The drama around Frank Beamer’s decision to retire, the hiring of the next VT head coach of football, and the Hokies’ efforts to keep the bowl streak alive has dominated the VPI sports discussion. Additionally, the arrival of Buzz Williams and the start of Virginia Tech’s men’s basketball season has grabbed any remaining attention. With all that has been happening with those two programs, it can be easy to miss out on some of the other fantastic Hokie athletic programs and their performances.
Women’s Basketball: So far the women of Virginia Tech basketball have had a stellar first six weeks of play. They have launched out to an 11-1 record and have a nice win against the then No. 8 Tennessee Lady Volunteers. The Hokies are just outside the top 25 with 22 points in the AP Poll and 12 points in the USA Today Coaches Poll. The ACC is stacked this year, and the ladies will have their hands full when conference play starts in January. Last year the Hokies went 12-20, and ended the regular season with a nine game skid. Considering they are only one win away from tying their total wins from last season the apparent improvement in the women’s squad is impressive. It will be exciting to see how they perform against the ACC.
Swimming and Diving: The Men and Women of the H2Okies have wrapped up the first portion of their season after competing in the Tennessee Fall Invitational at the end of November. The remainder of their season will start in early January. Both the women’s and men’s teams have had a successful first half of the season, and both squads have been in and out of the CSCAA Top 25. Sophomore Ian Ho’s performance in the 50 meter at the Tennessee Invitational has qualified him to compete at the Olympic Trials.
Volleyball: The ladies wrapped up their 2015 season at the end of November with a 3-2 win over the Virginia Cavaliers. Overall the Hokies finished 19-13. They were 10-10 in conference, 11-5 home, 5-7 away, and 3-1 at neutral sites.
Congrats Lindsey and Jaila on making All-ACC teams! pic.twitter.com/XKW2mPLmnV— VT Volleyball (@VT_VBall) December 2, 2015
Cross Country: The Men’s and Women’s Cross Country NCAA Championships were held in Louisville, KY on November 21, 2015. The Hokie Men’s team qualified with an at-large bid to be one of the 31 squads invited to the championships. It was their first appearance since 2012. The team finished 27 out of the 31 teams competing. The top performer, redshirt senior Thomas Curtin, finished 22nd with a 10k time of 30:15.1. Curtin was battling a foot injury, but was still able to earn All-American honors.
Wrestling: The Hokies are having a fantastic year in wrestling. They are currently 3-1 and ranked No. 5 in the nation. Their single defeat was a hard fought effort against current No. 1 Penn State. Redshirt Junior Ty Walz’s heavyweight victory at the Cliff Keen Las Vegas Invitational represents the first time VT has had a victor at the event. Junior Joey Dance also advanced to the finals in his weight class (125 lbs), but was defeated by Brandon Vu from San Francisco State. The Hokies return to the mat January 3rd when they travel to George Mason.
There are certainly several other sports the Hokies participate in, and Gobbler Country will be covering their performances as the year progresses!