Virginia First Varsity Eight Named ACC Crew of the Week

Cavaliers Capture First 2015 Honor After Dominating at the Oak Ridge Invitational 

ACC Players of the Week Presented by Havoline

GREENSBORO, N.C.—Virginia’s First Varsity Eight was named the Atlantic Coast Conference Crew of the Week Tuesday after defeating seven schools—including three nationally-ranked opponents—in three races at last weekend’s Oak Ridge Invitational, held on Lake Melton in Oak Ridge, Tenn.

The Cavaliers, who are ranked second nationally this week, used a fast current to post a time of 5:53.656 in defeating 12th-ranked Notre Dame (6:03.508), Kansas (6:21.022) and Alabama (6:21.828) in their first race on Saturday.

Later on Saturday, Virginia posted an even faster time of 5:53.073 in downing ninth-ranked Yale (6:01.783) and Michigan State (6:10.907).

Finally, on Sunday, UVa recorded a 5:54.253 time in beating 18th-ranked Louisville (6:04.527) and Oklahoma (6:05.782) in its final race of the weekend.

The Virginia First Varsity Eight is composed of coxswain Hayley LaFleche (New York, N.Y.); Georgia Ratcliff (Falls Church, Va.);  Hemingway Benton (Glencoe, Ill.); Lizzy Youngling (Westport, Conn.); Maddie Keating (Severna Park Md.); Eliza Spilsbury (Kent, Conn.); Sam Casto (Dallas, Pa.); Erin Briggs (Orono, Minn.); and Mackenzi Sherman (Los Angeles, Calif.).

The Cavaliers were chosen for the honor over three other ACC rowing teams,  including Louisville’s First Varsity Four, which posted a time of 6:43.585 in edging out 12th-ranked Notre Dame (6:43.851), Kansas (7:02.869) and UCF (7:03.263) at Oak Ridge; Clemson’s First Varsity Eight, which posted times of 6:40.85 and 6:48.89 and swept a pair of races over Duke and Boston University on Lake Hartwell in Clemson; and North Carolina’s Second Varsity Eight, which recorded a time of 7:09.47 in defeating George Mason on Saturday at Lake Lure.

Virginia, coached by Kevin Sauer, will next be in action on March 29 at the Pac-12 Challenge at Redwood Shores, Calif.

The 16th Annual Atlantic Coast Conference Rowing Championships will be held on Friday, May 15 and Saturday, May 16 at Lake Hartwell in Clemson, S.C.