Nov. 16, 2017
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. – Second-year head coach Joanna Hardin unveiled Virginia’s 54-game schedule on Wednesday (Nov. 16). The Cavaliers will play a season-opening doubleheader on Thursday, Feb. 8 at McNeese St.
The double dip against Hardin’s former school will be part of the 2018 Cowgirl Classic in Lake Charles, La. Hardin, who spent four years as an assistant and head coach at McNeese will return to play her former team for the first time.
“Of course it will be special to go back to a place where I built relationships with players, administration and the community but most importantly I know we’ll get a tested on the field early on,” said Hardin. “Much like last season when we started off in Arizona, the quality of competition over the first five games will give our team a good sense of what we’re going to need to do to be successful.”
McNeese St., the defending Southland Conference Champions, will be one of two 2016 NCAA Tournament teams (Tulsa) the Cavaliers will square off against on opening weekend.
The trip to Louisiana will be followed by back-to-back, five-game tournaments beginning with the Eastern Michigan Madeira Beach Classic in Madeira Beach, Fla. (Feb. 16-18). The Cavaliers will spend the next weekend at the UNCG Invitational (Feb. 23-25) in Greensboro, N.C.
Virginia will play the first of 18 home games in 2018 on Feb. 28 when it hosts Campbell in a non-conference tilt. Before returning home for their ACC opener, Virginia will play in the District Classic hosted by Georgetown University March 3-4.
The Cavaliers will host home ACC series against Georgia Tech (March 9-11), Syracuse, (March 16-18), North Carolina (March 30-31) and Virginia Tech (April 13-15). Admission to all games at The Park is free.
Road league series will feature matchups against Boston College (March 23-25), Louisville (April 6-8), Pitt (April 20-22) and first-year program Duke (April 27-29).
In non-conference action, the Cavaliers will play in-state foes, Longwood (home – April 11), James Madison (home – April 25) and Liberty (home – March 14 & away – May 1).
Hardin returns six letterwinners from a year ago and welcomes nine newcomers. Among the returners are seniors Allison Davis (Oak Hill, Va.) and Danni Ingraham (Laguna Niguel, Calif.) who started 54 and 53 games respectively last season. In the circle, Virginia returns its ace, junior Erika Osherow (Darien, Conn.) who made 41 appearances, the fifth most in the ACC.
The Cavaliers qualified for the first ACC Tournament since 2013 in Hardin’s first season. The 2018 ACC Tournament will be hosted by Georgia Tech May 8-12.