Best American/local lacrosse clinic: Many of America's future women's lacrosse stars will look to improve their games by attending prestigious lacrosse camps along the east coast during the summer months. Charlottesville, meanwhile, is blessed to host one of the most unique attractions as the American women's national World Cup team spends a weeklong training camp in Hooville through June 17. The squad is preparing to host the World Cup tournament at the Naval Academy in Annapolis later this month. "This is just a phenomenal chance for young people in the area to have a chance to see some of the best players in the country and in the world," U.S. assistant coach Heather Dow told The Daily Progress as the camp kicked off Friday, June 10. Dow not only works assistant coach on the Cavalier's women's team, but she also works as a teacher at Sutherland Middle School. The squad also exhibits a handful of former UVA standout players from past teams as the ladies prepare to battle nine foreign nations in an attempt to hoist their fifth consecutive World Cup and first on U.S. soil.
Best Summer Employment: UVA's Ryan Zimmerman did not have long to dwell on last week's abrupt elimination from the NCAA tournament. Instead, the third baseman watched anxiously Tuesday, June 7 as his name was announced as the fourth overall pick in the Major League Baseball First Year Player's Draft. It just so happened that the Cavalier star finds a new home that is still considered 'local' territory as he joins the red-hot, first-place Washington Nationals. With three years of college ball complete, Washington interim general manager Jim Bowden noted that Zimmerman had already established himself as "a player on the fast track to the Major Leagues." (AP) If Zimmerman is successful with his original minor league assignment with Washington's AA farm team in Harrisburg, PA, it's expected that he will be called up to join the Nationals before the end of the season. Despite the high expectations, Zimmerman still finds himself caught up in the joy of fulfilling a boyhood dream of playing professional baseball. "It is kind of a weird feeling because you never think it is actually going to happen to you," he says.
Worst State of Reality: Magical seasons finally come to a close in the AA state semifinals for both the Monticello baseball team and Western Albemarle girls' tennis team Friday, June 10. Just a few days earlier, both squads had pulled out dramatic late-game heroics to advance to the state semifinal round, however the Mustangs and Warriors were simply overmatched against two defending AA state championship teams. In Pulaski, the Monticello bats were silenced by Tunstall's flame-throwing senior pitcher (and new UVA baseball signee) Jacob Thompson in an 8-0 loss. Meanwhile at Radford University, after a gutsy effort helped preserve a 3-3 tie through the singles matches, the WAHS ladies eventually faded in doubles play falling to Jamestown 5-3. Finally, in Newport News, the dynamic Albemarle tennis senior doubles duo of (Northwest Region singles champion) Ester Kaplan and Laura Brashear is eliminated in the state quarterfinals.
Hottest team in baseball: The Washington Nationals (35-26) still refuse to show any signs of that woeful expansion club baseball experts predicted. Instead they continue their sizzling home stand and extend their win-streak to eight games with a 9-3 triumph over the Seattle Mariners Friday, June 10.
The Week Ahead:
Orioles Baseball (36-24) vs. Colorado Rockies (20-39)
Friday, June 17 @ 7:35pm
Saturday, June 18 @ 7:05pm
Sunday, June 19 @ 1:35pm
Take a weekend trip to see your first-place Orioles feast on one of the worst teams in baseball. Tickets available at orioles.com ranging from $7-$55.
Washington Mystics (3-5) WNBA Basketball
Saturday, June 18 vs. Indiana Fever (5-3)
Tuesday, June 21 vs. Phoenix Mercury (2-5)
The MCI Center is always busy. Plenty of tickets available at the team website.