Sport-by-sportWomen's soccerACCALLUNC37-2-089-7-4 Florida State24-9-668-19-11Virginia24-10-560-21-11BC14-11-536-18-9Wake Forest20-16-348-29-7Duke19-15-550-23-14Clemson15-15-950-23-14 Virginia Tech9-23-731-34-10Maryland8-23-825-36-14Miami8-28-328-40-7N.C. State6-32-128-39-8THEN: The Hokies were also-rans in the Big East, as they had been in the Atlantic 10. The program debuted in 1993, and Kelly Cagle became its third head coach in 2003.
NOW: Tech earned its first NCAA tournament bid in 2004, losing to William and Mary in the opening round. But in three subsequent seasons, the Hokies have failed to qualify for the ACC tournament, much less the NCAA. Freshman forward Marika Gray last year made second-team all-conference, the program's first all-ACC selection, and Tech closed with a three-match winning streak that included a 3-0 home victory over 10th-ranked Boston College.
VERSUS VIRGINIA: 0-5.
QUOTE: Cagle did not return repeated phone calls.
Men's soccerACCALLMaryland19-9-362-21-10Wake Forest 17-10-467-18-10Duke16-11-459-23-5Virginia16-13-259-22-7BC10-10-428-21-5UNC13-15-345-27-13Virginia Tech10-13-844-27-12Clemson9-18-443-31-7N.C. State8-19-431-34-7THEN: In its final Big East season, 2003, Tech advanced in the NCAA tournament for the first time, defeating future ACC rival Clemson. Second-year coach Oliver Weiss had the program moving forward.
NOW: The Hokies reached countless milestones this past season: first winning ACC record (3-1-4); first ACC tournament victory; first first-team All-American (forward Patrick Nyarko); most important, first NCAA semifinals. Tech lost to eventual champion Wake Forest in the national semifinals.
VERSUS VIRGINIA: 2-1-1.
QUOTE: "I think being a member of the ACC has everything to do with Virginia Tech being able to lift (the soccer program) up to one of the maybe top 30 and definitely top 50 programs in the country," Weiss says. "At any given time, you could say we're one of the top 30 or 35 programs."
FootballACCALLVirginia Tech27-542-11BC16-830-9Georgia Tech20-1230-21Virginia18-1429-20Clemson18-1431-18Florida State18-1431-20Miami16-1630-19Wake Forest15-1728-21Maryland14-1825-23UNC14-1818-29N.C. State11-2120-27Duke1-314-42THEN: Tech was a combined 11-10 against conference opponents in its final three Big East seasons. The Hokies were 8-5 overall in 2003, their Big East farewell, and finished the season unranked.
NOW: The only Division I-A programs to win at least 10 regular-season games each of the last four years are Southern California and Virginia Tech. The two-time ACC champs have cracked the AP final top 10 three of the last four seasons.
VERSUS VIRGINIA: 4-0.
QUOTE: "I think the ACC and our success has given us the ability to get into homes and to recruit," coach Frank Beamer says. "I wish the Big East the very best and they've had some exceptional teams. But for the long haul, the long term, I can tell you Virginia Tech is just blessed to be in the ACC."
Women's volleyballACCALLDuke67-1598-29Georgia Tech56-2685-44Virginia52-3080-43Clemson50-3281-46UNC47-3568-61Florida State46-3666-54Maryland41-4177-51Miami39-4359-59Virginia Tech34-4857-66Wake Forest 29-5352-71BC22-4435-59N.C. State1-8122-101THEN: The Big East was not a volleyball power, and the Hokies' conference record in 2002 and '03 was a combined 17-8. But a 1-5 mark in those seasons against ACC opponents spoke to the future challenge.
NOW: Chris Riley just completed his second season as coach and in 2006 guided Tech to an 11-11 ACC record, the program's best in four years. The Hokies declined to an 8-14 conference mark in 2007, but Felicia Willoughby was named ACC freshman of the year.
VERSUS VIRGINIA: 2-5.
QUOTE: "ACC revenue sharing has really helped us," assistant coach Shelbylynn McBride says. "We're better able to recruit. And just being in the ACC helps, with its reputation for athletics and academics."
Men's basketballACCALLUNC51-13123-22Duke46-18111-27BC25-2363-37Maryland33-3182-50Virginia Tech31-3373-56Clemson29-3584-50Wake Forest28-3676-52Virginia27-3767-57Georgia Tech27-3766-58Florida State27-3773-57N.C. State26-3878-56Miami26-3879-60THEN: With no NCAA bids or winning conference records since 1996, the Hokies were often roadkill in the Big East and figured to be so again in the ACC.
NOW: North Carolina and Tech are the only teams to finish above .500 in league play each of the last two seasons. The Hokies advanced to the second round of the 2007 NCAA tournament and expect to make the field again next season. They've won at the ACC's most testing venues: Duke, North Carolina and Maryland.
VERSUS VIRGINIA: 4-5.
QUOTE: "I think what the league has done is, it's given us a vehicle and it's created an energy which now has given us a chance," coach Seth Greenberg says. "We're not there, and who knows, you can't predict the future, but it's given us this vehicle."
Women's basketballACCALLUNC50-6130-13Duke48-8119-21Maryland42-14117-24Florida State36-2087-42N.C. State33-2386-43Virginia28-2884-47Georgia Tech22-3470-51BC16-2655-39Virginia Tech20-3672-42Miami14-4250-69Clemson12-4440-78Wake Forest8-4853-66THEN: Tech made the NCAA tournament three times in four Big East seasons, but prior to the school joining the ACC, coach Bonnie Henrickson bailed for Kansas and was replaced by former Hokies assistant Beth Dunkenberger.
NOW: In what is arguably the game's best conference, Tech has yet to finish .500 or better in league play. Junior guard Brittany Cook led the ACC in scoring last season, but the team shared last place with Miami and Wake Forest.
VERSUS VIRGINIA: 2-6.
QUOTE: "In the last four years I'm guessing we've played 30-35 games on television," Dunkenberger says. "That's phenomenal compared to the Big East. That's advertising you can't pay for."
WrestlingACCALLMaryland14-645-32UNC14-8-141-31-1N.C. State13-9-141-30-2Virginia10-1042-31Virginia Tech9-1130-41Duke2-1832-34THEN: Tech placed 19th at the 2000 NCAA meet and 23rd the following year but was declining as it entered the ACC.
NOW: A runner-up finish at the 2005 ACC championship, the Hokies' first, created optimism. But coach Tom Brands bolted for Iowa and took several touted werstlers along, leaving new coach Kevin Dresser in a lurch he's yet to escape. Freshman Matt Epperly was named the most outstanding performer at this year's ACC meet, where Tech was fourth among six teams.
VERSUS VIRGINIA: 3-1.
QUOTE: "In terms of just saying the ACC is a super-tough wrestling league, we can't say that yet," Dresser says. "I think there's going to be a time when we can, but it's kind of one of those things where you have to walk before you can run. … Virginia and Virginia Tech have had top-10 recruiting classes the last couple of years, and that's because of the resources we've got."
Men's swimmingACCALLVirginia19-134-9Florida State12-233-13UNC17-327-10Clemson15-1332-17N.C. State11-1117-17Virginia Tech8-1233-15Georgia Tech7-1114-21Duke2-1814-25Maryland2-2012-29BC0-124-17*Miami0-11-1* competes in diving only.
THEN: After winning the Atlantic 10 in 2000, Tech finished among the top three in each of its four Big East seasons. But the ACC represented a significant upgrade.
NOW: In a league that includes top-25 programs such as Florida State, Virginia, Miami and North Carolina, the Hokies have placed seventh, sixth, fourth and fifth at the league meet. Kaan Tayla earned ACC titles this year in the 50 and 100 freestyle, and Mikey McDonald was top-20 at NCAA in 1-, 3- and 10-meter diving.
VERSUS VIRGINIA: 0-3
QUOTE: "It's going to raise the bar for what we can achieve," coach Ned Skinner says of the new swimming complex Tech will share with the town of Christiansburg. "It's a major commitment, the finest in training opportunities."
Women's swimmingACCALLFlorida State16-152-10Virginia19-231-10UNC16-231-9Virginia Tech14-739-10Maryland14-927-14Clemson12-1730-25Duke4-1721-22N.C. State4-1816-23Georgia Tech3-1617-23BC0-323-12Miami0-823-22 THEN: Like the men, the women were middle-of-the-pack in the Big East after winning the A-10 in 2000.
NOW: Led by two-time ACC swimmer of the year Jessica Botzum, Tech was 22nd at the 2007 NCAA championships and 23rd this year. Botzum, who graduated in May with a bology degree, was fifth nationally in the 100 breaststroke, sixth in the 200, and is a longshot to make the U.S. Olympic team. Rising senior All-American Sara Smith won the 50 and 100 freestyles at the ACC championships. The Hokies have placed fifth, fourth, fourth and fourth at the ACC meet.
VERSUS VIRGINIA: 0-3
QUOTE: "We're not there," Skinner says. "We're glad to be in the top third (of the ACC), but we want to win the title."
Men's cross countryTHEN: Virginia Tech was never a Big East force and last qualified for the NCAA meet in 1987, when the Hokies finished fourth.
NOW: Tech has been ninth, sixth, sixth and fifth at the ACC meet. Junior Paul LaPenna was 11th at the conference meet this season, the program's best showing, and touted recruit Michael Hammond of Midlothian joins the team in the fall.
VERSUS VIRGINIA: Tech has never finished ahead of Virginia at the ACC championships.
QUOTE: "There's a lot of excitement about our men's program," coach Ben Thomas says. "We're getting a lot of interest from recruits."
Women's cross countryTHEN: The women were more dormant than the men, never advancing beyond NCAA regional competition and absent a conference championship since the mid-80s Metro days.
NOW: Tech has finished seventh, ninth, fifth and fifth at the ACC championships since joining the conference. The Hokies advanced to the NCAA meet as a team for the first time in 2006 and placed 18th. Competing as an individual, junior Tasmin Fanning was 12th among 255 runners at the 2007 NCAAs.
VERSUS VIRGINIA: The Hokies finished ahead of the Cavaliers at the ACC meet for the first time this season.
QUOTE: "ACC women's cross country is the toughest in the country," Thomas says. "Eight of our 12 teams made the NCAA championships, and only 32 make the NCAAs."
Men's golfTHEN: Tech won three Big East championships in four years before joining the ACC, and previously earned four Atlantic 10 titles. The Hokies finished eighth at the 2001 NCAA tournament, and a member of that team, Johnson Wagner, won the PGA Tour's Houston Open this year.
NOW: ACC golf is superior to the Big East's, and it shows in Tech's record. The Hokies shared the 2007 ACC title with Georgia Tech, the same year Drew Weaver captured the British Amateur, but have yet to advance past NCAA regional competition since joining the conference. Senior Jurrian van der Vaart this season became the Hokies' first all-ACC selection, made third-team All-American and tied for ninth at the NCAA championships.
VERSUS VIRGINIA: Tech has placed ahead of Virginia twice in four ACC tournaments.
QUOTE: "We finished in the top 10 in every tournament we played this season and never were lower than 35th in the national rankings," coach Jay Hardwick says.
Women's tennisxxxxxxxxGeorgia Tech38-595-20Miami34-884-25Clemson34-978-32UNC30-1290-35Duke28-1568-35Wake Forest21-2251-43Florida State19-2455-41Virginia17-2642-50N.C. State14-2952-46Maryland11-3134-57Virginia Tech5-3845-56Boston Coll.1-3221-44THEN: Tech qualified for five consecutive NCAA tournaments from 1996-2000, advancing once, but has not returned.
NOW: The Hokies have floundered in a conference that's produced the last two NCAA singles champions and the 2007 team champ in Georgia Tech. In 2006, freshmen Inga Beerman of Germany became the first Hokie selected for the NCAA singles tournament, and this year freshman Yasmin Hamza of Egypt made all-ACC.
VERSUS VIRGINIA: 0-5.
QUOTE: "We're getting stronger and better," coach Terry Ann Zawacki-Woods says. "Our (incoming) recruiting class is ranked 11th in the country. We've got to look at a higher caliber player just to compete in the ACC."
Men's tennisxxxxxxxxVirginia40-2113-17Duke31-1269-37Florida State30-1277-37UNC30-1286-26Wake Forest27-1673-36Miami22-2060-38Clemson18-2594-51Georgia Tech17-2646-48Virginia Tech16-2755-48N.C. State14-2970-47Maryland5-3837-46Boston Coll.1-3220-53THEN: With six NCAA tournament appearances from 1996-2002, the Hokies brought a solid if unspectacular foundation to the ACC.
NOW: In 2008, Tech fashioned a winning conference record (6-5) for the first time, defeated Kentucky in the first round of the NCAAs and earned a No. 30 national ranking, the program's highest in 11 years. Senior Albert Larregola, one of 10 foreigners on the 12-man roster, advanced to the second round of the national singles tournament.
VERSUS VIRGINIA: 0-4.
QUOTE: "We're headed in the right direction, for sure," coach Jim Thompson says. "Being in the ACC is helping us tremendously, if only from a scheduling standpoint alone. Now we have 11 guaranteed great matches."
Women's trackTHEN: Tech produced four individual champions, one indoor and three outdoor, during four years of Big East membership
NOW: Led by hurdlers Queen Harrison and Kristi Castlin, and field specialists Brittany Pryor and Kristen Callan, the Hokies have risen from the depths of the ACC to national prominence. Ninth at the ACC indoor and outdoor meets in 2005, Tech has won both championships two years running. The Hokies placed 10th at the NCAA indoors this year, but injuries to Harrison and Castlin derailed them last week at the national outdoors, where they finished 31st.
VERSUS VIRGINIA: Tech has outdistanced Virginia in all four ACC outdoor meets and three of four indoors.
QUOTE: "I know our situation would not be as good as it is now," track director Dave Cianelli says of ACC dividends. "I think that's pretty obvious. But you can't play what if. You play the hand you're given, and obviously we got a very good hand."
Men's trackTHEN: Other than a blip in 2000, when they placed 24th at the NCAA meet, the Hokies hadn't been relevant in 20 years.
NOW: The men haven't approached the women's success, with a fourth place indoors in 2006 their best ACC finish. But Greek import Spyridon Jullien became the school's first national champion in any sport, winning the NCAA outdoor hammer throw in 2005 and '06, and the NCAA indoor weight throw the same years. Those efforts elevated Tech to top-20 team finishes at those four NCAA meets, and earlier this month, again thanks to field event success, the Hokies placed 20th at the NCAA outdoors, second-best among ACC schools (Florida State won the national championship).
VERSUS VIRGINIA: The Hokies have finished behind the Cavaliers in all four ACC outdoor meets and two of four indoor meets.
QUOTE: "We're able to go after a more high-level prospect," Cianelli says of ACC affiliation. "You don't have to sell as hard."
Women's lacrossexxxxxxxxVirginia14-565-17Duke14-564-19Maryland12-758-22UNC11-856-24Boston Coll.4-1121-31Virginia Tech0-1922-45THEN: Virginia Tech won the Atlantic 10 regular season in 1999, but a 3-15 conference record during its final three Big East seasons did not bode well entering the lacrosse-mad ACC.
NOW: The Hokies have come agonizingly close to their first ACC victory, falling by one goal to Boston College the past two years and by two goals to North Carolina in 2005. Kady McBrearty was all-conference the last two seasons but has graduated.
VERSUS VIRGINIA: 0-4.
QUOTE: "We didn't inherit an ACC team," coach Katrina Silva says, "and ACC lacrosse is the best in the nation, period. … We feel our recruiting is improving, and last year we scored more goals against Virginia and Duke than we ever have. We have small milestones right now."
SoftballxxxxxxxxUNC51-27182-81-1Georgia Tech46-30184-82Virginia Tech47-31177-77Florida State46-32161-111N.C. State44-32163-94Maryland27-48129-97Virginia23-5692-128Boston Coll.17-4569-88THEN: Tech started its program in 1996 and endured a decade's worth of growing pains. The Hokies twice finished second in the Atlantic 10 and once managed a fourth place in the Big East but never qualified for the NCAA tournament.
NOW: The ACC's worst team in 2005, its first season as a conference member, Tech is the two-time reigning league champion. The Hokies have earned four consecutive NCAA bids, finished 17th in the national polls in 2007 and this season advanced to the Women's College World Series. Senior pitcher Angela Tincher, a three-time, first-team all-ACC choice, was national player of the year in 2008 and is an Academic All-American.
VERSUS VIRGINIA: 11-5.
QUOTE: "The class we're bringing in next year is really a great example of where the ACC has really meant a lot to us," coach Scot Thomas says. "We've got some great kids coming in next year. …The ACC has been a big boost for us. There's no doubt about that."
BaseballxxxxxxxxUNC82-34-1Florida State83-36200-68Miami76-41-1173-78-1Clemson74-47-1168-89-1Georgia Tech72-47168-83Virginia69-47172-74N.C. State67-51161-87Wake Forest55-63120-112Boston Coll.30-5978-79-2Maryland31-87107-119Duke29-89-195-122-1Virginia Tech24-9189-124THEN: The Hokies made the NCAA tournament four times from 1994-2000 but then began a drastic slide that continues. Coach Chuck Hartman retired in 2006 after 28 seasons, and Tech hired Boston College's Pete Hughes as his successor.
NOW: The Hokies finished last this season with a 6-24 conference mark, failed to qualify for the ACC tournament for a third consecutive year and saw rivals Miami, Florida State and North Carolina advance to the College World Series. Tech has yet to produce a first- or second-team all-ACC player.
VERSUS VIRGINIA: 0-10.
QUOTE: "There's a learning curve and a growth period, no doubt about it," Hughes says. "When it comes to winning and losing, I am not patient. But I am realistic. I know what I took over. I coached against what I took over. The only losing seasons I've coached were this year and last. All I know is, I'm losing and I feel like crap. Saying that, it's going to feel that much better when we turn it around, and it's going to be soon."Copyright © 2015, The Baltimore Sun