Top 10 Moments of Virginia Sports Year 2021-2022
In the 2021-2022 collegiate athletic year, the Cavaliers brought more serious hardware back into the trophy cabinet for the University of Virginia’s athletics department. UVA won three ACC regular-season titles, three ACC postseason championships, multiple NCAA singles titles, and two NCAA national team championships. Add in some spectacular highlights and thrilling victories on each of Virginia’s sports teams, and this past sports season held countless incredible moments for UVA student-athletes. Today we take on the challenge of picking the top ten moments from the 2021-2022 sporting year in Virginia.
10. Abby Weaver’s walk-off home run gives UVA Softball an upset victory over Notre Dame
In the first game of Virginia’s ACC inaugural series against No. 24 Notre Dame, the Cavaliers were three runs behind the Fighting Irish en route to their final at-bat. A two-run single by Tori Gilbert put the Hoos on a run. By the finals and down 0-2 on the count, Abby Weaver hit a three-run home run over the left field wall as a sophomore to give UVA the epic walk-off win.
Virginia then won the second game of the double-header against Notre Dame, earning UVA’s first straight win against a ranked opponent since 2010. The Cavaliers won eight of their first nine ACC games, including sweeps over NC State and Boston College Notch the best start to the ACC -Games of program history. Virginia won 28 games during the 2022 season, its most wins for the program since 2010.
9. Claudio Romero wins the NCAA Discus National Title
On the final night of men’s competition at the 2022 NCAA Track & Field Championships, UVA Junior Claudio Romero brought home the NCAA Discus Championship. Romero led the rest of the field on his second attempt, a throw that went 66.17 meters (217 ft 1 in) and became only the second Cavalier to ever win the NCAA Discus title, tied with Philip Mihaljevic (2017). Romero is also only the fourth UVA athlete in history to win First-Team All-American honors in multiple seasons at the discus event.
8. Virginia wins the 2021 ACC women’s soccer regular season title
A Diana Ordoñez goal helped Virginia to a 1-1 draw at Florida State in the regular-season finals to win the 2021 ACC Regular-Season Championship for women in soccer, the third ACC regular-season title in the history of the program. UVA finished the season with an overall 15-1-2 record, including an unbeaten 8-0-2 mark in the ACC game.
Head coach Steve Swanson was named ACC Coach of the Year, Diana Ordoñez was named ACC Offensive Player of the Year, and seven Cavaliers were selected for All-ACC teams.
7. Devin Ortiz hits the Grand Slam to give Virginia an epic walk-off victory over North Carolina
Game 2 of the Virginia vs. North Carolina series was one of the most exciting college baseball games of the season. UVA went into the ninth inning 4-3, needing only three outs to end the game. UNC managed to level the game immediately when Alberto Osuna took the first pitch of the inning over the left-center wall. Virginia loaded the bases with an out bottom of the ninth, but a double play late in the inning ruined UVA’s walkoff hopes. The Tar Heels then hung up three runs in the top of the tenth to appear to take control of the game.
By the bottom of the tenth, Virginia had seven runs, the last six of which came with two outs. A sacrificial fly from Casey Saucke made it 7-5 but also propelled the Cavaliers into the finals. Kyle Teel and Alex Tappen hit back-to-back clutch singles to tie the game 7-7. UNC purposely went with Jake Gelof to load the bases and brought up Devin Ortiz. After missing a game-winning opportunity in the previous inning, Ortiz redeemed himself by hammering the at-bat’s first pitch deep into left field and was yards from clearing the stands. Ortiz was bullied at home plate as Virginia celebrated the series’ walk-off win.
6. Virginia wins the 2022 ACC Rowing Championship
For the 12th straight season, Virginia won the ACC Rowing Championship. The Cavaliers were victorious in four of the five Grand Finals at Lake Hartwell in Clemson and claimed their 20th conference title in the last 21 ACC championship regattas.
5. UVA Football wins an exciting game in Miami when Canes’ field goal lands upright at the last second
As the final seconds of regulation ticked off the clock, Miami’s Andres Borregales set up a chip-shot field goal from 33 yards to win the game. Virginia had been leading all game up to this point, but some defensive mistakes in the fourth quarter seemingly led to the Hurricanes earning the comeback victory in the final game of the game. Instead, Borregales hit the left post on his field goal attempt and the Cavaliers stormed onto the field to celebrate their first win at Hard Rock Stadium since 2011.
Without the late-game drama, the most memorable game of the game would have undoubtedly been Dontayvion Wicks’ circus touchdown catch in the third quarter.
4. Virginia wins the 2022 ACC Men’s Lacrosse Championship
Virginia won the 2022 ACC Men’s Lacrosse Championship, UVA’s second ACC title in the last three seasons and 19th in program history, with a convincing 21-15 win at Syracuse to end a 5-1 season in the ACC to put the finishing touches to the game.
The Cavaliers nearly won the ACC season awards when Lars Tiffany was named ACC Coach of the Year, Cole Kastner was named ACC Defensive Player of the Year and Matthew Nunes was named ACC Freshman of the Year.
Reece Beekman hits the three pointer clutch buzzer to stun Duke at Cameron Indoor
Reece Beekman was arguably the biggest play of the entire Virginia men’s basketball season. Reece Beekman stabbed a dagger through the hearts of the Blue Devils fans packed at Cameron Indoor to see Virginia’s upset 69-68 win at No. 7 Duke. Though the Cavaliers were shooting a combined 1/11 from beyond the arc by that point, Beekman emptied the three-pointer with play on the line to put UVA ahead by just 1.1 on the clock. The silence inside Cameron Indoor was deafening.
Virginia wins the 2022 NCAA Men’s Tennis National Championship
After starting the season with a lackluster 3-5 record in the first eight games, Virginia led the standings for the remainder of the season, winning the next 23 games through to the NCAA Finals. The Cavaliers went 12-0 in the ACC game, winning both the ACC regular season and the tournament title for the second straight season. UVA defeated Kentucky 4–0 in championship play to win the program’s fifth NCAA championship, all five of those titles since 2013 being awarded.
Virginia wins the 2022 NCAA Women’s Swimming & Diving National Championship
Todd DeSorbo is building a floating dynasty at the University of Virginia. The Cavaliers took back back-to-back NCAA national titles in women’s swimming and diving in record-breaking fashion. Virginia won NCAA titles in 11 separate events while setting five American swimming records. UVA finished with 551.5 points overall, nearly 150 points more than second-place Texas.
One of the most dominant all-around team performances in UVA athletics history takes first place as the best moment of the 2021-2022 sporting year in Virginia.
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