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   Welcome to TSLMail #277 - Friday, May 4, 2007    
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   Tech Sports News

Softball Top Seed in ACC Tournament
by Chris Coleman,

Starting Thursday, May 10th, the Virginia Tech softball team will take part in the 2007 ACC Softball Tournament in Tallahassee, Florida on the campus of Florida State. The Hokies will be the #1 seed in the tournament, and they will face #8 UVA in the first round of the  double-elimination tournament on May 10th at 3pm.

A first round win should be easy for Tech. UVA finished just 1-20 in the ACC (that's not a typo), while the Hokies were 44-14 overall and 15-5 in ACC play. Tech swept the season series against the Hoos, outscoring them 16-1 in a three game series in Charlottesville.

The Hokies won the regular season ACC Championship thanks in large part to their All-American pitcher, Angela Tincher. Tincher finished the season with a 33-5 overall record and an ERA of 0.61. She struck out 539 batters this season, and she's easily the most dominant pitcher in the conference.

Tincher struck out 22 batters in a win over Liberty this past week. Those 22 strikeouts took her to 1,392 for her career. She is just seven strikeouts away from breaking the all-time ACC career strikeout record of 1,398. That record is held by Jessica Sallinger of Georgia Tech. Only a junior, Tincher will get that record in her next game.

If Virginia Tech gets past Virginia in the first round, they'll face the winner of the UNC/Florida State game on May 11 at 3pm. The Hokies defeated the Seminoles two out of three times this year and beat UNC both times they played. Tech's third game with the Tar Heels was rained out and not made up.

Total it up, and out of their three opponents for their first two games of the ACC Tournament, the Hokies went 7-1 on the season. They have a very good shot to get to the semifinals on Saturday, May 12 unscathed.

They are also a lock to make it to the NCAA tournament for the third consecutive season. For the past two years the Hokies haven't made it past the first regional, but that could easily change this year. Not coincidentally, Tech's emergence as an ACC softball power came about the very season Tincher enrolled.

As good as the softball team is this year, they have a chance to be even better next season. The Hokies will lose just three seniors when this season is over. Pitchers Karie Morrison and Ashley Thatcher combined to play in just 15 games this season. The third senior is outfield Callie Rhodes, who has started every game the past two seasons.

With Tincher and almost everyone else returning next year, the Hokies could go a long way in the postseason.

Follow this year's ACC Softball Tournament here

Men's Tennis in NCAA Tournament

The Virginia Tech men's tennis team will be in action next weekend as well when they take on #30 Old Dominion in the first round of the NCAA Tournament in Charlottesville. The University of Virginia is hosting first and second round matches this year. If the #39 Hokies knock off ODU, they'll face the winner of the Virginia-Hampton match, which will likely be Virginia. The Hoos went 11-0 in ACC matches over the course of the season.

Despite finishing 10th in the ACC with a 3-8 mark and a 13-12 mark overall, the Hokies got a bid to the NCAA Tournament. That shows exactly how deep the ACC is in men's tennis competition.

The Virginia Tech doubles team of Nicolas Delgado and Pedro Graber has been selected as one of 32 doubles teams to compete in the 2007 NCAA Division I Men's Tennis Championships. The event will take place at the University of Georgia from May 23-28.

Delgado and Graber are ranked #19 nationally in the latest Intercollegiate Tennis Association poll. They finished the season with a 20-4 record overall, and an 8-3 mark in the ACC.

Pairings for the individual tournament will not be released until May 22, the day before the event begins. If Delgado and Graber win their first two matches and are among the final eight players of the tournament, they will earn All-American honors. Delgado is a sophomore and Graber is a freshman, so this combo should be good for another couple of seasons.

Follow NCAA Men's Tennis here Pass - Your Ultimate Ticket to Hokie Sports!

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For more info on TechSideline Pass, and to subscribe, click here. Updates From the Past Week

Ben Barber Checks out PSU, UVa

May 4, 2007
Edison (Alexandria, VA) junior wide receiver Ben Barber made unofficial visits to Penn State and Virginia last month. He'll make visits to other programs in the ensuing months, including a trip to Rutgers for a Nike Camp on May 13th. The 5-10, 190-pound prospect is anxious to show what he can do in New Jersey in two weeks.

Freeman Accumulating Offers, Taking His Time
May 3, 2007
Virginia is one of the more recent scholarship offers for Pelion (S.C.) junior Dalton Freeman, who is close to but not quite at the 20-scholarship offer mark. Ben Freeman, Dalton's father and Pelion's head football coach, sees his 6-6, 270-pound son surpassing that mark during the May evaluation period.

Breaking Down the ACC's Draft Numbers
May 2, 2007
In 2006, the ACC dominated the NFL Draft with a total of 51 selections, beating out the second place Big Ten by a total of 10 selections. The ACC's number dropped to 31 this year, with most top players in the ACC in 2006 returning to school for the 2007 season. It should be an exciting upcoming season for the ACC, but let's first take a look at what the conference lost to the NFL.

Patrick Terry Ready for Virginia Tech
May 2, 2007
Speed, speed, speed. Wide receiver recruit Patrick Terry has a lot of it, as he exhibited with a good season in indoor track. But the Halifax County (South Boston, VA) product wants to bring more than just speed to Virginia Tech...he wants to be a complete receiver and he is working hard to get to that point.

Hokie Draftees Eye the Next Level
May 1, 2007
Three Virginia Tech football players were drafted by NFL teams over the weekend, and three more were signed as free agents shortly after the draft concluded on Sunday evening. Will they make the team in their first season, or will they be released and then catch on to a practice squad somewhere? We'll take a look at the competition they'll face in their first NFL preseason.

Top Programs Vie for Star Linebacker
May 1, 2007
With written scholarship offers in the fold from Alabama, Clemson, Florida, Florida State, North Carolina, N.C. State, South Carolina, Tennessee and Virginia Tech, Scotland County (Laurinburg, N.C.) star linebacker Terrell Manning certainly has his share of options for the next level. His recruitment may not be a long one, however, as the 6-3, 205-pound prospect plans to commit sometime before his senior season.

Whaley Looking for More Success in 2007
April 30, 2007
There is no question that Salem (Virginia Beach, VA) running back Kevin Whaley turned in a fantastic junior season. The Tidewater and Beach district Offensive Player of the Year, he rushed for 1,992 yards and 37 touchdowns in 2006, helping Salem to an appearance in the Group AAA, Division 6 state semifinals. Virginia Tech certainly took notice of Whaley's performance and was the first school to extend an offer.

Breaking Down Tech's 2007 Football Schedule
April 30, 2007
Virginia Tech's 2007 football schedule will be very tough. Some fans will call it the toughest schedule in Tech history, but that's debatable. The Hokies went through some rough times in Frank Beamer's early years, and part of their struggles came because they played very tough schedules. We'll compare Tech's 2007 schedule to those of some of Beamer's early teams. We'll also rank the Hokies' toughest games of 2007 from one through 12.

Clowney, Frye Drafted on Day Two
April 29, 2007
Wide receiver David Clowney and offensive tackle Brandon Frye were selected in the fifth round of the 2007 NFL Draft on Sunday, giving Virginia Tech three total players drafted this year. Clowney was selected by the Green Bay Packers with the 20th pick of round five (157th overall), and Frye was taken by the Houston Texans six picks later (26th pick of round five, 163rd overall).

Rouse Selected by Packers in Round Three
April 29, 2007
Former Virginia Tech rover Aaron Rouse was the first and only Hokie selected on the first day of the 2007 NFL Draft. Rouse was selected in the third round with the 89th overall selection by the Green Bay Packers. He was the last of four Packer selections on Saturday.

Justin Hamilton Raising Money for VT Scholarships
April 27, 2007
The Justin Hamilton Foundation and the Sports Addict Radio Network, headquartered in Blacksburg, have joined together to create the Virginia Tech Scholarship Trust Fund in memory of the 32 victims of the Virginia Tech shootings. This effort has been named "The Sports Community Challenge." Justin Hamilton, former Virginia Tech football player and current safety for the Cleveland Browns, got the effort started this week with a personal pledge of fifty thousand dollars.
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