The Virginia Tech volleyball program started the season in perfect fashion, winning the Pepsi Panther Invitational held over the weekend in Milwaukee, Wisconsin – and handing Jill Wilson her first wins as the Hokies’ head coach. Behind Rhegan Mitchell, who was named the tournament’s most valuable performer, Tech notched a 3-2 win over Idaho State in the season opener Friday and then a 3-0 win over South Dakota State on Friday afternoon. In Saturday’s championship, the Hokies knocked off Wisconsin-Milwaukee 3-2. Mitchell registered 152 assists in the three matches, while Stacey Christy and Kaity Smith both made the all-tournament team. Christy added 29 kills, while Smith finished with 30 kills. Tech returns to action this weekend, hitting the road for the Arkansas State Tournament. The Hokies play both Ole Miss and Arkansas State on Friday and SMU on Saturday.
Volleyball • Redshirt Junior • Setter • Peachtree City, Georgia
Mitchell was named Pepsi Panther Invitational MVP and to the all-tournament team. She broke a career high in assists in the season opener against Idaho State, racking up 65, and then tallied a double-double against Milwaukee with 56 assists and 14 digs, leading the Hokies to winning the tournament in their final match. It marked the 11th double-double in her storied career. She already has more than 150 assists in only three matches.
Alani Johnson’s goal in the 17th minute was all the Virginia Tech women’s soccer team needed, as the Hokies outlasted Georgia 1-0 at Thompson Field, capping a great weekend for the Hokies. Tech, which moved to 3-0-1 on the season, also notched a 4-0 win over College of Charleston in the home opener Friday evening. Johnson scored on a rebound off a Madi Conyers shot, and Mandy McGlynn’s four saves lifted Tech to the shutout of the Bulldogs. Against College of Charleston, the Hokies got goals from Allyson Brown, Lilly Weber, Kari Johnston and Jordan Hemmen en route to the win. The Hokies return to action Thursday with a home game against William & Mary that starts at 7 p.m.
Virginia Tech women’s soccer player Madi Conyers ranks as the most experienced player in the program and served as the leader of a women’s team trying to return to the NCAA Championships after a one-year absence. The Chesterfield, Virginia native answered the following questions so fans can get to know her as more than just a talented student-athlete.
Q: What would be your dream vacation?
MC: Probably somewhere in Europe – maybe Scotland or Ireland. I've never been to Europe, and I hear Scotland and Ireland are gorgeous, but I also would love to go to Australia and New Zealand.
Q: What’s your favorite place to eat?
MC: Chick-fil-A, for sure. I love anything chicken, plus Chick-fil-A sauce makes everything better. My team and the coaching staff always give me a hard time about it.
Q: What is your favorite city that you've visited?
MC: I'm not really a city person. I would much rather be in the suburbs, or out in the middle of nowhere. That's one reason I love Blacksburg.
Q: If you could play another sport, what would it be?
MC: Basketball, for sure. I played in high school and loved it. I could have gone to a smaller school to play basketball, but I enjoyed soccer more (plus I don't really have the height to play basketball). I still try to play weekly with some of my friends on campus.
Q: Why did you choose Virginia Tech?
MC: I chose Virginia Tech because of the community. I love how everyone genuinely looks out for everyone. All the fans come out to support all things Virginia Tech, and they love to be here. It's so fun getting to know people around the community and making connections and becoming friends with them. They not only want to know about athletics, but also who you are as a person. I love being a part of the Hokie family. It also helped that my sister, and I got to share a year of college together.
Q: If you could live anywhere, where would it be?
MC: At this stage in my life, probably back home in Chesterfield. I love being surrounded by family. My parents, grandparents, and aunts and uncles all live there. It’s so fun going home and being able to see all of them.
Q: What type of music are you listening to these days?
MC: Country, country, and more country.
Q: If you could trade places with someone for a day, who would it be?
MC: I'm a huge Blake Lively fan, so probably her. She is gorgeous, and it seems like she does a lot of fun things. I think it would be cool to see what she does on a daily basis. Plus, it wouldn't be bad to look at Ryan Reynolds all day.
Q: What is the talent you’d most like to have?
MC: I would love to be able to do art and draw/paint/make just about anything that comes to mind. It would save a ton of money in décor, and it would be awesome to give it away as gifts.
Q: What is your favorite thing about being a Virginia Tech athlete?
MC: I really enjoy getting to know people around the community and the opportunities we get to help out around the community. Our team is really involved in service projects, so it's fun getting different opportunities and being able to do them as a team.
With the season opener against West Virginia set for Sunday, the Virginia Tech football program spent the weekend participating in a “mock” game as a way to prepare. The No. 21-ranked Hokies went through all meetings, meals and preparation in lead-up to a game, and then the coaches went through the game day routine, which included a mock game and a halftime. For more, please read. The players then had Monday off, as the university held its first day of fall classes. The Hokies leave for Maryland on Saturday afternoon, and the game against the Mountaineers kicks off at 7:30 on Sunday evening.
The Virginia Tech cross country teams open the season Friday with the Hokie Invite held at Buford Meredith Cross Country course on the university’s campus. Seniors Neil Gourley, Patrick Joseph, Brent Musselman and Daniel Jaskowak – the latter two earned All-Southeast Region honors a year ago – anchor a men’s team that possesses the depth and talent to win the ACC title this season. On the women’s side, Katie Kennedy, who earned All-ACC and all-region honors last year, leads the squad as the lone senior following a junior campaign in which she never finished below 21st in any race. The women finished a program-best third a year ago and hope to exceed that this season. For a preview of the season, please read: http://inside.hokiesports.com/issues_ihs/ihs_august_2017/#44. The women’s 4K race starts Friday evening at 6, while the men’s 6K starts at 6:30.
Thanks to goals from Collin Verfurth and James Kasak, the No. 17 Virginia Tech men’s soccer team got the 2017 season started on the right note, upsetting No. 14 Creighton 2-0 at a tournament held in Omaha, Nebraska over the weekend. Tech registered its second consecutive season-opening win over a ranked opponent. Ben Lundgaard finished with eight saves for the Hokies in recording his 18th career shutout. The Hokies lost 5-1 to Omaha in the championship game Sunday after giving up four first-half goals. Tech’s Marcelo Acuna accounted for the team’s lone goal. The Hokies return to action Friday when they Pacific in the first round of the JMU Invitational held in Harrisonburg, Virginia.
New students at Virginia Tech got to enter onto Worsham Field through the tunnel and touch the legendary Hokie Stone before grabbing a bite to eat, learning some Tech traditions and hearing from athletics teams at the Hokie Hi Welcome Picnic put on at Lane Stadium on Sunday evening by the athletics department, Dining Services and New Student Programs.