Chris Clarke’s stick-back with 4.0 seconds left turned out to be the game winner, as the Virginia Tech men’s basketball team rallied from a nine-point deficit to register a 64-63 upset of No. 5 Duke in an ACC game played Monday night at Carilion Clinic Court. The win pushed the Hokies to 21-9 overall, 10-7 in ACC play and solidified the Hokies chances of making the NCAA Tournament, as Tech now has victories over teams No. 1 (Virginia), 4 (Duke), 5 (North Carolina) and 10 (Clemson) in the RPI. The Hokies, who lost to Louisville on Saturday, went on a 13-3 run to end the game, rallying from a nine-point deficit with less than six minutes remaining behind Clarke, who scored Tech’s final six points. Clarke’s put-back gave Tech its only lead of the second half. Duke got off one last shot, but Grayson Allen’s 3-pointer was short and Wendell Carter Jr.’s put-back was after the horn sounded. Nickeil Alexander-Walker paced the Hokies with 17 points, hitting 7 of 14 from the floor, including three 3-pointers, and Justin Bibbs added 14 points in his final home game. The Hokies close out the regular season with a road game at Miami on Saturday that tips at noon and can be seen on ESPN2.
The Virginia Tech men’s and women’s track and field teams combined to win eight gold medals and placed 20 on the All-ACC first team following a weekend of competition at the ACC Indoor Track and Field Championships held in Clemson, South Carolina. Both squads came up short of the goal of sweeping the team crowns, as both finished in second place in the team standings. The Tech men scored 107 points, just four short of Florida State, which claimed the team title. The Tech women scored 81 points, which was 10 shy of the Seminoles. Both the men’s distance medley relay team (Daniel Jaskowak, Brandon Thomas, Thierry Siewe Yanga and Neil Gourley) and the women’s DMR team (Rachel Pocratsky, Arlicia Bush, Shannon Quinn, and Sarah Edwards) won gold medals. Other individuals who claimed gold included Pocratsky (800), Gourley (800), Vincent Ciattei (mile), Deakin Volz (pole vault), Lisa Gunnarsson (pole vault), and Eszter Bajnok (triple jump). Select members of both teams now gear up for the NCAA Indoor Track and Field Championships, which will be held March 9-10 in College Station, Texas.
Track and field teams’ gold medalists
The Virginia Tech track and field teams won gold medals in eight different events including: the men’s distance medley relay team (Neil Gourley, Daniel Jaskowak, Thierry Siewe Yanga and Brandon Thomas), the women’s DMR team (Rachel Pocratsky, Arlicia Bush, Shannon Quinn, Sarah Edwards), Eszter Bajnok (triple jump), Lisa Gunnarsson (pole vault), Pocratsky (800), Vincent Ciattei (mile), Gourley (800), and Deakin Volz (men’s pole vault). Gourley’s time of 1 minute, 47.04 seconds in the men’s 800 was the fastest in the ACC and the second-fastest time in the nation this season, while Pocratsky’s time in the women’s 800 was the fastest in the ACC and the fourth-fastest nationally this season.
The Virginia Tech women’s tennis team enjoyed an outstanding weekend by hammering two Power 5 foes, beating Wisconsin 6-1 on Friday and then upsetting No. 27 Clemson 7-0 in the ACC opener Saturday, with both being played at the Burrows-Burleson Tennis Center. With the wins, the Hokies stayed unbeaten at 8-0, which marks their best start since opening the 2004 season with an 8-0 record. Against the Badgers, the Hokies won the doubles point to take a 1-0 lead and then got wins from Natalie Novotna and Elena Cerezo-Codina in singles to push the lead to 3-0. Nina Sorkin, playing in the No. 6 spot, closed the match with a 6-4, 6-0 win to give Tech the team victory. Against Clemson, Tech again captured the doubles point to grab a 1-0 lead and Nika Kozar and Novotna gave the Hokies a 3-0 lead with victories in singles action before Cerezo-Codina closed it out with a 6-4, 6-2 victory playing out of the No. 3 spot. Tech returns to the court Friday with a conference match against Syracuse that starts at 2:30 p.m. before heading to Wake Forest on Sunday for a noon match against the Demon Deacons.
Tristan McGinley scored five goals and freshman Paige Petty added four to carry the Virginia Tech lacrosse team to a 17-14 victory over No. 10 Duke in an ACC game played Saturday afternoon at Tech’s Indoor Practice Facility. McGinley continued her scoring pace, registering her 14th goal in four games played this season for the Hokies, who have won three straight and moved to 3-2 with the win. Petty’s goal with 6:41 remaining gave the Hokies a 17-11 lead, and they held on despite allowing Duke to score three straight goals in the final six minutes. Marissa Davey, Emma Harden and Taylor Caskey each added two goals, and goalkeeper Meagh Graham finished with 10 saves. Tech also beat Campbell earlier in the week, getting eight goals from Emma Crooks in a 17-8 victory. The Hokies return to action Wednesday when they take on George Mason at the Indoor Practice Facility. The game starts at 7 p.m.
Playing in a couple of tune-up matches before the start of ACC play, the Virginia Tech men’s tennis team easily dispatched of both Gardner-Webb and Davidson on Sunday at the Burrows-Burleson Tennis Center. The wins moved the Hokies to 9-1 overall on the season. In the opener against Gardner-Webb, Tech won the doubles point and then won two singles matches before Carlo Donato sealed the victory with a 6-1, 7-5 victory over Paul Hogan at the No. 4 spot. Alex Ribeiro, Freddy Mesmer, George Cartledge and Mitch Harper each won in singles play as well. Against Davidson, Tech again won the doubles point and then won two singles matches before Ribeiro put away the victory with a 6-1, 7-5 win over Thomas Mason. Donato, Mesmer, Henrik Korsgaard and Jason Kros also won in singles. The Hokies open the ACC slate this weekend, traveling to Chapel Hill, North Carolina to take on the Tar Heels on Friday at 2:30 before playing Duke in Durham, North Carolina on Sunday at 1 p.m.
Norbert Szabo won a silver medal to headline the performances of the Virginia Tech men’s swimming and diving team at the ACC Men’s Swimming and Diving Championships held at the Greensboro Aquatic Center in Greensboro, North Carolina late last week. The junior from Budapest, Hungary came in second in the 200-yard individual medley in a time of 1:42.70, which marked the second-fastest time in the event in school history. He also scored points in the 200 freestyle and 200 butterfly events. Lane Stone set two school records (the 500 freestyle and 1,650 freestyle) and scored points in three events, as he finished seventh in the 200 freestyle. In addition, the Tech men’s team got top-10 performances from Ian Ho and Michael Craddock. Ho came in fifth in the 50 freestyle with a time of 19.34 seconds, setting a school record that had stood for 10 years, while Craddock wound up ninth in the 1,650 freestyle with a time of 15:03.76. Divers Thomas Shinholser and Ben Schiesl each finished in the top 12 of each of the three diving events. Tech’s divers now compete at the NCAA Zone A Diving Championships starting Monday in Piscataway, New Jersey, while select swimmers will compete next at the NCAA Men’s Swimming and Diving Championships will be held March 21-24 in Minneapolis, Minnesota.
The Virginia Tech women’s basketball team closed the 2017-18 regular season with a loss Sunday despite getting 13 points and seven rebounds from Rachel Camp, and now the Hokies gear up for the ACC Tournament, which will be played this week at the Greensboro Coliseum in Greensboro, North Carolina. Tech finished the regular season with a 17-12 overall record, including a 6-10 mark in the ACC, and the Hokies enter the tournament as the No. 9 seed. Led all season by Taylor Emery, who averages a team-best 18 points per game, the Hokies received a first-round bye and will take on No. 8 seed Syracuse on Thursday at 2 p.m. Tech knocked off the Orange in Syracuse on Feb. 1 in the teams’ only meeting. The winner takes on top seed Louisville on Friday at 2 p.m.
Playing two games against No. 20 Michigan, a game against host Texas and a game against Wichita State, the Virginia Tech softball team found the going tough, but the Hokies managed a win, beating the Wolverines 1-0 in eight innings at the Texas Invitational held in Austin, Texas. With their 1-3 mark in the tournament, the Hokies are now 7-5 on the season. In the win over Michigan, Carrie Eberle pitched eight strong innings, allowing just four hits and striking out seven. The Hokies scored the winning run on a bunt single by Darby Trull that brought in Kinsey Johnson. In the four games, Emma Strouth registered two hits and drove in three runs, and Olivia Lattin had six hits and an RBI. Tech returns to action Wednesday when it takes on Radford at Tech Softball Park in a game that will be the Hokies’ home opener. The first pitch is slated for 7 p.m.
Freshman pitcher Ian Seymour came up large in just his second career start, throwing 6.1 innings and striking out nine to lift the Virginia Tech baseball team to a 4-2 win over Ball State in the final game of the Allstate Sugar Bowl Classic held in New Orleans on Friday and Saturday. The win marked Tech’s lone win in the three-game tournament, as the Hokies are now 2-5 overall on the season. Nick Menken drove in two runs in the first inning, and Tech scored two more in the third – Seymour made the four-run lead stand. Tech had a great chance at a win over Iowa, but the Hawkeyes registered a walk-off win in the first game of the tournament. Tech’s Connor Coward pitched a career-high eight innings and allowed just two hits, while striking out a career-high 11. Menken scored the Hokies’ lone run in the 2-1 defeat on a solo home run. Tech plays again tonight, as the Hokies take on Radford at English Field at Union Park, with the first pitch set for 4 p.m.
A sold-out Cassell Coliseum provided the extra help that the Virginia Tech men’s basketball team needed to overcome No. 5 Duke in the Hokies’ 64-63 upset of the Blue Devils. The Hokies trailed by nine with six minutes to go, but the raucous bunch continually raised its decibel level on every possession down the stretch, reaching a crescendo when Chris Clarke’s put-back gave the team its only lead of the second half. After the game, the crowd stormed the floor and celebrated the Hokies’ fourth win over a top-15 team in the past six weeks.