Volleyball Concludes Season With 19-12 Record
Dec. 9, 1999
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. — The University of Virginia volleyball teamposted another successful season as it finished the 1999 campaign with a19-12 overall record and a 9-7 mark in the extremely competitive AtlanticCoast Conference. For the second-straight season, head coach MelissaAldrich Shelton led the Cavaliers to a berth in the NCAA Tournament. TheNCAA appearances in 1999 and 1998 are the first two in the 21-year historyof the UVa volleyball program.
In five short seasons at Virginia, Aldrich Shelton has posted a96-69 record for a .582 winning percentage. Over the past four seasons,the Cavaliers are an impressive 87-47 (.649). She needs just three morewins to become Virginia’s all-time winningest volleyball coach.
UVa’s 19 victories in 1999 ties for the eighth highest win total,while the nine ACC wins rank second. With the nine conference wins,Virginia has recorded back-to-back winning seasons in ACC play for thefirst time in school history. UVa was 12-4 in the ACC in 1998. TheCavaliers earned their second consecutive bid to the NCAA Tournament in1999, but lost to Arizona in the first round 3-0 in Austin, Texas, onDecember 2. In the ACC Tournament in Orlando, Fla., November 19-20, the’Hoos opened with a 3-1 win over Duke, but lost to nationally rankedClemson 3-0 in the semifinals. Virginia concluded the regular season andsecured a NCAA bid with a 3-0 win over American on November 27. TheCavaliers began the season by winning their first seven matches and takingtwo tournament titles, their own Jefferson Cup and the Hi-IQ Classic inWilliamsburg, Va.
A major reason for Shelton’s success over the last four years canbe attributed to this year’s fourth-year class of outside hitter WhitneyBilger (La Jolla, Calif./The Bishops School), middle blocker JessicaParsons (Green Oaks, Ill./Libertyville) and setter Mary Frances Scott(Phoenix, Ariz./Xavier College Prep). The three players form the mostsuccessful class of the UVa volleyball program with an 87-47 record. Theseniors’ winning percentage of .649 is the best of any four-year class atVirginia and the 87 victories equals the 1988-91 teams’ school record totalfor wins in a four-year span.
Scott, a co-captain, had a stellar four-year career as the startingsetter for the Cavaliers. She shattered the school’s career assist recordas a junior and nearly doubled the former record of 3,071 by the time sheconcluded her career in 1999. Scott wrapped up her career with 6,044assists and ranks 10th all-time on the NCAA Division I assist list. Sheranks second on the all-time ACC assist list as well. Scott’s careeraverage of 12.46 assists per game places her among the top 25 in Division Ihistory in that category. She is the only player in UVa history to tallymore than 1,000 assists all four years. In addition to holding the assistsrecord at Virginia, Scott ranks third on the all-time digs list with 1,356and is fifth in total blocks with 320.
In 1999, Scott was selected to the All-ACC First team, marking thefirst time she received All-ACC honors since being named to the ACC Rookieteam in 1996. She was also named to the American Volleyball CoachesAssociation (AVCA) All-District 3 team. Scott, a two-time ACC Player ofthe Week in 1999, was selected as the MVP of the Jefferson Cup and to theAll-Tournament team of the Hi-IQ Classic. Scott recorded 1,482 assists,the fourth-highest single season total by a Cavalier in 1999. She holdsfour of the top six UVa single season assist totals with a career best of1,598 as a freshman in 1996. Scott’s average of 13.35 assists per gamethis season is a school record. In addition to leading the team inassists, Scott tied for team-high honors in service aces with 37 and wassecond in digs (321), third in total blocks (93) and sixth in kills (116).She recorded her first career triple-double against N.C. State (Oct. 9)with 65 assists, 14 digs and 10 kills.
In 1999, Parsons became the first UVa volleyball player to earnback-to-back All-ACC honors since Greta Jansson and Anne Marie Hammers bothgarnered All-ACC accolades in 1990 and 1991. Parsons, a co-captain in1999, was a First Team All-ACC pick in 1998 and captured All-ACC Secondteam honors in 1999. She was named the MVP of the Hi-IQ Classic and earnedAll-Tournament honors at the 1999 Carolina Classic in Columbia, S.C. Thisseason, Parsons led the Cavaliers with 429 kills and a .251 hittingpercentage. The 429 kills are the fourth-highest single season total inschool history. Parsons, the ACC Player of the Week for October 4, reacheddouble figures in kills in 28 of 31 matches. She also topped the team intotal blocks with 124 and was third in digs (280) and fourth in serviceaces (33). Parsons fell just one kill shy of setting the school record forkills in a match when she notched 30 against Florida State (Oct. 3). Inher career, Parsons registered 460 total blocks and 1,347 kills, good forthird and fourth, respectively, at Virginia. With 369 assisted blocks,Parsons ranks third all-time and is also fifth with 91 solo stuffs.
Bilger, the team’s emotional leader, had her best season as asenior in 1999. She notched career highs in kills (215), digs (223),blocks (34), assists (25) and service aces (23). Bilger set a new careerhigh for kills in a match with 21 in a 3-1 win over Georgia Tech (Oct. 15).Her 19 digs against James Madison (Nov. 12) are also a career best in thatcategory.
Virginia’s third-year class of middle blocker Deanna Zwarich(Overland Park, Kan./Shawnee Mission North), outside hitters Andrea Fischer(Santa Barbara, Calif./Santa Barbara) and Katie Jones (Kingwood,Texas/Kingwood), and defensive specialist/setter Cathy Arnette (Chesapeake,Va./Western Branch) were also vital components to the Cavaliers’ success in1999.
Zwarich registered a career-high 414 kills in 1999 to rank secondon the team. The 414 kills are the seventh highest single season total atVirginia. She also set career highs in digs (276), total blocks (114),assists (26) and service aces (26). Entering the 1999 season, Zwarich hadjust 147 digs and nearly doubled her career digs total this season with276. With 100 blocks next year, Zwarich would become the first Virginiaplayer to register 100 or more blocks four consecutive years. In additionto the 114 blocks in 1999, Zwarich recorded 103 in 1998 and 100 in 1997.Zwarich posted a pair of triple-doubles during the 1999 campaign. Herfirst career triple-double came against James Madison (Nov. 12) when shenotched 16 kills, 12 digs and 10 blocks. In the ACC Tournament againstDuke (Nov. 19), Zwarich tallied 12 digs, 11 kills and 10 blocks for thesecond triple-double. In two ACC tournament matches, Zwarich totaled 26kills, 19 digs and 13 blocks, including the triple-double, and became thefourth UVa volleyball player to be named to the ACC All-Tournament team. Inher career, Zwarich has recorded 417 career blocks to rank sixth at UVa,and her 271 block assists is fourth on that list. She needs just 47 morekills to become the sixth Cavalier to reach the 1,000-kill milestone.Zwarich was named to the Jefferson Cup All-Tournament team.
Fischer was third on the team in kills in 1999 with 298 and had thehighest hitting percentage among the outside hitters on the team with amark of .239. She also tied for the team lead in service aces with 37 andis tied for fourth place all-time at Virginia with 127. Fischer needs 13more service aces to set the UVa record. In 1999, she also added a careerbest 71 blocks and totaled 89 digs and 29 assists.
Jones led the ‘Hoos in digs in 1999 with 362 and needs just 44 morein her career to reach 1,000. She was second among all ACC players with anaverage of 3.29 digs per game. Jones also led the Cavaliers in digs in1998 with 417. With 276 kills, Jones fell just four shy of her career highwhich she set last year. Three times this season she surpassed the 20-killmark in a match, including a career-high 25 against Alabama (Sept. 4) inthe Jefferson Cup and was named to the All-Tournament team. Her 37 serviceaces tied for team high honors and set a career high as well.
Arnette, a transfer from Villanova, was used as a defensivespecialist in 1999. She is a natural setter, but shifted positions tofulfill a new role. In 23 matches, Arnette recorded 113 digs for anaverage of 1.4 per game.
Two other players, middle blocker Jenny Harmon (Virginia Beach,Va./Salem) and outside hitter Kiersten Kaufman (Monroeville, Pa./Gateway)gained valuable collegiate experience that will help them become majorcontributors in the 2000 season. Harmon saw action in 25 matches andtotaled 48 kills, 36 blocks and 25 digs. She was a major factor in UVa’s3-2 win over Rice in the Jefferson Cup as she notched career bests of 12kills, 10 total blocks and four digs. Kaufman played in 26 contests andregistered 28 kills and 54 digs. She tallied 18 digs and six kills againstAlabama in the Jefferson Cup to establish career highs.
Rounding out the squad are middle blocker Simona Kuipers (BowIsland, Alberta, Canada/Senator Gershaw) and outside hitter Laura Svette(Chagrin Falls, Ohio/Kenston). Kuipers was injured during a good portionof the season and only played in two matches, while Svette redshirted theseason after suffering an injury.