CHARLOTTESVILLE — Virginia’s women’s basketball team has had more games canceled or postponed because of COVID-19 issues than its actually played. That’s the way this season will end.
UVA has decided not to play the rest of the 2020-21 season, the school announced Thursday. The team has lost all five games it played this season and had six called off or delayed because of the virus, plus one it canceled due to having an injury-depleted roster.
The Cavaliers haven’t played since a 69-51 loss at Florida State on Dec. 13.
“We have the pleasure of coaching a very resilient group of young women who have fought through injuries, a strict COVID-19 protocol, and all the mental battles that come with it,” said third-year coach Tina Thompson. “So, the decision to end our season mid-stream comes with great difficulty. As difficult as it is to end our season in this manner, it is a necessary one. The health and safety of our student-athletes will always be the number one priority. We will continue to focus on their overall well-being and prepare to resume competition in the fall.”
Virginia is the second ACC women’s team to opt out of the season. Duke made the same decision in late December.
A school spokesperson said Thompson was not available for further comment Thursday.
Thompson, a former college, Olympic and WNBA star and a 2018 inductee into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame, took over UVA before the 2018-19 season. With only three years of college college experience — at Texas — Thompson was a bold hire for new Virginia athletic director Carla Williams, herself a former college star at Georgia.
Thompson went 12-19 in her first year with the Cavaliers and 13-17 last season. She was 13-21 in ACC play.
This now-aborted season saw UVA — which had been picked to finish last in the conference in the preseason — lose all five games it played, including two in league play and one against in-state foe James Madison.