intent on storming their way to some headlines of their own. As the No. 9 seed, Tech will face Wisconsin at 9:40 Thursday night, with a victory likely pitting the Hokies against No. 1 overall seed and defending national champion Villanova on Saturday.