Virginia’s 2011-12 Year in Review
Virginia finished 15th in the final 2011-12 Learfield Sports Directors’ Cup competition for Division I schools. The final results were announced Wednesday by the National Association of Directors of Athletics (NACDA). The finish marks the fifth time in the last six years the Cavaliers’ program has placed in the top 15. Virginia’s best finish came in 2010 when it was third.
It marks the 19th consecutive year, since the program’s inception, the Cavaliers have recorded a top-30 finish. UVa is one of 14 schools to rank in the top 30 of the final Directors’ Cup standings in each year of the program’s existence.
Teams or individuals in 22 of Virginia’s 25 intercollegiate athletics programs advanced to postseason competition in 2011-12. Some of the highlights from the year included the rowing team’s second NCAA Championship in three years, a second-place finish in the NCAA Tournament by the men’s tennis team and a fourth-place finish at the NCAA Championships by the women’s golf team. The Cavalier men’s basketball team returned to the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 2007 and the UVa football team played in the Chick-fil-A Bowl, its first postseason appearance since the 2007 season.
The rowing team’s varsity eight won the national championship in that event. Twenty of the department’s 25 sports were ranked in the Top 25 during their respective seasons. UVa won four Atlantic Coast Conference Championships and now has won 51 in the last 10 years. The Cavaliers won ACC Championships in rowing (12th in 13 years), men’s swimming and diving (fifth consecutive and 13th in the last 14 years), women’s swimming and diving (fifth consecutive), and men’s tennis (sixth consecutive and eighth in the last nine years).
Mike London (football), Kevin Sauer (rowing) and Brian Boland (men’s tennis) earned ACC Coach of the Year Awards. Sauer was also named the national coach of the year by the Collegiate Rowing Coaches Association. David Karasek (men’s swimming and diving) and Matt Snyder (wrestling) were named ACC Scholar-Athletes for their sports.
Additional highlights of Virginia’s 2011-12 athletics year included:
– Baseball participated in the NCAA Tournament for the ninth consecutive year and hosted a regional for the third straight season.
– Men’s basketball forward Mike Scott was named a third-team All-American and first-team All-ACC selection.
– The Cavalier women’s basketball team won 25 games under first-year coach Joanne Boyle, including an upset of No. 3 Tennessee.
– The women’s cross country team placed 20th at the NCAA Championships after winning the NCAA Southeast Regional title for the second consecutive year.
– Virginia field hockey players Paige Selenski and Michelle Vittese were members of the Unites States’ team that won the gold medal at the Pan American Games in October of 2011.
– The Cavalier football team became the first college football program to ever win road games at Miami and Florida State in the same season.
– Senior cornerback Chase Minnifield was named Pop Warner Football’s National College Player of the Year.
– Men’s golfer Ben Rusch won the ACC title, the first Cavalier to do so since 1955.
– Denny McCarthy was named the ACC men’s golf Freshman of the Year.
– Head women’s golf coach Kim Lewellen was named National Coach of the Year in October of 2011 by the Ladies Professional Golf Association Teaching and Club Professional membership.
– Senior attackman Steele Stanwick, the ACC Offensive Player of the Year, received the United States Intercollegiate Lacrosse Association’s (USILA) Jack Turnball Award as the top collegiate attackman in the nation.
– The UVa women’s lacrosse team participated in the NCAA Tournament for the 17th consecutive season.
– The UVa men’s soccer team extended the nation’s longest streak of participating in the NCAA tournament by receiving its 31st consecutive bid.
– Freshman midfielder Morgan Brian was Soccer America’s Women’s Freshman of the Year, the ACC Freshman of the Year and a semifinalist for the Hermann Award.
– The men’s swimming and diving team won the Atlantic Coast Conference Championship for the fifth consecutive year and for the 13th time in the last 14 years, and finished 15th at the NCAA Championships.
– The women’s swimming and diving team won the Atlantic Coast Conference Championship for the fifth consecutive year and finished 17th at the NCAA Championships.
– Ellen Williamson was the ACC women’s swimming Freshman of the Year
– Men’s tennis senior Jarmere Jenkins was honored as the ACC Player of the Year and freshman Mitchell Frank was the ACC Freshman of the Year and the ITA National Rookie of the Year.
– Lindsey Hardenbergh became the first UVa women’s tennis player to be selected to compete in three NCAA singles championships.
– The newly renovated Lannigan Field hosted the ACC Championships where freshman Nick Vena was named the Most Valuable Field Performer.
– The women’s track and field team placed second at the ACC Outdoor Championships, the program’s best showing since 1995.
– Dennis Hohenshelt took over as the volleyball team’s head coach.
– In December of 2011, Brian Fetzer was named the director of track and field and cross country.
Virginia placed 291 student-athletes on the ACC Honor Roll. A total of 26 Cavaliers were recognized for the fourth time during their careers.
The ACC Honor Roll is comprised of student-athletes who participated in a varsity-level sport and registered a grade point average of 3.00 or better for the full academic year.
Among the Cavaliers honored were two student-athletes who received ACC Freshman of the Year honors, including Mitchell Frank (men’s tennis) and Ellen Williamson (swimming). Three members of the rowing team’s ACC Crew of the Year – Martha Kuzzy, Sarah Cowburn and Susanne Grainger, also received the recognition.
Also honored were three UVa student-athletes who were ACC Scholar-Athletes of the Year in their respective sports: David Karasek (men’s swimming and diving), Matt Snyder (wrestling) and Sarah Borchelt (rowing).