SPORTS WRAP

Worst pre-washout washout: When all else fails, blame it on the grounds. Despite battling through the heat of a pennant race, the Richmond Braves cannot even enjoy home field advantage in their attempt to hold off the Durham Bulls for the South Division title. Unplayable field conditions allegedly caused by poor drainage at the Diamond drive the Braves to Norfolk's Harbor Park. And all this is before the flood of August 30. The Braves have not played a true home game since August 8.

 

Closest to perfection: The UVA women's soccer and field hockey teams open their seasons with weekend triumphs. The No. 7 soccer team controls the entire field as they hammer East Carolina 4-0 Friday night, August 27, and then welcome Miami to the ACC with an another 4-0 shutout two days later. "Even though we've posted 4-0 results to start, we still have a lot to improve on both sides of the ball," coach Steve Swanson tells the Progress. The field hockey team, meanwhile, jumps all over Bucknell for an 8-2 victory on the August 29, and then holds down Appalachian State for a 3-0 win the next day.

 

Bad News Birds: The Orioles finally staunch the bleeding with an August 29 victory, ending an atrocious 12-game losing streak. "We battle and battle, and things just don't work out," second basemen Luis Lopez tells MLB.com. "It's like we're standing in quicksand."

 

Worst transformation: Many thought coach Joe Gibbs had the Redskins headed back to glory days after an impressive 17-0 shutout over the Miami Dolphins. Then on August 27, after kicking an early field goal on the road against the St. Louis Rams, the Skins suffer a humilitating 28-3 drubbing.

 

Most Golden Girl: UVA basketball alumni Dawn Staley captures her third career gold medal as Team USA completes an undefeated run on the world's center stage.

 

The Week Ahead

 

Friday, 9/3 @7:30pm & Sunday, 9/5 @2:30

Virginia Soccer Classic

 Ranked eighth in the nation, the UVA men's soccer team opens its home schedule with the annual Virginia Soccer Classic. Two weekend games are on the slate at Kl√∂ckner Stadium as the Hoos take on Marshall Friday evening and Long Island Sunday afternoon. $6 adults, $4 youth.

 

Friday, 9/3 @ 7pm

Redskins Preseason Finale vs. Atlanta Falcons

 Fans have had no idea what to expect when their beloved Skins, 2-2, take the field. Catch one last look at the team before the season officially opens next weekend. Game's sold out as usual, but scalpers are three deep.

 

Saturday, 9/4 @ noon

UVA Football @ Temple

 The much-anticipated home opener against North Carolina comes next week, but the 19th ranked Cavs cannot look too far ahead as they travel to Philadelphia to open the season against the Temple Owls. Good seats available from the UVA ticket office– about $40.

 

Friday, 9/3 @ 7pm vs. Charlotte Knights

& Monday, 9/6 @ 1pm vs. Norfolk Tides

Richmond Braves

 At least that's what the schedule says now; whether the games actually take place is another story. The Braves still manage to lead the division into the final week without even playing in their home park. (At press time, 24 hours after Gaston drenched Richmond, the Braves' website was promising a September 1 doubleheader at the Diamond!) Whether at the Diamond or Harbor Park, enjoy the action as the Braves prepare for playoff baseball for the first time in nine years. Be sure to take redeem all your rainout tickets too! Plenty of fresh tickets available. ($3-9)

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