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CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. – The Virginia field hockey team earned the No. 3 seed in the 2009 Atlantic Coast Conference Championship, which begins Thursday at the Turf Field in Charlottesville, Va.

The Cavaliers, who finished the regular season with a 16-2 mark and a 3-2 record in conference play, will take on sixth-seeded Duke (9-9, 0-5 ACC) at 3:30 p.m. Thursday in game two of the tournament. Virginia defeated the Blue Devils 2-1 on Saturday.

Fourth-seeded Wake Forest (11-5, 2-3 ACC) and fifth-seeded Boston College (13-5, 1-4 ACC) will get the Championship underway with a 1 p.m. game on Thursday.

Top-seeded Maryland (18-0, 5-0 ACC) earned a first-round bye and will face the Wake Forest-Boston College winner at 4 p.m. Friday while the Virginia-Duke winner will take on second-seeded North Carolina (16-1, 4-1 ACC) at 6:30 p.m.

The two semifinal winners will compete in the title game at noon Sunday, which will also be broadcast live by the league’s regional sports network. The ACC’s regional sports network (RSN-TV) includes FSN South, Comcast SportsNet Mid-Atlantic, and the New England Sports Network.

All six conference teams are ranked in the latest NFHCA poll, including No. 1 Maryland, No. 2 North Carolina, No 3 Virginia, No. 6 Wake Forest, No. 9 Boston College and No. 14 Duke.

North Carolina won the first nine championships and 16 overall in the 26-year history of field hockey in the ACC. Maryland trails with seven league championships, and Wake Forest has three. However, Maryland (2008), North Carolina (2007), and Wake Forest (2006) have each won championships in the last three seasons.

The ACC champion will receive an automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament, where league teams have historically had great success. League teams have captured 14 of 26 NCAA titles since 1983, including the last seven in a row (Wake Forest, 2002-04; Maryland, 05-06; North Carolina, 07; Maryland 08).

Since the conference expanded to include Boston College in 2005, five of the league’s six teams have earned berths in the NCAA Tournament in each season, while four of the then-five league teams were included on the national bracket in 2003 and 2004. Overall, the NCAA championship game has been an All-ACC affair eight times.

Tickets for the 2009 ACC Championship can be purchased online at or by calling the Virginia Athletics Ticket Office at 1-800-542-8821 or 434/924-8821. Fans can also order in person at the athletics ticket office in Bryant Hall at Scott Stadium weekdays between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m.

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