Hoos Highlight Reel: UVA Student-Athletes Excelled on Many Stages This Year

From national championships to all-academic teams, Cavalier fans had a lot to be proud of this year.

The images are still so fresh.

Mamadi Diakite’s buzzer-beater. Kyle Guy’s free throws. Ralph Sampson’s tears. Tony Bennett’s smile.

For obvious reasons, the University of Virginia men’s basketball team’s run through the NCAA Tournament drew a lot of attention in 2018-19.

Then, two weeks ago in Philadelphia, the UVA men’s lacrosse team defeated Yale to win the school’s second NCAA championship in as many months.

For Wahoo fans around the world, the University’s 26th and 27th NCAA titles felt oh so sweet. It marked the first time UVA had won two in the same year since 2015, when the baseball and men’s tennis teams brought trophies home.

But this year’s basketball and lacrosse success was just the tip of the iceberg, part of a much longer list of achievements for the University’s student-athletes.

Let’s take a look back at just a few of the many UVA highlights from 2018-19.

Here’s your 2018-19 Hoos Mixtape!

50!

No, this isn’t a prediction of how many points Stephen Curry will need to score in the Golden State Warriors’ next NBA Finals game to compensate for the loss of any injured teammates.

It’s the total number of UVA student-athletes who have made the All-ACC Academic Team.

Men’s swimming and diving, women’s swimming and diving and field hockey led the way with seven student-athletes apiece, followed by women’s soccer and football (six); women’s indoor track and field (four); men’s soccer (three); volleyball, men’s cross country and wrestling (two apiece); and men’s basketball, women’s basketball, men’s indoor track and field and women’s cross country (one each).

(For those keeping score at home, Jack Salt earned the honor for the men’s basketball team.)

Making the Jump

In March, Jordan Scott won a national championship in the triple jump at the NCAA Indoor Championships in Birmingham, Alabama. The Jamaican excelled again at the outdoor championships this weekend, finishing as NCAA runner-up and earning first-team All-America honors for the performance.

In the women’s event, fourth-year Kelly McKee recorded the best triple jump finish in program history on Saturday, placing fifth overall and earning first-team All-America honors. 

All-American

Forty-seven UVA student-athletes earned All-American honors, from 17 different sports including: baseball, basketball, cross country, field hockey, football, golf, lacrosse, soccer, tennis, indoor and outdoor track & field, wrestling and swimming & diving.

New Benchmarks

UVA posted a graduation rate of 92% in the NCAA’s annual Graduation Success Rate for incoming student-athletes from 2008-11. That’s the highest mark for UVA since the report was launched in 1998.

In addition, the men’s and women’s golf, women’s basketball, women’s lacrosse, women’s track and field, women’s swimming and diving and volleyball teams earned NCAA Public Recognition Awards for academic excellence after scoring in the top 10% of the most recent NCAA Division I Academic Progress report.

ACC Champs!

UVA had two teams win ACC championships: lacrosse and rowing.

The rowing championship was the 10th in a row for head coach Kevin Sauer.

The Hoos also won individual ACC championships in men’s and women’s swimming, men’s and women’s track and field and wrestling.

The wrestling title was won by Texan Jack Mueller, who also had quite a run in the NCAA Tournament, falling just one victory shy of a national championship.

Squash Star

Madeleine Mayhew, an Echols Scholar from New York City who double-majored in public policy and leadership and history was named to the College Squash Association’s Scholar Athlete Team.

What’s Up, Doc

Rachel Politi, a Columbus, Ohio native who will be attending UVA’s School of Medicine in the fall, earned a NCAA Ethnic Minority and Women’s Enhancement postgraduate scholarship.

Double-Hoo Alert

Nebraska native Will Schany was named to the National Wrestling Coaches Association All-America team. After earning his bachelor's degree in foreign affairs, Schany completed a master's degree in higher education this year.

Brains and Brawn

Football players Evan Betts, Lester Coleman and Joe Spaziani were named to the National Football Foundation’s Hampshire Honor Society, which requires inductees to be significant contributors to their teams while carrying a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.2.

Ahead of the Curve

Lawn resident and women’s basketball standout Jocelyn Willoughby – who graduated a year early in May and is now working toward her master’s degree at the Frank Batten School of Leadership and Public Policy – was named to the College Sports Information Directors’ All-District team, which recognizes the nation’s top student-athletes for their combined performances on the court and in the classroom.

Dual Threat

Abby Green, a first-year student from Bethesda, Maryland, was named to the U.S. Track and Field and Cross Country Association’s Cross Country All-Academic Team. To qualify for the honor, student-athletes needed a cumulative GPA of at least 3.25 and to have finished in the top 25 (or 10%) at an NCAA regional meet or as an All-American at the national championships.

9 Hoos!

Field hockey players Nikki Freeman, Lauren Hausheer, Taylor Henriksen, Carrera Lucas, Izzy McDonough, Annie McDonough, Rachel Robinson, Grace Wallis and Catesby Willis (a sixth-generation Hoo) were named to the ZAG/National Field Hockey Coaches Association National Academic Squad, which recognizes student-athletes who have achieved a cumulative GPA of 3.30 or higher.

Note: Several additional honors and accolades have yet to be released.

Media Contact

Whitelaw Reid

University News Associate Office of University Communications