Cavalier Corner

December 2014

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Page 41 of 62

BY GREG WATERS A FTER TWO injury-riddled seasons, maybe the best thing about this year's preseason practice for UVa women's head basketball coach Joann Boyle is how little she's see- ing of the training staff. After struggling much of the last two cam- paigns just to field five-on-five practice sessions, Boyle has the Cavalier basketball program headed in the right direction entering her fourth season at the helm. "We had three seniors last year with a lot of miles on them that couldn't do a lot in practice," Boyle said at the ACC Women's Basketball Media Day. But things are dramatically different heading into this fall. "Right now, we have 12 bodies, we're healthy, we get to practice for two and a half hours, and so you not only develop your skill set and your competitiveness but also your chemistry with each other," Boyle noted. "We didn't have the luxury of doing that last year and you really miss out on developing team chemistry." The 2014-15 edition of the Cavaliers has sev- eral reasons to expect good things when the sea- son opens Nov. 14 against Ohio State at John Paul Jones Arena. First, the team is healthy. Second, there's a lot of young talent on this club. Virginia's 2014 re- cruiting class was ranked No. 12 by espnW Hoop- Gurlz. This marks the second straight year Boyle has signed a top-15 recruiting class following her 2013 haul, which was ranked No. 10 nationally. Despite losing fourth-year captains Ataira Franklin, Lexie Gerson and Kelsey Wolfe from last year's 14-17 team, Virginia returns three play- FULL SPEED AHEAD With A Young, Healthy Squad And A New Defensive Approach, The Cavs Have High Hopes This Season

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