The university of Virginia women’s basketball team finally bid farewell to University Hall during the 2005 to 2006 season. After 33 years, the team ended their long relationship with this most prestigious Hall.  But, the history they share will never be forgotten and will always be in the hearts of those who were there to share their triumphs and failures.

The University Hall got its largest crowd during the 1986 season where 11,174 home crowd fans squeezed and nudged their way to cheer on the Lady Cavaliers as they battled against the North Carolina Tar Heels. The record set in terms of attendance has been the largest in the history of U-hall and has never been surpassed since.

Another record was set during the 1991 to 1992 season, when all the tickets to the game of Virginia versus North Carolina were sold out even before the day of the actual fight. It just shows how much love and support the home crowd gives their Lady Cavaliers!

But the history does not end there, the University hall has been home to five undefeated seasons for the Lady Cavs! They all had perfect seasons in 1987 (14-0), 1988 (14-0), 1993 (15-0), 1994 (16-0) and then in 1995 (14-0). This feat further boosts their wins and losses record of 373 wins to 81 losses with a score of .822 winning percentage during its tenure at University Hall.

During the 1994 season the UVA women’s basketball team finished an 83 to 64 win over the North Carolina to clinch a new school record for the most consecutive wins. They further stamped their mark in history by completing a 61 win run, the fourth longest consecutive wins in the blooming era of women’s collegiate basketball.

Not many know this, but some of the most prominent names in women’s basketball traced their roots from the University of Virginia and honed their skills in University hall.  The recent “Last Ball in U-Hall” brought back memories for these ladies who did much of their growing up inside these walls.

Some reminisced the torture they got from the training room, some fondly recalled their days on seeing Doyle Smith courtside screaming the air out of his lungs and most laughed at the grunting and groaning they did from going through all the practice motions.

Many players considered University Hall as their unofficial “home away from home”. They came of age in it and had many memories from their achievements. The awards they got from playing women’s basketball were also another reason to smile. It was truly a sight to behold during its heyday as it was the home of the Legendary Lady Cavaliers.

Since 2006, the Lady cavaliers have played all of their home games at John Paul Jones Arena and hope to establish a new legacy in its stadium. The new venue boasts of a larger seating capacity as the fighting spirit of the team continues to draw in a larger crowd every season. Season tickets are also available for those who want to secure their seats early.

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Season tickets for the Virginia women’s basketball games are on sale now! They include all home games and one exhibition game. All home games will be played John Paul Jones arena, the home of the Cavaliers.

The schedule for the games in the Atlantic Coast conference has not been posted as of today. However, games and their locations will be posted in early September. An email notification will be automatically sent to season ticket holders. Initial announcement was scheduled for late August but has since been moved.

The Cavalier’s regular home season games include 9 non-conference games and 8 conference games against their rivals. The Marriott classic will be an interesting showdown as the team returns with 4 of their top scorers from last season and a new coach in the person of Joanne Boyle.

Ticket prices are still the same as last year. Reserve tickets start at $50 USD for youth (18 and under), senior citizens and school faculty and then $80 for adults. General admission tickets are $45 USD each for youth, senior citizens and faculty or school personnel and a regular price of $65 for adult admissions.

The arena also boasts of additional seating as the lower level seats have been expanded in sections 101, 105,106,107,109,110, 11 and 115. These have also been converted from general admission into reserved seats. More seats will easily translate into a louder crowd for the home team!

However, prices for the season tickets will go up next year (2012 to 2013). The reserved seats will then start at $100 USD for adults and $75 USD for youths, senior citizens and school personnel. General admission tickets will also be raised to $85 USD for adults and $65 dollars for the youth, senior citizens and school personnel for the 2012 to 2013 season.

The good news is season ticket holders will be given a chance to renew their tickets for the next season at this season’s current price.  Ticket holders will also be able to enjoy a parking pass for the John Paul Jones Arena’s west lot. They are also given a chance to buy a numbered parking lot reserved solely for them. This will make not only watching the game easy but also very pleasant for the whole gang.

There are various other perks for season ticket holders such as access to countless memorabilia, jerseys and school banners. They are also given the privilege to join special rewards programs.

Those interested in purchasing season tickets can go online and have their ticket application sent to them via email. Most season ticket holders will be notified by email with regards to game schedules and other changes. They can also renew their tickets online for the next season as soon as it becomes available.

Fans can also purchase tickets and other gifts online in the school’s website. Other changes with regards to game schedules, scores and awards will also be posted as they go live. Fans can get their tickets by visiting Bryant Hall at Scott Stadium.

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As Joanne Boyle takes over as the new head coach for the University Of Virginia Women’s Basketball team, she will need to get to know her bench a little better. Coach Debbie Ryan leaves to her care big names in the world of collegiate basketball. Seasoned players welcome Coach Boyle to the team with open arms and hearts.

The lady Cavaliers in their own right has a deep bench to start with. The successful athletics program pushed by Coach Ryan boasts of excellence in both the athletic and academic field of learning. Most of the players in the team are already in their second or third season, making this a cohesive unit at play.

There are four seasoned guards in the team. Ariana Moorer leads the group with her 9.4 points and 3 assists per game. She is supported by Ataira Franklin with her own 9 points, steals and rebounds per game. All in all, the guard position of the Lady Cavaliers is pretty solid down to their bench. China Crosby is also one of those key players that contribute her own 7 points per game and excellent ball handling skills.

The other players in the guard position are Kelsey Wolf who has played 22 games for the team and has an average of 3 points and 1.3 rebounds per game and Lexie Gerson, a junior, and has played in all 30 games of the season. She has started in 13 season games and averages 5.5 points and 1.9 rebounds per game.

Rookie of the year (2008 to 2009) Chelsea Shine is the teams formidable forward and tri-captain. She was named the Marriott Cavalier Classic’s Most Valuable Player and a member of the esteemed All-Tournament Team. Aside from leadership on and off the court, Shine also brings her own 9 point per game and is the team’s third leading scorer. She also averages 4.8 rebounds per game and is second in the team overall.

Shine is one of the most seasoned players in the team having played for the Lady Cavaliers for three seasons straight (this will be her fourth season). In 2009 she received the Thomas J. Ryan Scholarship. This award is given to the hardest working player that shuns the spotlight and strongly believes in family values. She will be mother and mentor to freshman Sarah Imbovioh.

Other players in the team are freshman Sarah Imovbioh, Sarah Beth Barnette, Simone Egwu, Erinn Thompson (forward and center positions), Jazmin Pitts and Telia mccall. Simone Egwu and Erinn Thompson rotate between the center and forward position. Both are equally strong under the post and intimidating on defense.

Imovbioh is a freshman recruited from St. Anne’s-Belfied High School in Charlottesville, Virginia. She was ranked by Hoopgurlz.com at number 15 for the forward position and has been selected into Parade Magazine’s All-American High School Girls Basketball team in May 2011. Coach Boyle hopes that she will bring her aggressive play into the team and some of the 29 points and 22.6 rebounds she averaged in playing High school women’s basketball.

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It was a Saturday morning on March 12, 2011 when Debbie Ryan said goodbye to the University of Virginia’s women’s basketball team as head coach. Coach Ryan handed in her resignation after bringing 34 years of service to the Lady Cavaliers. She was very specific that it was a resignation and not yet her official retirement.

Coach Debbie Ryan did not offer much explanation regarding her resignation but indicated that she wanted to focus on other things besides coaching women’s basketball. She does plan to remain in the area in and around the University citing a special interest in the Emily Couric Cancer Treatment Center.

The special interest in the center stems from her being diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in 2000. Since then, Coach Ryan has been one of the loudest voices in the campaign to fight against cancer. She has actively participated in numerous fundraisers and events in an effort to spread awareness about the disease.

Coach Debbie Ryan finished her career at the University of Virginia with a record of 736 wins and 323 losses. She has an unprecedented .563 winning average and has managed to win her way to 3 straight National Collegiate Athletic Association Final Four appearances in 1990, 1991 and 1992.

She has been known to instill a strict sense of discipline in her players and always guides them to concentrate on their education. The standard of excellence she has both on and off the court will be a tough act to follow and many of her colleagues was saddened to hear of her resignation.

After a few months of deliberation, it was later announced that Joanne Boyle would take Coach Ryan’s place at the helm of UVA women’s basketball. Coach Boyle was previously the head coach of the University of California at Berkeley.

Boyle coached at UC at Berkeley for 6 years before announcing her departure to move to the University of Virginia. She has an impressive .682 winning percentage from her previous team and hopes to steer the Lady Cavaliers to an even more impressive record. Before leaving, she has led the Golden Bears to 2 WNIT tourneys, winning the 2010 WNIT championships and 4 NCAA appearances.

It is interesting to note that before Coach Joanne Boyle joined the UC at Berkeley Golden Bears in 2005, the team had a 12 year dismal record. They were not able to have a single winning record and the recent success has been attributed mainly to Coach Boyle’s rigid athletics program.

Coach Boyle started her coaching career in 2002 at the University of Richmond. She stayed with the team for 3 years and has won an average of 21 games per season. She has a total record of 204 wins and 93 losses all throughout her 9 year coaching career. She was also part of Team USA as assistant coach in 2006.

Coach Joanne Boyle graduated from North Carolina with a bachelor’s degree in Economics and A master’s Degree in Health Policy. A press conference was held to formally introduce Coach Boyle in John Paul Jones Arena. The press conference was streamed live at the University’s official website.

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In 1973, the University of Virginia expanded its Athletic department and started a women’s basketball team. This was when women’s intercollegiate sport competitions were being developed and slowly introduced. Prior to this, competition in the women’s athletics mostly took place within the state.

The University then hired Barbara Kelly as the Cavalier’s first women’s basketball coach after hiring her in 1971. She was initially hired to develop three team sports to be introduced into collegiate competition. These athletics programs were filed hockey, basketball and tennis.

Kelly stood as the head coach of the Lady Cavaliers while still developing several athletics programs for the school. It begun to take its toll on her and she was not fully able to focus on her administrative work. This was when she decided to get someone else to coach the team while she went back to her administrative duties.

This was when Dan Bonner was asked by Kelly to take over his place. Bonner was a graduate of the university and also a former Cavaliers player. He was already a graduate student at the time and also an informal academic advisor in the Athletics Department. He coached the team for two seasons and finished with a 32 win to 20 loss record.

It was on a fateful day in 1977 when Debbie Ryan took over Dan Bonner at the helm. She was 23 years old and right out of graduate school. She was an assistant coach in both basketball and field hockey before being tasked to formally take over as head coach of the Cavaliers.

Coach Ryan greatly appreciated the foundations laid out by both Kelly and Bonner and used it as a base for her own set of ideals. With her dedication, intensity, persistence and loyalty to the school, Coach Ryan was able to lead the team into her first official victory by beating Virginia Union 54 to 48 at University Hall on November 28, 1977.

Since that day, Coach Ryan has slowly guided the Cavaliers to 28 winning seasons, 11 Atlantic Coast Conference regular season titles, 3 ACC tournament championships and 21 National Collegiate Athletic Association tournament appearances. Coach Ryan has been with the Cavaliers team for 34 years.

She announced her resignation from the team in March 12, 2011. Ryan was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in 2000 and has since been a staunch supporter of many benefits and fund raisers in the fight against the disease.

Later this year, Joanne Boyle stepped into Coach Ryan’s shoes as the new head coach for the University Of Virginia Women’s Basketball Team. She came from a 6 year stint as head coach of the University of California at Berkeley. Her designation as the new head coach was officially announced in April 9, 2011.

Boyle was a decorated collegiate basketball player before landing an assistant’s coach job. She started her coaching career at the University of Richmond in 2002 where she stayed for 3 years. She later moved on to the University of California in Berkeley to coach the Golden Bears. This is will be her 9th year as head coach.

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