One of Virginia's toughest challenges in the NCAA men's lacrosse tournament came in a first-round match-up with Bryant, where the score was 10-10 as late as the fourth quarter before the Cavaliers prevailed 13-11.
UVa coach Lars Tiffany was quick to praise his Bryant counterpart Mike Pressler, a 1982 graduate of Washington and Lee, where he was a four-year starter in football and lacrosse
Pressler later was the head coach at Ohio Wesleyan for five seasons before serving for 16 seasons as the head coach at Duke, where he was 153-82 and led the Blue Devils to three ACC titles and 10 NCAA bids.
"The competition in Division I lacrosse when you get to the month of May is intense," Tiffany said. "Bryant’s effort today did not surprise me at all.
"Having coached against Mike Pressler and the Bulldogs during the years we had together, we fully knew what to expect and that is a tenacious team that was going to be all over the contested groundballs."
Clearly, Bryant had a chance.
"I thought the team in black had the better of the play for the first three quarters and UVa rose to the occasion and made the plays in the fourth," Pressler said. "Congrats to Virginia, the reigning champs, on getting an opportunity to move on."
Virginia meets North Carolina in Saturday's semifinal in Hartford, Conn., with the winner to play the Duke-Maryland winner in match-ups of past and current ACC rivals.
According to Rivals.com, there are seven players from Virginia ranked among the top 100 rising seniors in the country, headed by 6-3 Dior Johnson from Oak Hill Academy, who has a five-star rating.
Georgia Tech and Syracuse are the two ACC schools listed as having made offers to Johnson, who was committed to the Orange at one point. The second-highest-rated state prospect according to Rivals is Johnson's 6-5 Oak Hill teammate, small forward M.J. Rice, linked to four ACC schools and Kasnas, but not Virginia Tech and UVa.
Clemson, North Carolina State and Virginia Tech are listed by Rivals.com as having made offers to Donald Hand Jr., a 6-5 point guard at Landstown High School in Virginia Beach whose father, Donald Sr., scored 1,486 points at UVa from 1998-2001.
■ Chris Horne of the Sabre.com reported that Virginia has taken a football commitment for 2022 from Dakota Twitty, a 6-5 wide receiver from Mooresboro, N.C., who had offers from North Carolina, Pittsburgh, West Virginia and others. Twitty has more than 100 receptions over three years.
Of the five football players who have made commitments to UVa, two are from North Carolina, two are from Tennessee and one is from Virginia.
Zach Gelof, a junior on Virginia's baseball team, was a three-time all-state soccer player at Cape Henlopen (Del.) High School, where he had 61 career goals and led the state with 29 goals as a senior. He had 81 stolen bases in 81 attempts in baseball and was named state player of the year as a senior.
Younger brother Jake Gelof, a freshman at UVa, was a soccer goalie at Cape Henlopen before transferring to IMG Academy. He was rated the No. 1 baseball prospect in Delaware and started at first base as a freshman Tuesday in the Cavaliers' ACC Tournament win over Virginia Tech.
The National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics will put out its Directors' Cup rankings on June 3. Virginia was sixth at the time behind perennial challenger Stanford, which was sixth. Louisville was eighth, Notre Dame was ninth and North Carolina was 10th among ACC teams.
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