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Tech shuts out Virginia to win Commonwealth Clash

Using a third-quarter touchdown pass from Josh Jackson and a dominating performance from its defense, the No. 24 Virginia Tech football team knocked off Virginia 10-0 in the latest Commonwealth Clash game played Friday night at Scott Stadium in Charlottesville. With the win, the Hokies beat their rivals for the 14th consecutive time to retain the Commonwealth Cup. Tech moved to 9-3 overall on the season, 5-3 in the ACC, while Virginia fell to 6-6, 3-5. Virginia Tech’s defense recorded its third shutout of the season and shut out the Cavaliers for the third time in this 14-game winning streak. The Hokies held the Cavaliers to just 191 yards and sacked UVA quarterback Kurt Benkert four times. Leading 3-0, Tech all but sealed this one when Reggie Floyd forced a fumble that Houshun Gaines recovered, and that led to Jackson’s 8-yard touchdown pass to Chris Cunningham. Tech finished with 345 yards of offense. Jackson completed 14 of 21 for 143 yards, with the touchdown and an interception, and both Steven Peoples and Deshawn McClease each rushed for 71 yards. The Hokies concluded their regular season and now await their bowl destination, which they should find out about next Sunday.

Four Tech football players named first-team All-ACC

Receiver Cam Phillips, backer Tremaine Edmunds, cornerback Greg Stroman and left guard Wyatt Teller earned first-team All-ACC nods according to a panel made up of the league’s 14 and select media members and announced Monday. The Hokies’ four first-teamers marks the second-most among league schools behind Clemson’s six, and the most by a Tech team since 2009. Phillips, the Hokies’ top point getter, ranks fourth in the ACC in receptions (71) and receiving yards (964) and tied for second with seven touchdown receptions. Edmunds, one of five finalists for the Butkus Award, leads the team and ranks sixth in the ACC in tackles with 102. He also leads the Hokies in tackles for a loss (14), sacks (5.5) and forced fumbles (3). Stroman is tied for third in the ACC with four interceptions and 15 passes defensed, and he anchors a Tech secondary that has allowed and FBS-low 46.9 completion percentage this season. Teller leads an offensive line that has allowed just 21 sacks in 12 games and hasn’t been called for a holding penalty this season. Others recognized Monday included defensive tackle Tim Settle, a second-team selection, and linebacker Andrew Motuapuaka and free safety Terrell Edmunds, third-team choices. Defensive lineman Ricky Walker, center Eric Gallo and Stroman all received honorable mention recognition, with Stroman being an honorable mention choice as a punt returner.

Walz takes bronze for U.S. at U23 World Wrestling Championships

Wrestling in his first international freestyle competition, Virginia Tech alum and three-time All-American Ty Walz won a bronze medal for the United States at the inaugural U23 World Championships held in Bydgoszcz, Poland on Sunday afternoon. Walz, representing the Southeast Regional Training Center, defeated China’s Chaoqiang Yang 3-0 in the third-place bout at 97 kilograms to become the first Hokie wrestler to win a world medal. Walz handled last year’s Junior World silver medalist Erik Thiele of Germany by a score of 8-1. The Cleveland, Ohio native nearly defeated Belarus’ Dziani Khramiankou, falling narrowly 7-6 before knocking off Poland’s own Aleksander Wojtachnio 10-3 in repechage that gave him a chance to wrestle for third. A 2017 graduate, Walz’s 109 career wins ranks 10th in program history and his .784 career winning percentage ranks in a tie for 11th. He won the 2017 ACC Championship at heavyweight as a redshirt senior and was the first Tech grappler to make a world team at any level.

Hokies cruise in men’s hoops non-conference action

Continuing their torrid shooting to start the 2017-18 campaign, the Virginia Tech men’s basketball team notched easy non-conference home wins over the past week, beating Houston Baptist on Tuesday and blowing past Morehead State on Saturday to move to 5-1 on the season. Nickeil Alexander-Walker led Tech with 18 points in Saturday’s 96-63 win over the Eagles, hitting 7 of 9 from the floor on an afternoon in which the Hokies shot better than 55 percent for the fifth time this season and scored at least 96 points for the fifth time. Justin Bibbs added 15 points, and Kerry Blackshear Jr. finished with 13 points and a team-best nine rebounds. Bibbs led Tech to the 99-73 win over Houston Baptist, scoring 25 points and hitting three of the Hokies’ 16 3-pointers. Tech returns to action Tuesday evening when it plays Iowa at Carilion Clinic Court as part of the Big Ten-ACC Challenge. The game tips at 9 p.m. and can be seen on ESPN2.

Emery named all-tournament at women’s Paradise Jam

Virginia Tech women’s basketball player Taylor Emery was the lone Hokie on the Paradise Jam All-Star team after the Hokies’ guard averaged 17.3 points per game in Tech’s three games in the tournament. The Hokies lost two games, but still finished second because of tiebreakers. Their lone win came in the opener against Drexel when Emery scored 25 points in Tech’s 79-67 victory. She hit 10 of 14 from the floor, including a couple of 3-pointers. Emery also scored 20 in the Hokies’ 79-77 loss to Butler, which won on a 3-pointer with 3 seconds left in the game. Tech is now 5-2 overall on the season and returns to action Thursday when it plays at Illinois as part of the Big Ten-ACC Challenge.

Virginia Tech
Athlete of the Week

Taylor Emery
Women's Basketball • Junior • Guard • Tampa, Florida
Emery was named to the Paradise Jam Island Division’s Tournament All-Stars team after averaging 17.3 points per contest over the three-day event. In her first game, Emery exploded for 15 points in the third quarter en route to a career-best 25. On Friday, she reached 20 points for the fifth time in six games, including a perfect 9 of 9 from the free-throw line. She leads the Hokies in scoring at 17.1 points per game, and her 85.7 percentage from the free-throw line also ranks as the team’s best.

Getting to know ... M.J. Ulrich

Virginia Tech swimmer M.J. Ulrich is one of seven seniors on the Hokies’ women’s swimming and diving team that is looking to improve upon last year’s fifth-place finish at the ACC Championships. The McLean, Virginia product answered the following questions so fans could get to know her as more than just a talented student-athlete.
Q: What would be your dream vacation and why?
MJU: My dream vacation would be to drive down Route 1 [Pacific Coast Highway] on the West Coast. I am a huge fan of long drives, and I have always wanted to see the Washington, Oregon and California coastlines. 
Q: Where is your favorite place to eat and why?
MJU: I constantly crave Spelunkers, a small burger joint in Front Royal, Virginia. I love eating and watching all of the travelers come in after a long weekend of tubing, hiking, and camping, AND they have the absolutely best burgers and custard.
Q: What is your favorite city that you've visited?
MJU: Chicago, Illinois.
Q: If you could play any other sport, it would be which one and why?
MJU: Volleyball! I played all through high school and would love to get back on the court. 
Q: Why did you choose Virginia Tech?
MJU: I had an immediate sense of belonging. On campus, I always run into someone I know, and anywhere I travel in the world, I always run into a Hokie. 
Q: If you could live anywhere, where would it be?
MJU: Geneva, Switzerland 
Q: If you could trade places with someone for a day, who would it be?
MJU: I would trade places with Emma Watson [a British actress] because she has been a huge role model of mine with all of her work with UN Women.  
Q: What type of music are you listening to these days?
MJU: My music is all over the place, so here are my top three Spotify artists of the week: Two Door Cinema Club, Sam Smith, and Kings of Leon.  
Q: What is the one talent you'd most like to have?
MJU: I would love to be really good at playing an instrument, like the guitar or banjo.   
Q: What is your favorite thing about being a Virginia Tech athlete?
MJU: l love being involved in the Leadership Institute, as well as SAAC [Student-Athlete Advisory Committee]. Both give me an opportunity meet other athletes, to grow as a leader, volunteer, and make an impact on future student-athlete experiences at Virginia Tech, as well as the NCAA.   

No. 10 Tech falls to No. 4 Missouri in first wrestling loss of season

Virginia Tech and Missouri squared off Saturday night in a battle of top-10 teams, and the No. 4 Tigers won four of the first five weight classes en route to a 22-12 win over the No. 10 Hokies in front of a sellout at the Moss Arts Center on Tech’s campus. With the loss, the Hokies fell to 3-1 on the season. Brent Moore, a redshirt freshman, continued to wrestle well for Tech, beating Nick Nasenbeny 4-0 at 141 pounds, and the Hokies also picked up wins from David McFadden (165), Zack Zavatsky (184) and Andrew Dunn (heavyweight). The Hokies return to action later this week when they compete at one of the most prestigious individual tournaments in the country, the Cliff Keen Las Vegas Invitational, which starts Friday and takes place in Las Vegas.

Fourteen straight for the Hokies!

The Commonwealth Cup will remain in Blacksburg for another year, as Virginia Tech knocked off Virginia 10-0 in the recent edition of the Commonwealth Clash. The Hokies have now won 14 straight against their north-central neighbors and 18 of the past 19 meetings. By the time these two rivals meet again in the fall of 2018, the Hokies will have held the Commonwealth Cup for more than 5,000 days.