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According to the folks at Virginia anyway. Some good stuff of Coach Sheffield even if their facts are a bit off.


Jefferson Cup Tournament

Appalachian State and Liberty should be easy wins for both UVa and Albany. If UVa does not go up against Albany with all guns blazing, Albany could win. Why?


A few things to note:


1) Kelly Sheffield was UVa's assistant coach in 1998 and 1999 and was largely responsible for UVa's NCAA tournament births those two years (the only ones in the program) and for the 1998 2nd place regular season ACC finish (not tied for second but sole ownership of the 2nd place position) behind 1st place North Carolina and ahead of 3rd place Florida State out of 9 teams.


2) Kelly Sheffield coached Albany to their first Big East Championship in 2004 after only 4 years as the coach. If I remember correctly, UNY at Albany became a Division I school the year Kelly became the head coach. Not bad for a program that basically didn't exist before Kelly arrived.


3) Kelly recruited and coached Blair Buchanan to Big East setter of the year and player of the year honors and to an all American honorable mention. Blair is also a former Munciana girl and Munciana club girls kick butt. For those of you who remember our Whitney Ashcraft (DS/Libero 2000 -2003) who also was a Munciana girl; in extremely informal communications long before the Jefferson Cup schedule was set, Kelly said Blair is similar to Whitney in personality and work ethic. We are going to have a rough match.


4) When I watched Kelly run drills and coach during matches (here at UVa), he had a way of inspiring players. I was amazed at what some of the players here at UVa were capable of when Kelly was coaching. I watched Kelly intercede during the warm-up before Albany's match against Liberty and it seems like Kelly still knows how to get a team fired up to play at their best.


Melissa, Matt, and Jason are good. Melissa coached winning seasons before. Matt and Jason are here now and the three of them are coaching winning seasons. But Kelly just might be one of those coaches you read about 10 years from now for taking a team from the bottom of the NCAA to the top and on a shoestring budget. Saturday night's match will be a showdown.


Now, don't get me wrong. I adore my team. I want to see them go through this tournament like a hot knife through butter. I want to see them hammer the ball like never before when they kill. I want to see Emily run the X. I want my team to win. But to do that, they will have to come out on fire. They need to play the way they did against Appalachian State and also stay composed when Albany gets a few points.

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