Photo courtesy of Virginia Tech athletics
This past weekend was a good one if you’re a Virginia Tech fan.
The ice that froze over Blacksburg is finally melting, and those who live in the 540 are finally going to see temperatures over 50 degrees — something recently foreign to those who live in Southwest Virginia.
Spring is coming. Spring sports are already here.
Virginia Tech men’s basketball may still be on its COVID-19 pause, and the third-ranked Virginia Tech wrestling team was off this weekend preparing for the ACC Championships, but the success from Hokies teams across the board this weekend was something to remember.
Let’s just say it’s a good time to be a Hokie. This week’s Hokie Notebook looks back on a winning weekend in Blacksburg.
Kenny Brooks has set yet another record as Virginia Tech’s women’s hoops coach.
The Hokies (12-7, 7-7 ACC) won a program-best fifth straight game in ACC play against the Syracuse Orange on Sunday afternoon. Virginia Tech dominated the Orange from the opening tip before cruising to a 76-68 victory. It led by as many as 22 points in this one.
The Hokies season looked dead to rights after starting off 7-7 overall and 2-7 in the ACC, but this team was too talented to continue to play to that type of level. Virginia Tech has now rattled off five straight — all kickstarted by an 83-71 upset of then No. 2 NC State. The last three wins haven’t been all that close.
How have the Hokies been playing so much better? A lot of that credit goes to Asiah Shepherd (23 points against Syracuse) and Elizabeth Kitley (18 points), but guard Georgia Amoore (14 points) deserves some love as well. When your point guard starts playing better, your team starts playing better, and the freshman Aussie has been doing just that.
Virginia Tech will travel to Clemson to take on the Tigers this Thursday at 6 p.m ET on the ACC Network before returning home on Sunday to host North Carolina at 2 p.m ET for the regular season finale.
The Hokies then head to Greensboro, NC next week for the ACC Tournament. They’ll look to make enough noise to secure their first NCAA Tournament berth since 2006.
Opening Day has finally come for Virginia Tech baseball!
The Hokies started their season off nicely with a doubleheader sweep over Kent State.
Virginia Tech took the first game, 3-1, in an absolute pitchers’ duel between talented southpaw Chris Gerard for Virginia Tech, and Luke Albright for Kent State. Albright is among the the top 100 draft prospects, according to MLB Pipeline.
Gerard threw six innings, giving up just four hits and striking out seven. That ties for the most by a Virginia Tech pitcher on Opening Day since 2010. He picked up the win to start the season off 1-0. The lefty-hurler told us his curveball is what made him good Sunday afternoon.
True freshman Tanner Schobel added the go-ahead two-run single for the Hokies in the bottom of the fifth, and Virginia Tech didn’t look back.
The second game was not quite as close. Virginia Tech took down the Golden Flashes, 9-2, behind another masterful pitching performance — this time by Anthony Simonelli. He tossed 5.1 innings, giving up just an earned run and three hits without walking a batter.
Offensively, Gavin Cross cashed in with a two-run homer. Schobel added another two-run single in the bottom of the first to give the Hokies all they needed.
“The best way I could put it is it feels like a Game 7,” the Williamsburg native said. “You don’t want to mess up.”
Head coach John Szefc said it was “a good day” for the Hokies, especially since they didn’t commit a single error in 18 innings.
Picked sixth in the ACC Coastal, look for the Hokies to surprise some people with the talent they have across the board. Up next is Radford on Tuesday at 2 p.m. ET on ACC Network Extra.
What a weekend for Virginia Tech softball.
The 14th-ranked Hokies (7-2, 4-2 ACC) took two out of three from both Clemson in South Carolina, and ACC preseason favorite and reigning champion, No. 13 Florida State. The series against the Seminoles was in the Atlanta ACC Pod and hosted by Georgia Tech.
It all started on Thursday afternoon when the Hokies were obliterated by the Tigers, 8-1. Unfortunately for Clemson, it poked the wrong bear.
Virginia Tech came back angry the following day, sweeping the doubleheader, 9-0 in five innings, and 4-1 after pitcher Keely Rochard took a no-hitter into the sixth inning.
The Hokies were led offensively by Kelsey Brown. The Haymarket native went 5-for-7 on the afternoon, while also making a couple fantastic defensive plays in left field.
The three-game set against FSU in Atlanta was then eerily similar to the series in Clemson.
The Hokies had the wood laid to them in the first game, 7-1, after two costly errors led to their downfall. The second game of the doubleheader though, was a different story.
Virginia Tech evened the series with a 9-1 beatdown of the Seminoles in five innings, captivated by an 8-run third inning. The big frame included a three-run home run by Grace Chavez and a two-run blast by Kelsey Bennett. Rochard took another no-hitter into the fourth inning.
The Sunday matinee featured Rochard’s best performance of the weekend. She threw a complete game one-hitter that led to a 6-0 win for Virginia Tech in the rubber game.
A three-run homer by true freshman Cameron Fagan blew the game open at 5-0. Chavez added her fourth homer of the weekend to put that baby to bed for Virginia Tech. The Hokies are back in action this Saturday at noon ET in a doubleheader against Army. That’ll be streamed on the ACC Network Extra.
Expect the Hokies to crawl into the top 10 this week. This team is that good.
Virginia Tech lacrosse (1-1, 0-1 ACC) dropped its first game of the season to 12th-ranked Duke in Durham.
Sarah Lubnow, Emma Crooks, Paige Petty, and Caroline Allen each added a pair of goals for Virginia Tech, but it wasn’t enough in the 12-8 defeat.
Up next, the Hokies host Longwood on Wednesday at 3 p.m. ET at Thompson Field.
Men’s and Women’s Tennis
Virginia Tech men’s tennis (4-2, 1-0 ACC) is off to a nice start to the 2021 season.
It took down Boston College on Sunday afternoon to start off the ACC slate.
Freshman Ryan Fishback led the Hokies, winning his match 6-1, 6-0. The Hokies cruised to a 7-0 victory over the Eagles. James Madison is up next on Wednesday at 2 pm. ET.
The Virginia Tech women (2-4, 0-1 ACC) fell at home to Duke, 7-0. They’ll be back in action this Friday as they hit the road to take on Syracuse.