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Virginia's 2015-16 Year in Review

Virginia's second consecutive NCAA men's tennis championship helped the Cavaliers to an eighth-place finish in the final 2015-16 Learfield Sports Directors' Cup competition, announced Friday (July 1) by the National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics (NACDA).

Virginia placed in the top 10 for the third consecutive year and in the top 20 for the 10th consecutive year. UVA is one of 12 schools to rank in the top 30 of the final Directors' Cup standings in the 23-year existence of the program.

Points in the Director's Cup standings are awarded by a school's finish in each sport in which it competes in NCAA postseason play. Each school may count its highest finishes in 10 men's sports and 10 women's sports.

"I'm very thankful for the efforts of our student-athletes, coaches, and staff that helped UVA finish in the top 10 of the Directors' Cup for the third consecutive year," Virginia athletics director Craig Littlepage said. "We receive tremendous support from our University administration, donors, and fans. Their contributions to our athletics department play a key role in our success and provide important resources that we've identified in our `All In For Excellence' fundraising initiative. We will continue to work to reach our 10-year goals, which include winning 12 NCAA championships and 70 ACC titles, and ensuring our student-athletes are in a position to be successful in their academic and athletic pursuits."

The current 10-year goal period began in 2012-13. Over the last four years, Virginia has won 20 ACC championships and six NCAA championships. The All In For Excellence fundraising initiative is designed to generate necessary resources to support Virginia's pursuit of the 10 year goals. The fundraising target for this year, ending in December, is $23.3 million, including an annual fund goal of $18.3 million. The Virginia Athletics Foundation is responsible for all fundraising activities and more information about the All In For Excellence initiative can be found at www.allinforexcellence.com.

In addition to Virginia's NCAA men's tennis championship, the rowing team placed third nationally and the women's swimming program finished fifth. Men's basketball made its first NCAA Elite Eight appearance since 1995 and the men's track and field team placed seventh at the NCAA Outdoor Championships and tied for eighth at the indoor championships. Women's golf, women's tennis, women's soccer and field hockey also advanced to the quarterfinals at their respective NCAA championships.

UVA captured four Atlantic Coast Conference championships and its 73 conference titles since the spring of 2002 are the most of any ACC school during that time. In 2015-16, UVA won ACC championships in women's golf (second consecutive), rowing (seventh consecutive and 16th in 17 years), women's cross country (first since 1982) and women's swimming and diving (ninth consecutive).

Individually, Leah Smith (Pittsburgh, Pa.) defended her NCAA swimming titles in the 500 Free and 1,650 Free and Danielle Collins(St. Petersburg, Fla.) won her second NCAA women's tennis championship. Henry Wynne (Westport, Conn.) won the mile at the NCAA Indoor Track and Field Championships and Filip Mihaljevic (Livno, Bosnia and Herzegovina) captured the NCAA title in the men's shot put at the outdoor championships. Brian Boland (men's tennis) was named ITA National Coach of the Year, while Augie Busch (women's swimming), Todd Morgan (women's cross country), Kim Lewellen (women's golf) and Steve Swanson (women's soccer) earned ACC Coach of the Year honors.

Additional highlights of Virginia's 2015-16 athletics year included: 

• 20 of UVa's 25 athletics programs advanced to NCAA postseason competition. 

• UVA's 73 conference titles since the spring of 2002 are the most of any ACC school during that time. 

• Men's basketball posted 29 or more wins for the third consecutive season en route to its third consecutive NCAA Tournament appearance and first NCAA Elite Eight berth since 1995. 

• Malcolm Brogdon, who earned consensus All-America first-team honors, became the first player to earn ACC Player of the Year and Defensive Player of the Year honors in the same season. 

• Baseball posted a 38-22 record and hosted an NCAA regional for the ninth time in the last 13 years. 

• Head baseball coach Brian O'Connor set the Virginia all-time wins record and finished the year with 596 career wins. 

• Men's soccer reached its 35th straight NCAA tournament (longest active streak in Division I soccer). 

• Women's lacrosse earned its 21st consecutive NCAA Championship bid, securing an at-large berth in the 26-team tournament field.

• Men's golf finished 22nd at the NCAA Championships. 

• Men's swimming and diving tied for 28th at the NCAA Championships. 

• Virginia sent five wrestlers to the NCAA Championships, marking the eighth consecutive year to send at least five to compete at the NCAA Championships. 

• Senior Lauren Fuller (volleyball) was the first Cavalier since 2007 to earn All-America recognition when she was named 2015 AVCA Honorable Mention All-America. 

• The Virginia women's lacrosse team earned its 21st consecutive NCAA Championship bid, securing an at-large berth in the 26-team tournament field. 

• Danielle Collins (women's tennis) was named ITA National Player of the Year, Honda Sport Award winner and ITA National Senior Player of the Year.

• Lauren Coughlin won the ACC women's golf individual championship. 

• Men's golfer Derek Bard competed in the Masters and U.S. Open Championship. 

• Wrestler George DiCamillo claimed his third ACC Championship at 133 pounds, becoming only the seventh UVA wrestler to win three ACC Championships. 

• Thai-Son Kwiatkowski won both the singles and the doubles (with Mac Styslinger) titles at the ITA All-American Championship, the fourth-ever player to win both in the same year and the first since 2009. 

• Emily Sonnett (women's soccer) was named ESPNW National Player of the Year.

• Tara Vittese (field hockey) was named National Player of the Year.

• Thai-Son Kwiatkowski (men's tennis), Tessa Dikkers (rowing), Cleo Boyd (women's outdoor track & field) and Makenzy Doniak(women's soccer). captured ACC Scholar-Athlete of the Year awards. 

• Makenzy Doniak was named a CoSIDA Academic All-American. 

• Rebecca Holden (field hockey) won the ACC Sportsmanship Award.

Academic Summary
Virginia student-athletes registered an outstanding academic performance during the Spring 2016 semester. The overall GPA for UVa's 611 student-athletes in Spring  was 3.042, the highest spring semester mark since 2003. A total of 83.14 percent of UVa's student-athletes earned a GPA of 2.5 or better with 59.57 percent recording a mark of 3.0 or better.  The overall GPA for the 2015-2016 academic year was 3.030.

A total of 10 student-athletes earned a perfect 4.0 grade point average during the semester.

A total of 339 Cavalier student-athletes were named to the 2015-16 ACC Academic Honor Roll, including 31 who were recognized for the fourth time during their careers.

Of UVa's 23 athletics programs, 13 earned a GPA of 3.0 or better during the semester. The women's cross country team recorded the highest GPA (3.498) among women's programs and the men's tennis team recorded the highest GPA (3.285)to lead men's programs.

There were 9 teams that improved their team GPA from Spring of 2015 to Spring of 2016. That group included the sport programs of football, men's golf, wrestling, women's basketball, women's cross country, field hockey, women's swimming, women's track and field, and women's volleyball.

Four Cavalier athletic programs recorded their highest cumulative GPA in the last 13 years. That group features thewomen's cross country, women's track and field, men's golf and football teams.

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Director of News Content

jwhite@virginia.edu

A 1985 graduate of UVA, White worked at the Richmond Times-Dispatch until July 2009. He was honored six times as the state's Sportswriter of the Year.

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