No. 10 UVa Hosts No. 7 Bucknell in NCAA First Round on Sunday
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. – The Virginia Cavaliers (9-5) enter the 2011 NCAA Tournament on Sunday as the No. 7 seed, the program’s lowest seed since 2001 when UVa was the No. 8 seed. UVa is ranked this week No. 10 in the USILA coaches poll and No. 9 in the Nike/Inside Lacrosse media poll following a bye week for final exams. UVa hosts its seventh-straight NCAA first round game on when the unseeded Bucknell Bison (14-2) invade Klöckner Stadium. Bucknell is ranked No. 7 in the USILA coaches poll and No. 10 in the Nike/Inside Lacrosse media poll. The game is set to face off at 3 p.m. Live stats will be available at VirginiaSports.com
There will be a live radio broadcast in the Charlottesville area on WINA 1070 AM, which will be simulcast as an audio webcast on VirginiaSports.com through Virginia Sports Online Radio. John Freeman will bring the play-by-play and Doug Tarring will provide the analysis.
The game will be televised on ESPNU in HD. Joe Beninati will provide the play-by-play, while Jamie Munro and Jack Emmer will add analysis.
This is Virginia’s 34th tournament appearance overall, second all-time behind Johns Hopkins (40). Virginia won the national championship five years ago (2006) and has received a bid in 18 of the last 19 seasons. UVa has made it to the semifinal round in each of the past three seasons.
Virginia head coach Dom Starsia brings 325 career victories into the contest, needing two more triumphs to pass Emmer (326) for most victories by a head coach while at a NCAA Division I school. Emmer will be on the TV call as Starsia takes his first crack at equaling the prolific coach’s win mark.
Sunday marks the third all-time meeting between the Cavaliers and Bison, and the first since 1998. UVa leads the all-time series 2-0 as both contests were played in back-to-back seasons (1997 and 1998), with the first taking place in Lewisburg, Pa., and the most recent at Klöckner Stadium. The Cavaliers have outscored Bucknell 51-9 in the two games, including 27-5 in the only meeting at Klöckner Stadium.
ACC Player of the Year Steele Stanwick leads UVa with 49 points and 26 assists, while scoring 23 goals. Chris Bocklet is tops on the team with 33 goals and has 38 points. Bocklet enters the week needing a goal on Sunday to match the nation’s longest consecutive game goal streak at 33 games. All-ACC pick Colin Briggs is next on the team with 22 goals. All-ACC honoree Chris LaPierre leads the team with 79 ground balls through the first 14 games, and through 11 games (65) bested UVa goalkeeper Adam Ghitelman’s 2010 team-best of 62 in 18 games.
Ghitelman has 46 career wins in the cage and is No. 5 all-time at the NCAA Division I level. Ghitelman is saving 53.1 percent of shots against him and registering a 9.72 goals against average this season.
Bucknell head coach Frank Fedorjaka is in his sixth season as the head coach of the Bison and recently won the program’s first Patriot League Championship, earning the automatic NCAA bid. The Bison return 27 letterwinners and eight starters off a 2010 team that went 8-6 and lost to eventual Patriot League champion Army in the conference tournament. Ryan Klipstein leads Bucknell with 30 goals, 19 assists and 49 points. Charlie Streep and Todd Heritage chip in 25 and 23 goals respectively for the Bison. Jake Clarke has a team best 96 ground balls, while winning at a 50 percent clip (119-of-238) on faceoffs. Goalie Kyle Feeney is saving 56.1 percent of shots and is posting a 6.87 goals against average inside the cage.
Fans may purchase tickets in person at the Virginia Athletics Ticket Office in Bryant Hall or by calling (800) 542-8821. Tickets can also be purchased online at VirginiaSports.com. General admission tickets are $7 for adults and $5 for youth 18-and-under and students of participating schools with a valid student ID. There will be a $5 cash parking charge for the University Hall and McCue Center parking lots, the JPJA surface lot and the JPJA Parking Garage for the men’s lacrosse game. Free parking is available in the Emmet/Ivy Parking Garage.