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December 10, 2010

Taylor named ACC player of the year

By: Jimmy Robertson

Tech quarterback Tyrod Taylor was named the ACC player of the year, according to the Atlantic Coast Sports Media Association (ACSMA), a group of media members who cover ACC schools.

Taylor received 27 of 57 votes cast. He became the second Hokie to win the award (Bryan Randall, 2004)

“First off, I have to thank the Lord for blessing me with the ability to play football,” Taylor said in a statement. “I also have to thank my parents, my family, the coaches, my teammates and all of the Virginia Tech fans. It’s an honor to be recognized as the ACC’s Player of the Year and to see all of my hard work pay off.

“I’m more proud, though, of how this team responded from an 0-2 start.”

Taylor, a senior from Hampton, Va., threw for 2,258 yards during the regular season, with 20 touchdowns and just four interceptions. He also rushed for 613 yards and four touchdowns.

Taylor, kicker Chris Hazley and cornerback Jayron Hosley were three of 11 Tech players to earn All-ACC recognition – the highest amount by any school since the league expanded to 12 teams.

Taylor, Hazley and Hosley earned first-team honors. Hazley, a senior from West Chester, Pa., made 19 of 20 field-goal attempts during the regular season. He missed his first and then made 19 straight, setting a Tech single-season record. Hosley, a sophomore from Delray Beach, Fla., had eight interceptions in the regular season. He also broke up seven passes.

The Tech contingent on the second team included linebacker Bruce Taylor (team-leading 84 tackles, 15.5 tackles for a loss), defensive end Steven Friday (14 TFL, 7.5 sacks), defensive tackle John Graves (34 tackles, 4 TFL), rover Davon Morgan (72 tackles, 4 interceptions), punter Brian Saunders (ACC-leading 44.4 yards per punt), and offensive linemen Jaymes Brooks and Blake DeChristopher. David Wilson also made the team as a return specialist (two returns for touchdowns).

For the complete list, please check the ACC’s Web site (

Tech volleyball program makes appearance at NCAAs

After a 19-11 regular season, the Virginia Tech volleyball team earned its first bid ever to the NCAA Tournament. The Hokies traveled to University Park, Pa., on Dec. 3 for a regional, taking on Delaware.

The Hokies knocked off the Blue Hens 3-0 (25-17, 25-23, and 25-18) and advanced to the next round against three-time defending national champion Penn State. Tech fell in three straight to the Nittany Lions, losing 25-22, 25-22 and 25-13.

The Penn State match marked the end of the careers of seniors Felicia Willoughby and Amy Wengrenovich. Willoughby, who played the 124th and final match of her career, will graduate from Tech holding eight all-time records – three career, three single-season and two freshman.

“This program has grown so much over the four years I’ve been here,” Willoughby said, “and just to have this opportunity to make it this year, to make the tournament for the first time ever at Virginia Tech, words can’t describe it.”

Wagner to headline ‘Baseball Night in Blacksburg’

Five-time Major League All-Star Billy Wagner will be the featured speaker for the Virginia Tech baseball program’s fourth annual “Baseball Night in Blacksburg.”

The event will be held Feb. 12 from 6-9 p.m. in the west side club at Lane Stadium. Tickets cost $75 per person ($35 for kids 13 and under) and can be purchased by calling the Virginia Tech baseball office at (540) 231-3671. Space is limited.

In addition to the address by Wagner, “Baseball Night in Blacksburg” also will include a dinner, silent and live auctions for various professional sports and Virginia Tech items, and a chance to meet the entire 2011 Virginia Tech baseball team.

For those interested in a more intimate experience, a private, open-bar reception with Wagner and other notable figures will be held from 5-6 p.m. prior to the public portion of the evening. Access to the private reception can be gained by purchasing a ticket for $200. A Home Run Package of eight tickets can be purchased for $1,500.

Wagner, a Tannersville, Va., native who played college ball at Ferrum, was a relief pitcher who had a 17-year career with the Houston Astros (1995-2003), Philadelphia Phillies (2004-05), New York Mets (2006-09), Boston Red Sox (2009) and Atlanta Braves (2010). He was a five-time National League all-star (1999, 2001, 2003, 2007, 2008).

All proceeds of the banquet will go to the Virginia Tech baseball program and the Hokies’ efforts to improve various aspects of the program.