Virginia Upends Miami 3-1
CORAL GABLES, Fla. The Virginia volleyball team (14-8, 9-4 ACC) upended Miami 3-1 Friday to avoid a Hurricane sweep. Four players reached double digit kills, led by Sarah Kirkwood’s 13. Melissa Caldwell paced the Cavalier defense with a team-best 17 digs. Game scores were 30-24, 30-21, 24-30 and 30-28.
The Hurricanes handed Virginia its first conference loss of the season earlier this year, a 3-2 loss in an exciting five-game match back on Sept. 21.
“We were motivated coming in after they beat us the first round,” head coach Melissa Aldrich Shelton said. “We knew we should have beaten them that match and it slipped through our fingers. It was important for us to get this one on the road.”
Aiding Kirkwood on the offense attack was Katie Oakes and Kendahl Voelker, who each pitched in 12 kills. Shannon Davis added 10 in the winning effort, while rookie Kelly Irvin recorded 52 assists. Additionally, Voelker had just two errors to lead UVa with a .417 hitting percentage.
Defensively, Kirkwood and A.J. Cushman added to Caldwell’s numbers, with 15 and 12 digs, respectively. Irin also chipped in eight digs.
“Melissa (Caldwell) had a good match for us,” Shelton continued. “She was in the right spots a lot of the time. Kendahl (Voelker) also played well. We are passing better and getting balls to our middles where there are more openings.”
Genny Mayhew led Miami (9-13, 3-10 ACC) with 17 kills while Cassie Loessberg tallied a match-high 27 digs.
Virginia will wrap up its four-match road trip Saturday at Florida State. Match time is set for 7 p.m. in Tallahassee, Fla.
“We need to make sure we keep passing well and keep pressure on with our serves,” Shelton said. “All our hitters need to play smart. Florida State is a very good team, a very dangerous team and we want to finish this weekend with two wins.”