The ACC Hot List

Feb. 17, 2010

MEN'S BASKETBALL

  • Seven ACC teams are ranked in the RPI's Top 35 in terms of schedule strength - Duke (7), Georgia Tech (12), North Carolina (16), Wake Forest (22), Boston College (30), Maryland (33), Clemson (35).
  • NC State's Tracy Smith leads the ACC in field goal percentage (.549), is fourth in rebounding (8.2), and sixth in scoring (17.6) while Wake Forest's Al-Farouq Aminu leads the ACC in rebounding (10.9), offensive rebounding (4.2) and double-doubles (15).
  • Maryland's Greivis Vasquez has scored 10 or more points in an ACC-best 19 straight games and leads all active ACC players in career points (1,939) and assists (706) and Duke's Jon Scheyer has made at least one 3-point field goal in a league-best 18 straight games and is fifth on the ACC career free throw percentage list (.862).
  • Florida State sophomore Chris Singleton leads the ACC in steals per game (2.3) while Clemson senior Trevor Booker is four rebounds shy of becoming the 28th player in ACC history with 1,000 career rebounds.
  • In Roy Williams' seven years in Chapel Hill, North Carolina is 112-0 when shooting 50 percent or better from the floor and the Blue Devils' Mike Krzyzewski joined North Carolina's Dean Smith as only the second coach in ACC history to coach in 1,000-or-more games at a league school.
  • Florida State has held 61 consecutive opponents below 50 percent shooting from the field ... the Seminoles lead the ACC in field goal percentage defense (.369) and Virginia has had 10 or less turnovers in each of the last three games and 13 times overall this season.

WOMEN'S BASKETBALL

  • The Atlantic Coast Conference is currently No. 2 in the RPI ratings, according to RPIRatings.com and NCAA.com. The ACC is behind only the Big 12 and own the third strongest strength of schedule and third toughest non-conference strength of schedule.
  • Virginia senior Monica Wright posted 33 points, her ACC-leading sixth 30-point game of the season, in the Cavalier's 82-78 double-overtime win over visiting North Carolina on Feb. 15. Wright now sits in third all-time in ACC women's basketball history with 2,397 points, trailing Alana Beard (Duke, 2001-04) by 290 points for second place.
  • With freshman Allison Vernerey registering 20 points this past week against NC State, Duke now owns six different players who have registered 20 or more points in a game, which leads the ACC. Junior All-America and ACC Player of the Year candidate Jasmine Thomas leads Duke with seven games with 20 or more points. The Blue Devils (21-4) are ranked No. 8 nationally and lead the ACC with a 9-1 overall record.
  • Clemson senior Lele Hardy registered a team-high 17 points and five steals against Maryland on Feb. 14, increasing her career steal total to 383. That mark moved her into 25th place all-time in NCAA history. She is also just eight steals shy of taking over fifth-place in league history and five points shy of crossing the 1,500 career points barrier.
  • The ACC Women's Basketball Tournament is the longest-running NCAA women's tournament in the country, dating 32 years and counting. The league's first conference tournament was held in 1978, while the SEC followed closely behind in 1980.
  • The league celebrates its sixth annual class of ACC Women's Basketball Legends during the 2010 ACC Women's Basketball Tournament. TheACC.com will feature three members of the 2010 ACC Legends Class each week until the end of the regular season. The honorees will be recognized during the ACC Legends Luncheon on Friday, March 5, as well as on the court at halftime of the first semifinal game on Saturday, March 6. The ACC Women's Basketball Legends program honors past players from each of the ACC's 12 schools who have contributed to the league's rich tradition. Included in the class are 12 former student-athletes that represent four decades of ACC Women's Basketball competitors.

BASEBALL

  • The ACC opens the 2010 season with high expectations as each of the league's 12 conference teams prepare to open their seasons on Friday. Three teams - Virginia, Florida State and Georgia Tech - were consistently ranked among the nation's Top 10 teams in preseason polls, while three other teams - Clemson, Miami and North Carolina - were consensus Top-20 preseason selections.
  • Virginia, which earned a trip to the College World Series for the first time ever in 2009, was a ranked as high as No. 2 in two major polls. It marked the highest ranking ever for the Cavaliers, who were also picked as ACC preseason favorites in a poll of the league's 12 head coaches.
  • The ACC collectively returns a strong cast in 2010, including 2009 ACC Pitcher of the Year Deck McGuire of Georgia Tech, ACC Freshman of the Year Danny Hultzen of Virginia, and Dan Grovatt of Virginia, the MVP of the 2009 ACC Championship.
  • The Baseball America Preseason All-America Team features 10 ACC student-athletes -- including first-team selections McGuire, Virginia outfielder Jarrett Parker, and Georgia Tech pitcher Kevin Jacob. Miami catcher Yasmani Grandal, Boston College infielder Mickey Wiswall, Florida State outfielder Tyler Holt and Virginia's Hultzen were named to the second team. Virginia Tech outfielder Austin Wates and pitcher Jesse Hahn, along with Florida State outfielder/pitcher Mike McGee, were named to the third team.

SOFTBALL

  • Georgia Tech sophomore righthander Jessica Coan strike out nine batters and allowed just one hit in No. 13/14 Georgia Tech's 9-0 shutout victory over Canisius in its season-opener at the University of South Florida-DeMarini Invitational (Feb. 13). The shutout was the second of Coan's career. Sophomore outfielder Jessica Sinclair was two-for-three at the plate with a grand slam and six runs batted-in. Freshman pitcher/defensive player Hope Rush and senior second baseman Jen Yee also hit homeruns for the Yellow Jackets.
  • The Yellow Jackets then charted a 3-0 win over No. 3/5 Florida--defeating their highest-ranked opponent in school history--at the University of South Florida Wilson-DeMarini Tournament (Feb. 13) and handed the first career loss to Florida All-American Stephanie Brombacher. Rush, pitching in her first career start, fanned seven Gator batters in a five-hit shutout, and aided her own cause with a two-run homer in the sixth inning.
  • No. 23/19 Florida State exploded for 17 hits and 18 runs in "mercy-rule" wins in the same day over Bowling Green (9-0) and Iona (9-1) at the Sunshine State Classic (Feb. 13).
  • NC State defeated Providence, 4-2, on the strength of a pinch-hit, walk-off homerun by senior outfielder Kristine Bechtholdt at the FIU Combat Classic (Feb. 13). The two-run blast was the second walk-off homer of Bechtholdt's career and the first for the Wolfpack since she did it in 2008.

MEN'S LACROSSE

  • The ACC boasts four of the top seven teams in the United States Intercollegiate Lacrosse Association (USILA) Top 25 Men's Lacrosse preseason poll, including three of the top four. Duke, Virginia and North Carolina rank nos. two, three and four, respectively, while Maryland is ranked No. 7 in the early polls.
  • North Carolina keeper Chris Madalon, making only his second career start, tallied nine saves and allowed only four goals as UNC narrowly defeated Bryant 5-4. Madlon played all 60 minutes and made a career high for saves in the match. He made three of his nine saves in the fourth quarter when the Tar Heels shutout the Bulldogs to pull out the one-goal victory.
  • Duke junior attackman Zach Howell led the second-ranked Blue Devils with four goals and two assists in a season-opening 12-11 overtime win over No. 19 Bucknell in neutral territory. The junior attackman registered the game-winner 15 seconds into the overtime session as Duke rallied to come back for the win in front of 7,000 fans at McEachern High School. The 12-11 score marked the first time in the contest that Duke led as the Blue Devils battled back to even the score twice to force overtime.

WOMEN'S LACROSSE

  • The ACC is one of only four conferences (ALC, ACC, Ivy League and Big East) to claim four schools in the United States Intercollegiate Lacrosse Association (USILA) Top 25 Women's Lacrosse Preseason poll; however, only the ACC can claim that all four of those ranked are among the Top 10. Maryland and North Carolina stand at No. 2 and No. 4, respectively, while Duke (5) and Virginia (10) round out the league's Top 10 representation.
  • Senior midfielder Caitlyn McFadden notched her 100th career goal when she scored early in the match Sunday in a 17-7 Terrapin win over Richmond. The defending IWLCA's National Midfielder of the Year finished the day with three goals and a team-high four assists while adding one ground ball, one draw control and two caused turnovers.
  • North Carolina senior Kristen Taylor scored four goals to lead a balanced Tar Heel scoring attack in an 18-7, season-opening win over the University of Denver on Sunday in Chapel Hill. Taylor scored three of her goals in the first half, helping to put Carolina ahead early and put the game out of reach for the defending NCAA finalists.
  • Duke midfielder Lindsay Gilbride led Duke to two wins over the weekend, totaling a team-high nine points on five goals and four assists. On Friday, the senior captain netted two goals and dished out a career-high four assists in the Blue Devils' 16-6 season-opening victory over Denver. The Alexandria, Va., native also turned in a three-goal performance in Duke's 19-10 win at No. 11 Vanderbilt on Sunday.

WRESTLING

  • Virginia's Chris Henrich (174 pounds) now has won 12 straight matches and is 27-2 this year. He is looking to become the ninth member of UVa's 100-win club and currently has 93 career victories. Virginia won 18 of its 20 bouts last weekend. The margin of victory in both bouts (38-3 over Duke and 45-6 over NC State) were the largest for UVa in an ACC dual since a 41-point win (44-3) vs. Georgia Tech in 1984. The 45-point effort vs. NC State was UVa's most ever in an ACC dual.
  • Brent Jones (197 pounds) moved into a fourth-place tie on the all-time UVa wins list with his 102nd career victory Saturday. He added to his UVa pins record with his 42nd career fall.
  • North Carolina redshirt freshman Ziad Haddad posted a perfect 3-0 week, including his first-ever win over a ranked opponent (No. 18 Chris Birchler of Edinboro). Haddad is 7-1 in dual matches this year, including a 4-0 mark vs. ACC competiton.
  • Maryland's Josh Asper (165) recorded two wins in dual meets for the No. 9 Terps last weekend, including one that sparked a comeback win over American and one over a ranked opponent. Asper, ranked 14th in the nation at 165 pounds, gave Maryland a 12-10 advantage when he pinned Tanner Shaffer of American on Friday night. The six points helped Maryland come from behind to earn a 22-17 victory. Against Hofstra on Sunday, Asper won his ninth consecutive match by defeating P.J. Gillespie, the 17th-ranked wrestler in the nation at 165 pounds. With 29 wins this season, Asper tied the school record for most wins by a freshman (true or redshirt) set by Hudson Taylor in his redshirt season (2006-07).
  • Returning to the lineup for the first time since December, Duke heavyweight Konrad Dudziak posted a pair of wins for the Blue Devils. Against 24th-ranked Virginia, Dudziak earned a 10-3 decision and matched that performance on Sunday at The Citadel. The 2009 NCAA runner-up also received a forfeit win vs. Virginia Tech. Dudziak is 11-0 on the season and 3-0 in dual matches.
  • With the Feb. 6 snowed-out match at Maryland having officially been declared a "no contest" by the ACC, Virginia Tech is assured of a 4-0 finish in conference matches and at least a share of first place in the final ACC standings. It marks the second straight year of unbeaten regular-season ACC competition for the Hokies, who posted a 5-0 conference mark in 2008-09. The Hokies have now won 10 consecutive ACC dual meets.

SWIMMING & DIVING

  • Both the 2010 Atlantic Coast Conference Men's and Women's Swimming and Diving Championships will be hosted by the University of North Carolina. The women's swimming and diving, as well as the men's diving championships will be held from Wednesday-Saturday, February 17-20. The men's swimming championships will run from Wednesday-Saturday, February 24-27. You can watch the action via ACC Select from 7-9 p.m. on each Thursday-Saturday of the respective championships. Be sure to visit the official championship website at http://www.theacc.com/championships/10-sd-championship.html.

MEN'S TENNIS

  • The Virginia men's tennis team won its third consecutive ITA National Team Indoor Championship, defeating Tennessee 4-1 in the 2010 tournament final on Monday afternoon. Virginia becomes the second team in history to win three consecutive ITA National Team Indoor Championships. Stanford won the first three tournaments held from 1973-76.
  • Freshman Tripper Carleton, who just joined the Demon Deacons over winter break, improved to 4-0 at No. 2 singles with two wins on the road last weekend with Wake Forest. Carleton helped clinch Wake's 4-3 victory over VCU with a straight set win over Tim Johannsen, following a three-set victory over William & Mary's Sebastien Vidal on Saturday.
  • Boston College sophomore Akash Muppidi won all six of his matches last week, to stretch his match winning streak to eight. Muppidi's winning streak stretches all the way back to the Feb. 6 match against Lafayette. He has played every match at the number two singles position or higher for the Eagles this season, and he currently holds a 5-1 record in singles play.
  • Reigning ACC Player of the Year Jean-Yves Aubone of Florida State posted four straight singles wins last week for an 8-1 record on the season.
  • Maryland's 121st-ranked John Collins was an integral part of both of the Terps' matches last weekend. In a 5-2 victory over UNC Greensboro, Collins notched the clinching singles victory in a dominant 6-1, 6-2 win. In the match against #75 William & Mary, Collins won in three sets as Maryland fell just short of an upset victory.
  • NC State Jaime Pulgar beat his second ranked opponent of the season with a 7-6 (6), 6-3 victory over No. 48 Diego Cubas during the Wolfpack's match at South Carolina.

WOMEN'S TENNIS

  • Eleventh-ranked North Carolina knocked off three top 10 teams to reach the finals of the ITA National Team Indoor Championship at Madison, Wisc. The runner-up finish was the best team result for the Tar Heels in a national championship event in program history.
  • Duke's Elizabeth Plotkin posted a 3-0 singles record at No. 3 and went 2-1 from No. 2 doubles to lead the Blue Devils to the semifinals of the ITA National Women's Team Indoor Championship. The senior native of San Francisco cruised to a 6-0, 6-1 win to open the tournament and followed with a huge win over the 18th-ranked player in the nation (Danielle Lao of USC) to send Duke to the semifinals. In a tough 4-3 loss to UNC, Plotkin tied the match at 3-3 with a three-set thriller against Jelena Durisic. In doubles her lone loss came against the 22nd-ranked pair from North Carolina (Katrina Tsang and Shinann Featherston). Plotkin is 8-0 in dual matches and is 6-1 in doubles play.
  • Miami senior Laura Vallverdu claimed two-of-three singles matches this weekend as part of the ITA National Team Indoor Championships in Madison, Wis. The three-time All-American improved to 17-8 (5-2 spring) on the year with back-to-back wins against Top 40 opponents, including a straight-set (6-3, 6-3) defeat of No. 14 Chelsey Gullickson of fourth-ranked Georgia. For Vallverdu, the win proved to be her third consecutive against rival Gullickson, dating back to last year's NCAA Singles Championships in College Station, Texas.
  • Boston College's Alex Kelleher provided the spark that propelled Boston College to its first ever ACC road victory - a 5-2 win at Maryland last Saturday - since joining the conference in 2005. She is now 2-2 on the season at the number one singles spot following her straight-set win over Maryland's Lisa Miller. Kelleher and her and freshman partner Olga Khmylev are ranked fifth in the Northeast region, and are now 4-3 at the number one doubles position for BC.
  • Lenka Hojckova helped NC State upset No. 60 Old Dominion on Valentine's Day, 6-1. In doubles, she partnered with Berkeley Brock to beat Irina Dementyeva and Diana Ivanova, 8-6. In singles, Hojckova took down Dementyeva in straight sets, 6-3, 6-2.

INDOOR TRACK & FIELD

  • The 2010 Atlantic Coast Conference Men's and Women's Indoor Track and Field Championship will be hosted by Virginia Tech from Thursday-Saturday, February 25-27. You can watch the action through ACC Select on Friday beginning at 3 p.m. and on Saturday starting at 12 p.m.
  • Two 5,000-meter school records fell over the weekend, as Virginia junior Ryan Collins broke a 21-year old school record at the Husky Classic (Feb. 12) with a time of 13:46.21. His mark was more than 15 seconds better than the previous record (Kris Herdt, 1989), good four fourth place among the 81-person field, and automatically qualified him for the 2010 NCAA Indoor Track and Field Championship. Additionally, Collins is the first Cavalier to automatically qualify in any event this season.
  • Clemson sophomore Kim Ruck entered her name in the Tiger record books with a 16:11.49 finish in the 5,000-meter at the Tyson Invitational at Arkansas, the same site of the 2010 NCAA Indoor Track and Field Championship. Ruck won the event for the Tigers.
  • Virginia Tech senior Queen Harrison was named to the Bowerman Award Watch List, as announced by the United States Track and Field and Cross Country Coaches Association. Harrison's teammate, senior Kristi Castlin, along with Florida State junior Kim Williams received mention for the women, while Seminole senior Charles Clark and junior Ngonidzashe Makusha garnered mention for the men.
  • North Carolina sophomore Tyler Ford won both the long jump (19-3.50) and the 60-meter dash (7.55) at the UNC Invitational (Feb. 13).

MEN'S GOLF

  • Seniors Brendan Gielow, Wake Forest, Seath Lauer, Florida State and junior Matt Hill, NC State have been named to the 2010 Ben Hogan Award Watch List. They are three of 25 candidates across the country vying for the honor. The award is given annually to the nation's top male golfer. The Hogan Award semifinalists will be announced April 14. The three finalists named on May 11 will be invited to Colonial Country Club in Ft. Worth, Texas, for the Hogan Award presentation, May 24. The Hogan Award has been presented every year since 1990.
  • Freshman Michael Hebert finished in a career best tied for seventh place to lead Florida State to a second place finish at the SunTrust Gator Invitational played February 13-14 in Gainesville, Fla. It was Hebert's second best total score of his career (214). Florida State junior, Drew Kittleson led the Seminoles in the third round with a team-best one under par score of 69. His 215 score allowed him to gain the ninth career top 15 finish of his career.
  • Duke fired a team score of 284 (+4) to finish in a tie for fifth place at the SunTrust Gator Invitational. Freshmen Julian Suri and Brinson Paolini both finished in the top 15 of the individual leaderboard.
  • The February 14 Golfweek/Sagarin poll highlighted by three ranked ACC teams in the Top 25, #8 Florida State, #19 Georgia Tech, and #20 Virginia.

WOMEN'S GOLF

  • Duke freshman Lindy Duncan turned in a career-best fourth place finish at the Northrop Grumman Regional Challenge played February 8-10 in Palos Verdes, Calif. She now owns five career top 20 finishes out of five tournaments. Duke tied for sixth as a team.
  • The Wake Forest Demon Deacons were led by two-time All-American Natalie Sheary and freshman Michelle Shin. Both players tied for seventh individually at the Northrop Grumman Regional Challenge. This was Sheary's second top-10 of the year and she has finished inside the top-11 in four of the five events this year. This was Shin's best collegiate finish. Wake Forest placed eighth as a team.
  • Three ACC teams ranked in February 12 Golfweek/Sagarin Rankings: #8 Duke, #11 Virginia and #14 Wake Forest.