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   Welcome to TSLMail #223 - Friday, April 21, 2006    
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Spring Sports Update, Part 1
by Chris Coleman,

Spring sports are in full swing at Virginia Tech. Some programs find themselves trying to gain traction in the ACC, while others have a chance to do good things. The Hokies aren’t likely to pick up a lot of points in the Directors’ Cup from spring sports, but they do have a chance to be successful in a few.


Virginia Tech is currently ranked fourth in the ACC in softball. The Hokies are 31-13 overall and boast an 8-6 record in ACC play. They have a one-game lead on fifth place Florida State, and are within striking distance of Georgia Tech and NC State, who are both 10-5 in conference play.

As they did last year, the Hokies are riding the arm of talented sophomore pitcher Angela Tincher. Tincher has a 19-6 record with a 0.84 ERA and averages 14.4 strikeouts per nine innings, which ranks second in the NCAA. Scot Thomas’ team appears to have a good chance at making their second consecutive NCAA tournament appearance.

Last season the Hokies finished 44-25 overall but were only 4-13 in ACC play. But they advanced to the finals of the ACC tournament and earned a bid to the NCAAs. Virginia Tech is currently #21 in the softball RPI. That ranking is good for second in the ACC, behind only North Carolina, who is ranked at #14.

As good as the Hokies are this year, they have a chance to be even better in the future. Five freshmen and three sophomores started in Tech’s latest win over East Tennessee State. They hit the field again once again on Friday afternoon at Tech Softball Park, where they will host a three-game series with Florida State. The series will be critical in determining where the Hokies finish in the ACC.

Track and Field

The Virginia Tech men’s track and field team is ranked 10th in the nation in the latest Trackwire 25 power rankings. The Hokies boast a talented team and are projected to score 23 points in the NCAA Outdoor Championships.

The Hokies are led by senior hammer thrower Spyridon Jullien. The Athens, Greece native has won national championships in the hammer throw and weight throw. However he will be challenged by his own teammate this year. Freshman Mohsen Anani was ACC Performer of the Week earlier in the season for his performance in the hammer throw, and he actually managed to knock off Jullien in the ACC Championship on Thursday. Anani won the ACC in the hammer throw, Jullien finished second, and freshman Matej Muza finished fourth.

After one day at the ACC Championships, the men’s track and field team is tied for first place with UNC with 28 points. The Tech women’s track and field team is also tied for first after one day of action. They sit atop the standings with the Florida State Seminoles. Both teams have scored 17 points.

The women’s team has also had some standouts in the ACC Championships. Jennifer Wade and Abbey McGrath finished fourth and fifth respectively in the women’s pole vault. Kim Johnston finished 12th.

Kristen Callan finished second in the hammer throw, and Saskia Triesscheijn won the heptathlon event. Gunild Kreb also placed fourth in the heptathlon.

The ACC Championships will end on Saturday, April 22. NCAA Regionals begin on May 26.


Unfortunately, not all of Virginia Tech’s sports are faring as well as softball and track and field. The baseball team is currently 16-22 overall and 2-16 in ACC play. They sit in last place in the Coastal Division and last place overall in the ACC.

A simple look at the statistics will help you understand why the Hammerin’ Hokies are having such a poor season. They rank near the bottom of the ACC in nearly every major statistical category.

The Hokies are 10th in batting average (.276), ninth in slugging percentage (.404), eighth in on-base percentage (.375), ninth in runs score (234), 11th in hits (370) and have the third-most strikeouts (285). Pitching statistics aren’t much better. Team ERA ranks 11th (6.33), opponents’ batting average is 11th (.317), batters struck out ranks 11th (229), 11th in hits allowed (440), 11th in runs allowed (297), and 12th in walks (173). Virginia Tech pitchers also lead the ACC in wild pitches with 36.

Baseball is one of the few sports, and maybe the only sport at Virginia Tech that ACC entrance has not helped. Virginia Tech’s baseball facilities lag way behind the rest of the ACC, making it difficult to recruit against other ACC programs.


The women’s lacrosse team has also been struggling. Their struggles are understandable because the ACC is a very tough lacrosse league. Through two seasons in the ACC, the Hokies have not won a single conference match. They will begin the ACC tournament on April 27.

The ACC is a very tough league in which to build a program. Four ACC teams are ranked among the top six teams in the nation in the power rankings. Maryland, for example, is 10-5 overall but just 1-3 in the ACC, yet is ranked sixth in the nation. The Hokies’ lacrosse team can slowly get better, but it will take time against this kind of competition.

We'll return next week with an update on the sports listed here, plus information on the tennis and golf teams. Pass - Your Ultimate Ticket to Hokie Sports!

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-- Will Stewart Updates From the Past Week
Alvarez Adds Offers, Makes Visits
April 21, 2006
Hylton (Woodbridge, VA) offensive lineman William Alvarez is up to six official scholarship offers, a number that certainly could grow throughout the month of May. Besides the programs that have offered, Florida, Notre Dame and Penn State are among the programs showing serious interest in the 6-5, 300-pound prospect.

Fells-Danzer Shows Speed, Versatility
April 20, 2006
Video clips have been added to Terence Fells-Danzer's recruiting card. At 6-2, 230 pounds, Fell-Danzer played a variety of positions his junior season including running back, fullback, defensive end and linebacker. He projects on the next level as a linebacker and has drawn official offers from Virginia and, just this past weekend, Virginia Tech.

Virginia Tech First to Offer Pressley
April 19, 2006
By extending an official offer to 6-0, 170-pound athlete Kendrick Pressley during last weekend's spring game, Virginia Tech has offered yet another player from the state of South Carolina. Pressley, who plays quarterback for Sumter High School, will likely end up as either a wide receiver or defensive back on the next level.

2006 Spring Football Wrapup: The Defense
April 19, 2006
Virginia Tech’s defense was expected to be the team’s strong suit during spring practice, as usual. But because of some major losses to the NFL such as Darryl Tapp, Jonathan Lewis, Jimmy Williams and James Anderson, no one was really sure how they would perform this spring. The Hokies began practice with question marks along the defensive line and linebacker. All reports indicate that while Tech might have some new players defensively this year, the group still appears to be very good.

Hermitage 2007: Tweedy Lands First Offer
April 18, 2006
As usual, Hermitage (Richmond, VA) head coach Patrick Kane has a handful of prospects that could potentially earn college scholarship offers. One – Ath Alonzo Tweedy – scored his first official Division 1A scholarship offer last weekend on his unofficial visit to Virginia Tech.

2006 Spring Football Wrapup: The Offense
April 18, 2006
When Virginia Tech began spring practice back in March, they knew there were major questions at nearly every position on the offensive side of the ball. The defense dominated Saturday’s spring game, as they did most of the spring. With spring practice now in the rear-view mirror, it’s blatantly obvious that many of those questions remain, and they will continue to be asked until the Hokies finally play a real game this fall.

Football Runs in the Brown Family
April 17, 2006
Nekos Brown paid a visit to Blacksburg on Saturday for Tech’s spring game, an experience that was no doubt exciting for the Thomas Stone (Waldorf, Maryland) standout who signed with the Hokies in February. “I can’t wait to get out there on the field,” Brown said of getting to Virginia Tech. “I’m just ready to try and seize the opportunity. I know there’s a lot of competition there, but I’m going to just do my best to try and get some playing time.”

Four Schools Stand Out to Nuss
April 17, 2006
Stone Bridge (Ashburn, VA) offensive lineman Andrew Nuss still plans to make his collegiate decision this summer. The unofficial visits he has made this spring - he has visited each school that has officially offered - certainly will help him in accomplishing this goal. Right now, four schools stand out among the seven he has visited.

Tech Hires Dresser as Wrestling Coach
April 17, 2006
Virginia Tech announced the hiring of Kevin Dresser as the school’s new wrestling coach on Friday. Dresser replaces Tom Brands, who left Blacksburg to become head coach at Iowa after just two seasons at Tech. He brings a background of winning wrestling to the table, and his name is very familiar throughout the New River Valley.

Maroon Edges White 14-10 in Spring Game
April 15, 2006
Virginia Tech concluded spring practice with the annual Maroon-White game on Saturday afternoon, and the Maroon team came away with a 14-10 victory. The defense for both teams stood out, as neither offense was able to get anything going for the majority of the game.
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