It can be easy to forget about the other great athletic programs at Virginia Tech. Let's face it though, our only national championships are in the hammer throw and bass fishing. So really, the non-revenue bearing sports should be what we are most proud of. Ok, you can put down the torches and pitchforks now, I'm only the messenger. For a school that was once known as a football powerhouse, it's pretty amazing how good our Olympic sports program is. Virginia Tech is a pretty well0rounded school athletically. Granted, there are sports we need to focus on a little more. Women's golf is JUST now starting up? I seem to remember an LPGA player from Blacksburg a few years ago, guess where she went to school? Not here. All that aside, we have a nice collection of winners in Blacksburg. Here is a brief overview of what has been going on in other sports this Winter.
The Hokies opened the season ranked eighth in the country. Losses to nationally ranked UVA and Edinboro ultimately dropped them to 17th, but they are still going strong at 14-2 on the season and 5-0 at home. The ACC championships begin on March 8th, with the NCAA championships starting on March 20th. The Hokies look to go far in both tournaments
The men opened the year ranked 38th and are already off to a great start at 2-0, with a key victory over #59 Yale. Their next home match up is against Coastal Carolina on February 9th at noon.
The 54th ranked Hokies kicked off the season by defeating #74 Elon 6-1. They have a solid team with plenty of returning stars and hope to challenge the top dogs in the ACC this season.
Swimming and Diving:
The men are faring a little better than the women, ranked 15th nationally. The women are unranked. The guys got huge victories last week, defeating #18 UVA and #24 Harvard. It was the Hokies' first swim and dive triumph over UVA in quite some time. Tech's swim and dive program as a whole is 20-10-3 on the year. The women's ACC championships begin on February 19th, and the ACC men will compete starting February 26th in Greensboro.
The golf team is going strong heading into the main part of the season, with two 1st place finishes at the VCU shootout in September. The team has finished in the top four at every event they have played this season. The Hokies' next battle is the Puerto Rico Classic, which begins on February 23rd.
I've already written two pieces on the team, but in case you missed them they are 16-6 on the season playing a very difficult schedule. The playoffs begin next month, and you will see more from me on the team by that time.
Stacy Searels was officially hired as Tech's new offensive line coach. He last coached at Texas under Mack Brown. The Longhorns' replacement hire, Charlie Strong, decided not to retain Searels. Searels also coached at Georgia and LSU. He helped LSU win a national championship in 2003.
There is a lot to be excited about. With all the buzz from football and basketball our other teams are sometimes overlooked. However, each one of these programs is poised to compete in the ACC, and even at the national level.