In the 2021-22 varsity athletic year, the Cavaliers brought back some more serious gear in the University of Virginia Athletics Department’s trophy showcase. UVA has won three ACC regular season titles, three ACC postseason championships, multiple NCAA individual titles, and two NCAA national team championships. Add to that spectacular highlights and thrilling victories on each of Virginia’s sports teams and this past sports season has provided countless incredible moments for UVA student-athletes. Today, we take on the challenge of picking the top ten moments of the Virginia 2021-2022 sports year.
10. Abby Weaver’s home run gives UVA softball upset win over Notre Dame
In Game 1 of the ACC Virginia opener against No. 24 Notre Dame, the Cavaliers trailed the Fighting Irish by three runs before their final batting. A two-run single from Tori Gilbert brought the Hoos within a run. Going into the final and trailing 0-2 in the count, sophomore Abby Weaver delivered a three-run home run off the left-field wall to give UVA the epic win.
Virginia then won Game 2 of the double-header against Notre Dame to earn UVA’s first series victory over a ranked opponent since 2010. The Cavaliers have won eight of their first nine ACC games, including sweeps over NC State and Boston College, to land the best ACC game start in program history. Virginia ended up winning 28 games in the 2022 season, the most wins for the program since 2010.
9. Claudio Romero Wins NCAA Discus National Title
On the final night of men’s competition at the 2022 NCAA Athletics Championships, UVA junior Claudio Romero won the NCAA Discus Championship. Romero topped the rest of the field on his second attempt, a 66.17-meter (217-foot-one) throw, and became the second Cavalier to win the NCAA Discus title, joining Philip Mihaljevic (2017). Romero is also only the fourth UVA athlete in history to earn first-team All-American honors in the discus event in multiple seasons.
8. Virginia Wins 2021 ACC Women’s Soccer Regular Season Title
A Diana Ordoñez goal helped Virginia draw Florida State 1-1 in the regular season finale to win the 2021 ACC Women’s Soccer Regular Season Championship, the third regular season title of the ACC in the history of the program. UVA finished the season with an overall record of 15-1-2, including an undefeated mark of 8-0-2 in ACC play.
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 to All-ACC teams.
7. Devin Ortiz hits Grand Slam to give Virginia epic win over North Carolina
Game 2 of the series between Virginia and North Carolina was one of the most exciting college baseball games of the season. UVA took a 4-3 lead in the ninth inning and needed only three outs to close the game. UNC managed to tie the game straight away as Alberto Osuna took the first pitch of the inning over the wall to left center. Virginia loaded the bases with an out in the bottom of the ninth, but a late-inning double play dashed UVA’s hopes of a start. The Tar Heels then made three runs in the top of the tenth to seemingly take control of the game.
In the bottom of the tenth, Virginia scored seven runs, including the last six with two outs. A sacrifice fly from Casey Saucke made it 7-5, but also took the Cavaliers back to their final. Kyle Teel and Alex Tappen hit back-to-back clutch singles to tie the game at 7-7. UNC intentionally walked Jake Gelof to load the bases, bringing up Devin Ortiz. After missing a game-winning opportunity in the previous inning, Ortiz redeemed himself by hammering the first pitch from deep field to the left stick and was only yards away from clearing the stands. Ortiz was mobbed at home plate as Virginia celebrated the series-clinching victory.
6. Virginia wins the 2022 ACC Rowing Championship
For the 12th consecutive season, Virginia won the ACC Rowing Championship. The Cavaliers have won four of five Grand Finals on Lake Hartwell at Clemson and won their 20th conference title in the last 21 ACC Championship regattas.
5. UVA football wins thrilling game in Miami as Canes last-second field goal recovers
As the final seconds of regulation ticked away, Miami’s Andres Borregales fielded a field goal from 33 yards out to win the game. Virginia had led the entire game up to that point, but a few defensive lapses in the fourth quarter would seemingly lead the Hurricanes to victory on the final play of the game. Instead, Borregales hit the left post on his field goal attempt and the Cavaliers rushed onto the field to celebrate their first win at Hard Rock Stadium since 2011.
Without the late-game drama, the most memorable play of the game would undoubtedly have been Dontayvion Wicks’ circus touchdown in the third quarter.
4. Virginia Wins 2022 ACC Men’s Lacrosse Championship
Virginia won the 2022 ACC Men’s Lacrosse Championship, the second ACC UVA title in the last three seasons and the 19th in program history, with a convincing 21-15 victory at Syracuse to put the finishing touches to a 5-1 season in ACC play.
The Cavaliers nearly swept the ACC Season Awards, as Lars Tiffany was named ACC Coach of the Year, Cole Kastner was selected as ACC Defensive Player of the Year and Matthew Nunes was named ACC Freshman of the Year.
Reece Beekman hits three-pointers to stun Duke at Cameron Indoor
Arguably the most decisive play of the entire Virginia men’s basketball season, Reece Beekman drove a dagger into the hearts of packed Blue Devils fans at Cameron Indoor to hand Virginia the upset 69-68 victory in the n °7 Duke. Although the Cavaliers had shot a combined 1/11 from beyond the arc up to this point, Beekman drained the three-pointer with play on the line to give UVA the advantage with just 1.1 to left on the clock. The silence at the Cameron Indoor was deafening.
Virginia Wins 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 table for the rest of the season, winning the next 23 games until the NCAA Finals. The Cavaliers went 12-0 in ACC play and won the ACC regular season and tournament titles for the second straight season. UVA swept Kentucky 4-0 in the championship game to claim the program’s fifth NCAA championship, with those five titles coming since 2013.
Virginia wins 2022 NCAA Women’s National Swimming and Diving Championship
Todd DeSorbo is building a swimming dynasty at the University of Virginia. The Cavaliers won back-to-back NCAA women’s national swimming and diving titles and they did it in record fashion. Virginia has won NCAA titles in 11 different events and set five US swimming records in the process. UVA finished atop the standings with 551.5 points, nearly 150 points ahead of second-place Texas.
One of the most dominating team performances in UVA track and field history holds the top spot as Virginia’s top moment of the 2021-2022 athletic year.
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