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   Welcome to TSLMail #168 - Friday, March 25, 2005    
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   Tech Sports News

For Your Framing Needs, Visit Original Frameworks!
Great VT Collectibles!

Original Frameworks is a quality custom frame shop and art gallery located in Gables Shopping Center, South Main Street, Blacksburg, Va. They've got that beautiful sunset picture of the 1999 BC game, framed or unframed, plus more!

Original Frameworks does not claim to be the "worldís largest framer," like some new to the area, big box stores do. Instead, they are one of Blacksburgís BEST frame shops. They specialize in museum quality framing, needleart and shadowboxes, framing of diplomas, posters, limited edition art and antique artwork.

Original Frameworks literally has thousands of pieces of art for sale. From Civil War items (autographs, documents, period art, and limited edition prints), antique artwork, posters, work by local artists and of course, the largest collection of Virginia Tech art/memorabilia (including the famous 1999 BC game "sunset" photo) in the area.

Located in Blacksburg and serving the New River Valley since 1987. Visit their website for gallery and service details, directions and special discounts/coupons.


Hokie Women's Basketball Experiences Wild Ride
by Stefan Adams, TechSideline.com

Youíll have to excuse any player from the Virginia Tech womenís basketball team if she does not want to board a roller coaster any time soon. The ladiesí 2004-2005 season had more ups and downs than Disneyís Space Mountain.

It all came to a screeching halt with a 79-78 loss to No. 16 DePaul University in the first round of the NCAA Tournament on March 20. The game was very representative of how the season transpired for the Hokies.

At one point, Tech trailed by 20 in the first half, and the Hokies went into the locker room with a 17-point deficit to overcome. It took just 10 minutes for the women to get back into the ball game, and they eventually had a two-possession lead. When they thought things were looking up, thatís when DePaul came back and made a layup to put them up with five seconds left. With one last shot and what appeared to be a great opportunity to make it to the second round of the tournament, the Hokies turned the ball over on a fast break: game over.

A look back on the season shows how the inconsistent game against DePaul really captured the highs and lows of head coach Beth Dunkenbegerís first season leading the Hokies. Early on, the Hokies were hot, starting 11-2 with losses against No. 14 Minnesota and a loss at Old Dominion, a 22-win team. They achieved a spot in the top 25 poll and everything was looking up.

Then, the team that had beaten No. 12 Texas Tech and No. 17 Maryland began to shake more than a needle on a Scott Peterson lie detector test. The Hokies did not win more than two consecutive games after January 6. Like the DePaul game, the women battled adversity in games only to come up short at the very end.

The Hokies finished 17-12 when it was all said and done, but if you went back and looked at the games they were in position to win, you could count a 76-75 OT loss to N.C. State, a 81-78 2OT loss to Florida State, a 70-67 loss at Virginia, another 61-58 loss to Virginia, a 94-83 3OT loss to Florida State (while they lost by 11, they had multiple chances to win the game earlier), a 61-56 first round ACC tournament loss to Wake Forest, and the loss to DePaul last Sunday.

If they could have won all of those close games, then suddenly the women are 24-5, sitting pretty, and perhaps still playing in the NCAA Tournament, thanks to a high seed. But it did not work out that way, and it is important to win the close games (sometimes requiring a little luck). The womenís team could see the light at the end of the tunnel all season long, like they did with under five seconds left in the DePaul game, but just could not make it to the finish line.

Unfortunately, the "what-if" game means nothing. But it does show how the ball can bounce right into a teamís open arms, or leave a team chasing it all season long. The 2004-2005 year showed the Hokies can respond from being down and out, but could not finish 100%. That is an important lesson the returning players must take from this year: anything less than sealing the deal is no guarantee.

However, there were many positives for the young Hokies, who only had one senior. Erin Gibson, the senior forward from Galax, notched her 1,000th career point this season, averaging 11.3 and six rebounds per game in her final campaign. And the Hokies did show they can compete with most teams in the country, providing a positive outlook for the future.

Adjusting to a new coach is not easy, but the transition from Bonnie Henrickson to Dunkenberger did not ease the pressure the team felt to win a lot of games, as they had done under Henrickson (seven straight 20-win seasons). With a year under her belt in Blacksburg as the head coach, the coaching staff and the team should gel together next year and be more comfortable in game situations where composure is an absolute necessity.

Looking ahead, Gibsonís loss will be somewhat relieved by the addition of Brittany Cook. The 6í0 guard will give the Hokies incredible depth and talent in the backcourt. With the development of Megan Finnerty, Roshana Jackson, and Nare Diawara this season, Tech should continue to have a strong inside presence, something it has had for a long time.

Here is a list of who is coming back next year and the numbers they posted this season.

Returning VT Women's Basketball Players for 2005-06

Player

Year

Position

Points

Rebs

Other Stat

Kerri Gardin

Sr.

Forward

11.1

8.0

39 steals

Dawn Chriss

Sr.

Guard

11.0

4.2

49 steals

Carrie Mason

Sr.

Guard

10.4

2.8

98 assists

Kirby Copeland

Jr.

Guard

8.5

3.9

38 steals

Britney Anderson

Jr.

Forward

6.5

2.7

19 steals

Christie Marrone

So.

Guard

4.3

0.9

82.6 FT %

Roshana Jackson

Sr.

Forward

3.8

2.9

17 blocks

Megan Finnerty

Sr.

Center

3.8

2.2

27 assists

Fran Recchia

Sr.

Guard

3.0

1.0

100 FT % (8-8)

Nare Diawara*

Jr.

Center

2.2

2.2

played in 18 games

*Injured much of the season

The Tech womenís basketball team has a lot to look forward to in the coming season. The amount of success they had this year was comforting, although it was close to being vastly larger. The ups and downs discussed earlier easily give the team coming back next year some character.

They certainly will be battle tested and roller coaster proof.

Women's Basketball Schedule and Results




Win an Actual VT Game Football, Signed by the Coaches and Players!

Brain Injury Services of SWVA and Brain Injury Services, Inc. in Northern Virginia are offering Hokie fans a chance to win a truly unique prize: a "game-winning" football signed by the Virginia Tech football coaching staff and players.

The football up for grabs is the football being carried by Cedric Humes in the picture above, during Cedric's game-clinching 37-yard TD run against Virginia this past season. The ball was taken from the field -- "It still has dirt on it," yours truly was recently told -- and later signed by Virginia Tech coaches and players.

The ball is now being raffled off. Only 600 raffle tickets are being sold, and each ticket costs $100. To make things even better, the cost of your raffle ticket is tax-deductible as a charitable donation to Brain Injury Services of SWVA and Brain Injury Services, Inc.

These two organizations are the only two case management programs serving kids with brain injuries in the state of Virginia. The services needed by brain injury survivors are scarce, and these two programs make a difference in people's lives. Proceeds from the raffle will be used to fund desperately-needed case managers at these two organizations.

Interested? Here are the details:

  • Prize: One Signed Game-Winning Virginia Tech football from the 2004 Virginia Tech/UVa football game.

  • Raffle Ticket Cost: $100

  • Drawing Date: April 16th 2005 (you do not need to be present to win)

  • Tax-Deductible Amount of Raffle Ticket Purchase: $100 (unless you win, of course!)

  • How to Purchase: Call or email Brain Injury Services Inc. of Northern Virginia (703-451-8881, email [email protected]) or The Jason Foundation in Radford, Virginia (540-633-2225, email [email protected]) for details on how to purchase a ticket. When you purchase a ticket, you'll receive a ticket stub and a receipt for tax purposes.

The Virginia Tech football program and head coach Frank Beamer (click the link to see a letter written by Beamer) are behind this effort to raise much-needed funds. Buy your ticket and get your chance at winning the football pictured above!

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   TechSideline.com Updates From the Past Week


Observations From Day One of Spring Practice
by Will Stewart, TechSideline.com, 3/24/05, 1:00 pm
The Hokies started spring football practice yesterday, with the hoopla centered around Marcus Vick holding court with the press on his return from the one-semester suspension that cost him his redshirt sophomore season. But there was a lot else going on besides Vick, and here's the lowdown from insiders on Marcus and just about everything else.
in TSL Pass

Expectations
by Jim Alderson, 3/23/05, 4:10 pm
Itís all a matter of perception and expectations. The Virginia Tech basketball season that ended its season last Saturday with a Beale Street blues-inspiring performance against Memphis is regarded as a success. Tech finished 16-14, a marginal improvement over last yearís 15-14 Big East swan song. This Tech team has been tabbed monumental overachievers. Expectations were low. A bunch considered to have little ACC-quality talent, a lack of an inside presence and no depth was picked by ACC media to finish near the bottom of the ACC standings and was widely ridiculed as being one of the worst teams ever to play in the ACC. Things didnít exactly work out that way.
in TSL Pass

Spring Practice Starts Today
by Will Stewart, TechSideline.com, 3/23/05, 8:10 am
Now that the Virginia Tech menís basketball teamís postseason run is over, there wonít be any time for the hardcore Hokie sports fans to catch their collective breath, because the much anticipated 2005 Spring Football practice begins today in Blacksburg. The Hokies have been working hard in the weight room since their 16-13 loss to Auburn in the Sugar Bowl, and Tech fans are anxious to catch a glimpse of what could be a very special 2005 season.
in News and Notes

Bryan Randall Rookie Diary #4: Pro Day Number One
by TechSideline.com, 3/22/05, 11:50 am
The night before is nerve racking, not knowing exactly what youíre going to be doing, making sure you put the right things in your body. I ate salads and drank a whole lot of water, trying to get hydrated. I really couldnít sleep, just tossed and turned pretty much all night. Itís not even about being nervous, I donít know what it is. I couldnít even sleep before games. I guess itís about me knowing somethingís coming up, I guess itís more about being excited or anxious than nervous.
in TSL Pass

A Good Start
by Will Stewart, TechSideline.com, 3/21/05, 4:05 pm
If you've read it once, you've read it a million times: Eight wins in the ACC far exceeded anyone's expectations, Seth Greenberg is doing a great job with the Virginia Tech program, the Hokies are competitive in the ACC, yadda-yadda-yadda. That's all true, but it's not all sunshine and roses just yet. There is a ton of work to do before Virginia Tech can become a true ACC basketball program. Here's a straight-talk evaluation of where the VT basketball program stands right now, and the challenges that lie ahead.
in TSL Pass

Tigers Whip Hokies Soundly, End Tech's Season, 83-62
by Chris James, TechSideline.com, 3/19/05, 3:55 pm
Memphis, TN -- The Virginia Tech Hokies saw their hopes of a third NIT championship come crashing down in FedExForum when they fell to the Memphis Tigers 83-62 on Saturday afternoon. The Hokies had a bad day shooting, were outrebounded by a bigger team, and didn't show the defensive intensity that was needed. With the loss, the Hokies finish the season with a record of 16-14. This marks the first time since 1996 that Tech has finished with a winning record in two consecutive seasons.
in Men's Basketball

Spring Football 2005 Preview: The Defense
by Jeff Ouellet, 3/18/05, 11:20 am
While the offense definitely had its moments last year, especially late in the season, the lynchpin of VTís return to the BCS was its defense. Gone were the days of laughing quarterbacks, replaced by skill position players with their heads on a swivel. Paced by an experienced secondary, and an aggressive, fast front seven, VT had arguably the best defense in the ACC in 2004.
in TSL Pass

TechSideline.com Recruiting Report, 3/17/05 (MP3 Audio)
by TechSideline.com, 3/18/05, 10:45 am
Mike Harris and Will Stewart talk about the legal troubles of Todd Nolen, the situation with Marquie Cooke's leave of absence from the basketball team, and the Hokies in the NIT. (Time: 28:19, Size: 6.5 MB).
*Also available in ZIP format
in TSL Pass

 
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