Cavalier Corner

February 2022

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28 CAVALIER CORNER C ynthia Barksdale Frentz (McIntire '78) found a passion for sports early in her life — a passion that later helped to pioneer women's sports at the University of Virginia. Born in Charlottesville, Frentz went to high school in Norfolk, Va., before Title IX was enacted. Organized women's sports teams didn't exist in her area, but Frentz re- members great physical education teachers in elementary school who encouraged her to play basketball. She and her two sisters were also passionate swimmers, so they joined the men's swimming team in high school. There was another family of three daughters who also joined the men's team, so together the six young women forged an unforgettable experience. Among her three brothers and two sisters, Frentz is the only sibling to follow in their father's footsteps by attending the University of Virginia and graduating from the McIntire School of Commerce. When she arrived at UVA, she connected with other classmates who had grown up with the opportunity to play on organized women's sports teams. Frentz tried out for the junior varsity women's basketball team and later earned a place on the varsity team during her second year. She acknowledges the ex- ceptional coaches at the time, including Debbie Ryan, Dan Bonner and Terry Israel. Since her playing days, she has stayed in touch with Ryan, a coach she sincerely ad- mires and fondly remembers as methodi- cal and well respected. Following her second year on the varsity team, Frentz reflected on her lack of com- petitive playing time and decided to focus on her academics, sorority and another emerging passion — lacrosse. Before arriving at Virginia, Frentz had never even seen lacrosse and credits Barry Kilbourn Salisbury (Col '78) for introducing her to the sport and beginning her lacrosse career. Salisbury was in Frentz's dorm during their first year, and as basketball season was ending, she came by Frentz's room with a lacrosse stick and asked, "Don't you want to play?" Lacrosse was so different, and Frentz only had the opportunity to play since she was recruited by Salisbury. She was on the club team her first year before joining the inaugural varsity women's lacrosse team her second year. While holding a lacrosse stick and learning the game were immedi- ate challenges, she felt comfortable in the net, where she played goalie. Frentz went on to be named a co-cap- tain and earned the team's most valuable player honor. She recalls that the inaugural team had great players, especially from the Northeast who had played lacrosse growing up, and she remembers head coach Linda Southworth for her ability to bring the women together. When reflecting on her entire college ca- reer, Frentz enjoyed lacrosse the most be- cause she liked traveling to other schools, which were all in-state at that time. "I met some really neat people from primarily women's colleges, such as Long- wood, Sweet Briar and Hollins," she said, "and I really enjoyed those trips with team- mates." Frentz made lasting friendships with teammates, especially Salisbury. She also has fond memories with her roommates following her first year. They were mostly sorority sisters as charter members of Kappa Kappa Gamma. Frentz lived in a house on JPA going up to the University and later lived in Lambeth Field apart- ments. CONTINUED SUCCESS: WOMEN'S LACROSSE PLAYER CYNTHIA BARKSDALE FRENTZ Frentz (fifth player from the left in back row) was introduced to lacrosse after arriving at UVA and quickly developed into one of the team's key players. (Photo courtesy Cynthia Barksdale Frentz)

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