Solid Attacking Helps UVa Sweep Maryland
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. The Virginia volleyball team (10-6, 5-2 ACC) had a solid attacking game Saturday en route to a 3-0 sweep over Maryland (10-6, 2-5 ACC). The squad hit .331, its highest figure since Aug. 24 (.340 vs. Texas Tech). Fourth year Sarah Kirkwood paved the way hitting an impressive .575 with a match-high 25 kills. Classmate Katie Oakes had a .417 hitting percentage with 14 kills.
“It was a good effort to win in three,” UVa head coach Melissa Aldrich Shelton said. “We have been struggling with having a consistent effort two days in a row. That was sort of a big point of emphasis, for us to come out and get the win on Friday and get the win on Saturday.
“It’s really fun to see our offensive come alive. We aren’t fully loaded yet but it is working and clicking and people are getting better. We are excited about where we are.”
Game scores were 30-22, 32-30 and 30-22.
Rookie Kelly Irvin tallied 47 assists on the night and aided the defensive effort with eight digs. Beth Shelton, who started at libero against the Terps, paced Virginia with nine digs. Tara Hester added eight and A.J. Cushman had seven.
Both Irvin and Shelton also added three service aces each.
Maryland, who entered the week leading the conference in blocking, finished with nine team blocks, compared to Virginia’s eight. The Terrapins hit .189 for the match. Jade Brown led the Terps with 11 kills and 11 digs.
Virginia returns to action Tuesday at Virginia Tech. Match time is set for 7 p.m. in Blacksburg.
“This is our only crammed week but we will weather the storm well,” Shelton added. “Tech is a really hard place to play and we will have to go down really focused and on a mission. We have to play hard and we’ll see what happens.”