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EVANSTON, Ill. A late rally from the Cavaliers fell short in the fifth set as Northwestern escaped with a 15-13 deciding set victory over the Virginia volleyball team Friday evening at the Wildcat Classic. The 2-3 (15-25, 25-23, 17-25, 15-25, 13-15) loss drops Virginia to 7-4 on the season, while the Wildcats improve to 6-4.

First-year Simone Asque (Chicago, Ill.) led the Cavaliers with her first career double-double, knocking down 11 kills and picking up 12 digs, while third-year Lauren Dickson (Austin, Texas) and second-year Kelly Irvin (Pacific Palisades, Calif.) also notched double-doubles. Dickson posted 11 kills and 10 digs, while Irvin handed out 24 assists with 10 digs.

Second-year Kendahl Voelker (Fort Myers, Fla.) also tallied 11 kills for Virginia and fourth-year Marlow Bruneau (Lakeville, Minn.) dished out 13 assists.

Five Cavaliers reached double-digits in digs, led by third-year Brittani Rendina (Lisle, Ill.), who collected 13. Asque tallied 12, while Irvin, Dickson and fifth-year Beth Shelton (Cincinnati, Ohio) contributed 10.

Second-year Sydney Hill (Kalamazoo, Mich.) had a match-high five blocks.

For Northwestern, four players landed double-figure kills, led by Chelsy Hyser’s match-high 17. Kate Nobilio led all players with 25 digs and Elyse Glab had 46 assists.

The Wildcat attack came out on fire in the opening set, landing 13 kills while only committing one error, keeping the Cavaliers off balance. Asque came into the game with Virginia down 10-4 and knocked down back-to-back kills to liven up the fan base, but it wasn’t enough as Northwestern rallied for six-straight points to take a 19-10 lead and cruise to a 25-15 victory.

Despite falling behind early in the second frame, the Cavaliers rallied for three consecutive points to knot the score at 12 all, but were unable to take the lead as Northwestern responded with two unanswered points.

The Wildcats later used a five-point run to pull ahead 19-14, but the Cavaliers answered and evened the score by 22-22. Virginia took it’s first lead of the match at 23-22, before a ball handling error on the Cavaliers pushed the score to 23 all. Dickson blocked an attack to secure a set-point opportunity for Virginia and an attack error on the Wildcats evened the match score at 1-1, with the Cavaliers winning the set, 25-22.

Virginia broke open an even 10-10 third set with four-consecutive points and extended it’s lead to 19-12 with another four-point run. From there, the two squads traded points, leading the Cavaliers to a 25-17 victory.

Struggling early in the fourth frame, Virginia fell behind 10, at 6-16. The Cavaliers rallied to cut the Wildcats’ lead to five by 12-17, but it wasn’t enough as Northwestern went on to win the set 25-15 and force a deciding game.

The Cavaliers couldn’t get anything going early in the fifth set, falling behind 3-8. Virginia used a three-point run to cut it’s deficit to two, at 6-8, and pulled within one at 8-9. Northwestern held off the feisty Cavaliers, though, and pulled ahead 14-10, before Virginia rallied to pull within one again, at 14-13. The rally wasn’t enough, though, as a close kill from Glab secured the 15-13 win for the Wildcats.

Virginia will return to action tomorrow, facing Georgetown (6-5), at 7 p.m. ET in it’s final match of the tournament.

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