Virginia Volleyball Falls To 12th-Ranked North Carolina 3-1 In Quarterfinals Of ACC Championship
Nov. 22, 2002
ATLANTA, Ga. – The eighth-seeded Virginia volleyball team put forth a valiant effort, but fell short, losing 3-1 (30-28, 27-30, 30-24, 30-23) to 12th-ranked and top-seeded North Carolina in the quarterfinals of the Atlantic Coast Conference Championship Friday afternoon (November 22) at Georgia Tech’s O’Keefe Gym. With the loss, UVa concludes its season with a 9-25 record. The Tar Heels, 29-2, advance to play Florida State in Saturday’s semifinals.
Third-year middle Shannon Boyle (Cincinnati, Ohio/Ursuline Academy) and second-year middle Alexis Geocaris (Wilmette, Ill./New Trier) paced Virginia with 15 kills apiece. Boyle also led all players in the match with seven blocks. In addition to her 15 kills, Geocaris notched six digs, five blocks and a pair of service aces. Fourth-year middle Simona Kuipers (Bow Island, Alberta, Canada/Senator Gershaw) equaled her season high with 13 kills in the final match of her collegiate career. She also had five blocks and four digs. Second-year outside hitter Celeste Laborde (New Orleans, La./Academy of the Sacred Heart) rounded out the Cavaliers who reached double figures in kills as she recorded 10 to go along with a season-best nine digs and two blocks.
The Cavaliers recorded a season-high 110 digs and had four players posted double-digit efforts in digs, including three with at least 22. First-year outside hitter Kristin Chaney (Johnston, Iowa/Johnston), who was named to the ACC All-Freshmen Team, led UVa’s defensive effort with a career-best 23. Third-year libero Whitney Ashcraft (Yorktown, Ind./Burris), who was an All-ACC First Team pick this season, and second-year setter Lily Phillips (Phoenix, Ariz./Horizon) both registered 22 digs. Ashcraft increased her season count to 499 digs, the third highest single season total in school history. For Phillips, the 22 digs are a career high and she also added 55 assists for her 10th double-double of the season. Third-year outside hitter Paige Davis (Austin, Texas/Westlake) had an excellent defensive match as well with a match-high 19 digs. Davis posted six kills, three assists and two blocks as well.
North Carolina’s Laura Greene, the 2002 ACC Player of the Year, registered a double-double with 22 kills and 36 digs. Her 36 digs ties the ACC Championship record for digs in a match. Molly Pyles added 15 kills and 21 digs, while Malaika Underwood was the third Tar Heel with a double-double as she tallied 11 kills and 17 digs. Setter Eve Rackham dished out a match-best 57 assists.
North Carolina won a close game one 30-28, led by Greene’s five kills and 10 digs. In the scrappy defensive game, the Tar Heels edged Virginia in digs 33-31. The Cavaliers, led by Boyle’s five kills, took down North Carolina 30-27 in game two. Virginia hit .275 in the win and recorded 26 digs. UNC’s Greene had seven kills and seven digs in game two. The Tar Heels grabbed game three 30-24, holding Virginia to a .086 hitting percentage and capitalizing on the Cavaliers’ five service errors. In the fourth game, the Tar Heels took control early and maintained a large lead throughout the game, winning 30-23.
The Tar Heels outhit UVa hit .168 to .138 in the match and held a slim 67-62 advantage in kills. North Carolina also held slight edges in digs, 111-110, and service aces, 5-4, while UVa won the blocking battle, 12-8.