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Nov. 16, 2001


TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – The eighth-seeded Virginia volleyball team’s bid for an upset over top-seeded Duke fell short as UVa lost to the Blue Devils 3-1 (30-21, 30-26, 25-30, 30-28) in the quarterfinals of the 2001 Atlantic Coast Conference Championship Friday afternoon (November 16) at Tully Gymnasium. With the loss, the Cavaliers were eliminated from the ACC Championship and stand at 8-18 on the season. Duke improves to 22-3 and will play Florida State in the semifinals Saturday at 1:30 p.m.

Second-year middle Shannon Boyle (Cincinnati, Ohio/Ursuline Academy) paced UVa with 17 kills and a .455 hitting percentage. Fourth-year outside hitter Jenny Harmon (Virginia Beach, Va./Salem) added 13 kills, seven digs and two blocks, while second-year outside hitter Paige Davis (Austin, Texas/Westlake) posted a double-double. Davis notched 10 kills and a match-high 16 digs to go along with three service aces. Fifth-year outside hitter Andrea Fischer (Santa Barbara, Calif./Santa Barbara) added seven kills, six digs and two blocks. First-year middle Alexis Geocaris (Wilmette, Ill./New Trier) led all players with five blocks, including two solo stops, and added six kills. Second-year setter Abby Whittenburg (Amarillo, Texas/Amarillo) dished out 38 assists and had nine digs and two service aces. Second-year outside hitter Whitney Ashcraft (Yorktown, Ind./Burris) contributed 13 digs and two service aces to the Cavalier effort.

Ashley Harris and Dorrette Burwell both registered double-doubles in leading Duke to the victory. Harris had a match-high 18 kills and added 10 digs, while Burwell totaled 16 kills and 10 digs. Setter Arielle Linderman also notched a double-double with 49 assists and 10 digs, while Josie Weymann posted a team-high 15 digs.

Duke outhit the Cavaliers .294 to .206 and held a slim 66-61 advantage in kills. The Blue Devils also led 75-61 in digs, while Virginia served up nine aces to Duke’s four.

The Blue Devils used an 8-0 run midway through game one to take a 17-10 lead and won the first game 30-21 on the strength of a .433 hitting percentage. Virginia trailed early in game two, 11-6, but rallied for a 16-15 lead thanks to a 10-4 spurt. The Cavaliers held a 25-23 advantage, but Duke finished strong, outscoring UVa 7-1 to take the second game, 30-26. Tied at 13 in game three, Virginia took control on back-to-back kills from Davis and Boyle to lead 15-13. Boyle recorded five kills in the game while Davis added four as the Cavaliers extended the match with a 30-25 win. Virginia led for most of the fourth game, but Duke used a 10-4 run late to lead 25-24 and eventually win, 30-28.

“I feel like we could have won that match,” said UVa head coach Melissa Aldrich Shelton. “We didn’t play well in games one and two, but we came back in games three and four. We just had some bad breaks at the end by allowing balls to drop and hitting into the net. We played well and we are excited about the future of this team. I definitely think we are going to be one of the top teams next year.” “The majority of the players who contributed this season are very young. We need to grow from this experience and get stronger and this has to happen in the off-season.”

The Cavaliers close out the season on Wednesday, November 21 when they travel to Harrisonburg, Va. for a 7:00 p.m. match against James Madison.

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