Virginia Ends Season with 3-2 Win
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. The Virginia volleyball team (18-13, 13-9 ACC) ended the 2007 season with a 3-2 win over Wake Forest Friday at Memorial Gymnasium. The match was the final in Orange and Blue for UVa fourth-years Melissa Caldwell, Sarah Kirkwood, Katie Oakes and Taylor Russo. Game scores were 30-23, 35-33, 30-26, 25-30 and 15-12.
“They have definitely left their mark in the record book,” head coach Melissa Aldrich Shelton said of the seniors. “Three of them have some of the highest accolades you can have but all four have been huge contributors to our success.”
Kirkwood led the Cavalier offense with a match-best 28 kills in her final match. The All-American Lawn resident also tallied 21 digs in the winning effort. Classmate Katie Oakes finished with 16 kills, including the final one of the night to give Virginia match point. Oakes, also an All-America selection, also pitched in five blocks.
“We had some ups and downs this year and we definitely had our share of bad luck so we wanted to go out making some type of statement,” Kirkwood said. “Needless to say, Wake Forest brought it’s A-game. I am so proud of our team for not giving up and really finishing strong for the seniors.
Third year Shannon Davis recorded 17 kills and a team-best five blocks, while first year Kelly Irvin tallied nine kills, 59 assists and 16 digs.
Caldwell led a solid defensive outing with a match-best 25 digs. Already the program’s career digs leader, Caldwell also contributed a career-high six assists on the night. Tara Hester finished with nine digs and Russo tallied a personal-best eight digs in her final match as a Cavalier.
Virginia hit .223 for the match and finished with 81 kills. Wake Forest hit .207 and tallied 76 kills. Kristen White led the Demon Deacons (8-23, 5-17 ACC) with 21 kills and 25 digs.
“I am so excited to have won our last match,” Caldwell said. “All of us on the court knew it was our last time and we got Katie that last ball and she put it down. At this point I am looking around and it is so sad seeing all these families that I’m not going to see anymore. It hasn’t really hit me yet but I had a wonderful time here. This is a great team and I so fortunate to have played on it.”