Inside HOKIE SPORTS | Vol. 14 No. 6 | June 2022

2 Inside Hokie Sports ATHLETICSANNUALREPORT Dear Hokie Nation, This last year has been such a tremendous, captivating ride for our student-athletes, staff and fans. We will look back on the 2021-22 academic year as a time where we came together and got stronger as a fan base and department, all the while elevating many of our programs as contenders on the national landscape. This pivotal time period in Athletics saw our programs win the most ACC Championships in a single year in school history. As this academic year comes to a close, we want to thank you for your dedication and loyalty to Virginia Tech. This has been a special time for our department and university, and Hokie Nation’s passionate backing of our student-athletes has made it all the more memorable. Blacksburg is now one of the epicenters for diamond sports in the collegiate landscape. Virginia Tech Baseball and Softball are two legitimate NCAA contenders, and it has been a real treat to see them succeed at the same time. We are the first school in almost two decades to have the ACC Coach of the Year in both of those sports in the same season. Coach D’Amour and Coach Szefc have embraced Virginia Tech’s culture and assembled rosters of talented student-athletes that have excelled on and off the diamond. These teams have made Hokie Nation proud through their resilience and contagious energy, all the while finishing atop of the ACC, simultaneously. We are anxious and incredibly optimistic about the futures of both of these programs at Virginia Tech. Looking back on the spring, many of our programs outside of the diamond made significant leaps forward as well. Lacrosse head coach Kristen Skiera put together an impressive campaign in her first year at the helm, mentoring two All-Americans in Sarah Lubnow and Olivia Vergano, and we are excited about the potential she brings to Thompson Field in the future. In track and field, we cannot say enough about Dave Cianelli’s continued commitment to success in leading this program. The Hokies posted strong finishes at the ACC Championships in Durham, led by Blacksburg native Cole Beck’s ACC MVP performance. In golf, our women’s team qualified for regionals for the fourth straight year, while Emily Mahar advanced to nationals. Connor Burgess qualified for regionals as an individual. On the men’s tennis side, Ryan Fishback and Jordan Chrysostom represented their program at the national level as well. It is so rewarding to see all of our programs succeed at the same time, supporting our belief that Virginia Tech Athletics is stronger when we are all moving forward with a common goal. And while the spring has been filled with accomplishments, the winter and fall sports programs also had many highlights. Whether it was men’s basketball cutting down the nets in Brooklyn, Rachel Baxter and Lindsey Butler taking gold at NCAAs, Mekhi Lewis being named ACC Wrestler of the Year, Elizabeth Kitley becoming the first ACC Player of the Year in program history, Emily Gray picked as the highest draft pick in Tech women’s soccer history, both men’s and women’s swimming & diving finishing in the top 25 nationally, Dave Cianelli’s selection as both ACC Men’s and Women’s Indoor Track & Field Coach of the Year, or football retaining the Commonwealth Cup, we all have so much to be proud of as Hokies. Although this year has been one of the most memorable in Virginia Tech history, we will never stop driving forward as we continue to Reach for Excellence. Hokie Nation banding together to achieve 25,000 Hokie Club members was an amazing feat, and now we need to keep that momentum going for the future. We are not asking for one Hokie to do everything, but everyone needs to do something as we strive to become a championship brand in collegiate athletics. Once again, thank you for all of your unbridled support of Virginia Tech Athletics. We could not have accomplished the myriad of successes during the 2021-22 year without your help. I hope you will find this “Annual Review” of our department informative, while also providing you with a sense of pride for the Hokies. Go Hokies! Whit Babcock Director of Athletics A WORD FROM WHIT