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CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. – The Virginia volleyball team opens competition this weekend at the JMU Days Inn Invitational in Harrisonburg, Va. The two-day tournament takes place on Friday and Saturday, Aug. 29-30, on the campus of James Madison University. Live stats for each of the matches can be found at

The Cavaliers will travel just up the road and open against Murray State, first serve set for 5 p.m., Friday. Virginia will continue play on Saturday with a contest against New Hampshire at 10 a.m., before concluding play against host JMU at 7 p.m. The Cavaliers have never faced the Racers or Wildcats, but hold a 20-15 edge against the Dukes.

The Cavaliers, despite not playing JMU since 2003, are currently on a five-match win streak against the Dukes. James Madison won 14 of the first 18 matches, however the Cavaliers have rebounded to win 16 of the last 17. Virginia’s last loss to the Dukes was a five-set match at home on Nov. 3, 1998.

Head Coach Lee Maes
First-year head coach Lee Maes will be looking to grab his first collegiate victory as a head coach this weekend. Maes comes to the Cavaliers from Nebraska, where he was the associate head coach for the volleyball program. In his time at Nebraska, the Cornhuskers compiled a 95-5 overall record and won the NCAA National Championship in 2006.

Cavaliers Chosen Fifth in ACC Poll
Virginia has been tabbed to finish fifth in the Atlantic Coast Conference this season, tied with Florida State. The two schools shared a fourth-place finish in the league last season. Defending ACC Champion Clemson is the favorite to win the league again, with Georgia Tech and Duke trailing, respectively. North Carolina was picked fourth.

Preseason All-ACC Team
Fourth-year Shannon Davis and third-year Lauren Dickson have been voted to the 2008 Preseason All-ACC Team. Davis is the Cavaliers’ top returning blocker, as she finished second on the squad last year with 116 swats. Dickson, who missed a portion of last season due to injury, will lead the outside hitters. She landed 122 kills and 16 service aces a year ago.

Next Week
The Cavaliers will remain on the road next weekend, continuing their non-conference schedule. Virginia heads to Denver, Colo., to take on Denver, Tennessee and Iowa in the Panther Invitational Friday and Saturday, Sept. 5-6.

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