Virginia First Varsity Eight Named ACC Crew of the Week

Cavaliers Defeat 8th-ranked Princeton, 13th-ranked Harvard and Cornell

ACC Players of the Week Presented by Havoline

GREENSBORO, N.C.—Virginia’s First Varsity Eight crew was named the Atlantic Coast Conference Crew of the Week Tuesday after defeating teams from eighth-ranked Princeton, 13th-ranked Harvard and Cornell in a four-team meet held on Lake Carnegie in Princeton, N.J.

The Cavaliers, ranked fourth nationally, posted a time of 6:54.5 despite a strong 15 mph cross headwind with strong gusts, to defeat Princeton (6:56.8), Harvard (6:57.5) and Cornell (7:06.4). Though not ranked in the top 20, Cornell is one of the teams receiving votes in the weekly Collegiate Racing Coaches Association (CRCA) poll and would be ranked 25th.

The meet in Princeton marked the third straight week in which Virginia’s Rowing team has faced Top 10 competition.

The Virginia First Varsity Eight is composed of coxswain Hayley LaFleche (Sr., New York, N.Y.); Stroke: Shawna Sims (Fr., Sarasota, Fla.); Seven Seat: Erin Briggs (So., Orono, Minn.); Six Seat: Georgia Ratcliff (So., Falls Church, Va.);  Five Seat: Eliza Spillsbury (Fr., Kent, Conn.); Four Seat: Hemingway Benton (Fr., Glencoe, Ill.); Three Seat: Lizzy Youngling (Sr., Westport, Conn.); Two-Seat: Sam Casto (Jr., Dallas, Pa.); and Bow: Mackenzi Sherman (Jr., Los Alamitos, Calif.).

The honor is the second of the year for Virginia’s First Varsity Eight and the third in four weeks for the Cavaliers, as the UVa 1V8 boat was honored on March 17 and its Second Varsity Eight was selected ACC Crew of the Week on March 31.

Virginia’s 1V8 crew was chosen over strong performances from Boston College’s Third Varsity Eight, which captured first place in the Grand Final of the Knecht Cup with a time of 7:08.02; and North Carolina’s Novice Eight crew, which finished third in the Grand Final of the Knecht Cup, posting a time of 7:10.59, finishing behind only Wisconsin lightweight (6:59.47) and Temple (7:05.12).

The Cavaliers, coached by Kevin Sauer, will next be in action this Saturday, April 18, when they compete in the Clemson Invitational on Lake Hartwell in Clemson, S.C., which will also be the site of the 16th Annual Atlantic Coast Conference Rowing Championships. The 2015 ACC Rowing Championships will be held on Friday, May 15 and Saturday, May 16.