The Virginia Tech women’s basketball team remains one of only a few teams playing basketball these days, as the Hokies continued their postseason run, knocking off Fordham and Alabama over a four-day span to make it to the Final Four of the WNIT. The Hokies torched Fordham 81-50 on Thursday evening at Carilion Clinic Court behind 20 points from Rachel Camp, who led five players in double figures. On Sunday afternoon, Taylor Emery scored 19 points and both Camp and Aisha Sheppard added 17 each to carry Tech to a 74-67 victory over the Crimson Tide at Carilion Clinic Court. The Hokies shot 48 percent from the floor and made 20 of 25 from the free-throw line – 8 of 10 in the final 1:34 to hold off Alabama. The wins moved Tech to 22-13 overall on the season, and the Hokies now will prepare for a rematch against West Virginia in a WNIT semifinal game slated for Wednesday at 7 p.m. in Morgantown, West Virginia. The Hokies lost 79-61 to the Mountaineers in the Paradise Jam played in Melbourne, Florida on Nov. 25.
Ian Hildebrand recorded his best finish as a collegian, coming in third and leading the Virginia Tech men’s golf team to a third-place finish in the team race at the Furman Intercollegiate played Friday through Sunday at the Furman University Golf Course in Greensville, North Carolina. Hildebrand, a senior from Purcellville, Virginia, shot rounds of 70, 73 and 69 and finished five strokes behind medalist Phillip Knowles of North Florida. Hildebrand’s 69 tied for his career low and was the team’s lowest round on the final day. As a team, the Hokies shot 3-over-par, including a 1-under-par round Sunday. Mark Lawrence Jr. finished tied for 11th at 1-under-par, and Connor Burgess came in tied for 22nd. The Hokies return to the course this weekend when they play in the 3M Augusta Invitational held Saturday and Sunday in Augusta, Georgia.
Virginia Tech men’s golfer Ian Hildebrand is a leader as one of just two seniors on the Hokies’ roster and just enjoyed his best collegiate performance over the weekend. The young man from Purcellville, Virginia answered the following questions so fans could get to know him as more than just a talented student-athlete.
Q: What would be your dream vacation?
IH: My dream vacation would be anywhere that's warm and where the beach isn't too crowded.
Q: What’s your favorite place to eat?
IH: My favorite place to eat is Chipotle because it fills me up, and it tastes delicious.
Q: What is your favorite city that you've visited?
IH: It would be Denver and the surrounding areas because of the views.
Q: If you could play another sport, what would it be?
IH: I would probably choose basketball. I have a decent jump shot.
Q: Why did you choose Virginia Tech?
IH: It has a great reputation, and Blacksburg reminds me a lot of my home town.
Q: If you could live anywhere, where would it be?
IH: Pinehurst, North Carolina because of all the great golf and the quiet community.
Q: If you could trade places with someone for a day, who would it be?
IH: I'd love to trade places with any U.S. President for a day so that I could tour the White House.
Q: What type of music are you listening to these days?
IH: I've always been a classic rock guy. Right now, anything early Elton John has been a go-to.
Q: What is the talent you’d most like to have?
IH: I wish I could draw well. That is something I've always struggled with.
Q: What is your favorite thing about being a Virginia Tech athlete?
IH: I love the support we get from all parts of the athletics organization, such as the nutrition staff, academic staff, and strength and conditioning staff. All the little things they provide for us add up so that we can be our best.
The No. 16 Virginia Tech lacrosse team wrapped up the non-conference portion of its schedule by beating VCU 22-7 on Wednesday at Tech’s Indoor Practice Facility and downing Elon 14-12 in Burlington, North Carolina on Saturday. The win over Elon marked Tech’s fifth straight and ninth in the past 10 games, as the Hokies moved to 9-3 overall on the season. Against the Rams, Tech jumped out to an 11-2 lead and never looked back in scoring its most goals in a game this season. Paige Petty and Tristan McGinley each scored five goals, while Meagh Graham had five saves. Against Elon, the Hokies broke an 11-all tie when MC Byrne scored with 5:20 remaining. Petty and Marissa Davey followed with goals over the next four minutes to help Tech hang on for the victory. The Hokies now close the regular season with five straight ACC games, starting with Wednesday’s road game at North Carolina. The first draw is slated for 5 p.m.
Emma Thor and Pavla Kuklova finished first and second, respectively, in the hammer throw at the Weems Baskin Invitational held Friday and Saturday in Columbia, South Carolina, as the Virginia Tech track and field teams opened the outdoor season. Thor’s top throw of 62.90 meters (206 feet, 4 inches) bested her teammate by more than two meters. Kuklova’s top toss was 60.57 meters (198 feet, 8 inches). Kennedy Dennis, Courtney Blanden, Shanel Burr, Caitlan Tate and Lindsay Herra also had strong performances at the meet. Dennis came in second in the 100-meter dash with a time of 11.57 seconds – the third-fastest time in school history. Blanden finished second in the 200 with a time of 23.67 seconds, while Tate came in third at 23.80. Burr was third in the 100-meter hurdles (13.92 seconds) and Herra was third in the discus (46.83 meters; 153 feet, 7 inches). On the men’s side, Matthew Reinhart led the way, coming in fourth in the javelin (59.51 meters; 195 feet, 3 inches). The distance runners and pole vaulters join the fray this weekend, as the Hokies split up to compete in meets held in Raleigh, North Carolina; Gainesville, Florida; and Austin, Texas.
Sophomore • Throws • Knivsta, Sweden
Thor, who earned All-America honors in the hammer throw during her freshman season, won her first collegiate event when she finished in the top spot in the hammer throw at the Weems Baskin Invitational on South Carolina's campus to begin the outdoor season. The sophomore unleashed a top throw of 62.90 meters (206 feet, 4 inches), registering a mark that is No. 11 in the country and first in the ACC. Thor’s previous best finish was second, which she accomplished at the Virginia Grand Prix last spring.
For the second straight weekend, the Virginia Tech baseball team registered another ACC road win, besting Boston College 5-2 in the final game of a three-game series played Friday and Saturday in Brighton, Massachusetts. The Hokies, who just one ACC road game a year ago, are 10-12 overall, 4-5 in the ACC. Tech got on the board quickly on Luke Horanski’s two-run home run in the first inning, and Sam Fragale added a two-run bomb in the fourth. Four pitchers combined to allow just two runs, with Luke Scherzer getting the win and Graham Seitz earning his first career save. Horanski finished with four hits on the weekend, and Darion Jacoby reached base eight times. The Hokies return to action this evening against Liberty at English Field at Union Park. The first pitch is slated for 4 p.m.
The Virginia Tech men’s tennis team split in ACC action over the weekend, knocking off Boston College 7-0 in Chestnut Hill, Massachusetts, before losing 7-0 to Notre Dame in South Bend, Indiana. The two matches left the Hokies at 10-6 overall, 1-5 in ACC play. Against the Eagles, the Hokies won the doubles point and then swept all six singles matches. Carlo Donato got it started in singles play, making quick work of Kent Mukai 6-1, 6-1. Alexandre Ribeiro then won 6-3, 6-4 over Chris Grasel and Mitch Harper sealed the win with a 6-3, 6-4 victory over Derek Austin. Jason Kros, Henrik Korsgaard and George Cartledge also recorded wins. Tech returns to the court Thursday with an ACC match against Georgia Tech in Atlanta. That match starts at 4 p.m., and the Hokies also will play at Clemson on Saturday as part of a weekend road trip.
Playing two ACC matches over the weekend, the Virginia Tech women’s tennis team went 1-1, beating Pitt 6-1 at the Burrows-Burleson Tennis Center on Friday and falling 7-0 to No. 1 North Carolina in Chapel Hill, North Carolina on Sunday afternoon. The split left the Hokies at 11-5, 2-5 in league play. Against the Panthers, the Hokies cruised to easy wins in doubles action and then took care of business in singles with five wins. Natalie Novotna, ranked No. 66 nationally, won easily 6-4, 6-1 to get things started in singles and wins by Nika Kozar and Caroline Daxhalet sealed the team victory. Katherine Butler and Nina Sorkin won in straight sets, too. Tech returns to action with two home matches this weekend, starting with one Friday afternoon against Boston College and concluding with a match against NC State on Saturday.
Virginia Tech diver Ben Schiesl earned honorable mention All-America honors to headline the Virginia Tech men’s swimming and diving performances at the NCAA Championships held at the Jean K. Freeman Aquatic Center last week in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Schiesl, a junior from Fairfax, Virginia, finished ninth in the 1-meter event, accumulating 368.85 points in the “B” final. He also came in 19th in the platform event and 26th in the 3-meter event. Thomas Shinholser and Norbert Szabo also recorded top-20 finishes in their respective events, with Shinholser finishing 18th in the platform diving event and Szabo coming in 18th in the 200-yard individual medley with a time of 1 minute, 43.11 seconds. Behind them, the Hokies finished in 33rd place as a team. The meet capped the season for Tech, which loses six seniors, including NCAA qualifiers Shinholser, Ian Ho, Jack Gigliotti and Mauro Castro-Silva.
The Virginia Tech football team continues going through its spring practice, with the focus being on helping young players such as Phil Patterson improve each and every day. Tech held an intrasquad scrimmage Saturday, and Patterson made a tough catch in the end zone for a touchdown – one of many highlights for the Hokies’ offense on the day. The Hokies will conclude spring practice on April 14 with the annual Spring Game, which kicks off at 3:30 p.m. at Lane Stadium.