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COLLEGE STATION, Texas – The Virginia volleyball team rebounded from a tough first day at the Texas A&M Invitational by sweeping Iona, 3-0 (25-16, 25-18, 25-16), on Saturday morning to earn its first win of the season. The Cavaliers conclude the season opening tournament with a record of 1-2, while Iona falls to 0-3 on the season.

Sophomore Simone Asque collected her first double-double of the year to lead the Cavaliers and was named to the all-tournament team for her play throughout the weekend. Asque knocked down 12 kills to go with a season-best 12 digs in the tournament finale. For the weekend, she landed a team-best 29 kills, had 25 digs and collected four blocks.

Senior Lauren Dickson tallied 11 kills and hit .455 against Iona, while freshman Rachel Gray dished out a personal-best 31 assists. Junior AJ Cushman led the defensive efforts, collecting 15 digs.

Colleen Genett and Rachel Whitten shared the offensive load for Iona, with each totaling 10 kills. Alyssa Erickson handed out 27 assists.

The Cavaliers took control of the first game right away. Asque knocked down a kill to open the frame before Gray landed an ace to put the Cavaliers up 2-0. Iona answered with a kill, but a 6-0 run behind the serving of Asque pushed Virginia ahead 8-1. From there, the Cavaliers fought off any attempt the Gaels had at getting back into the set and cruised to a 25-16 win.

The beginning of the second set was similar, with the freshman duo of Tobi Farrar and Jessica O’Shoney fighting to get the Cavaliers ahead. Farrar landed two of her six kills on the day in the opening of the set to earn Virginia’s first two points. O’Shoney then rattled off a service ace to spark a 4-0 run for the Cavaliers, pushing Virginia ahead 5-1. Iona eventually cut UVa’s lead back to one, at 10-9, but the Cavaliers used a timeout to regroup. Virginia outscored the Gaels’, 12-5, out of the slight intermission and ran away with a 25-18 win.

A series of errors plagued Iona toward the beginning of the third set, allowing the Cavaliers to use a 5-0 run to jump ahead 8-3. Virginia then extended its lead to eight by 23-15 and Asque landed back-to-back kills to bring the final score to 25-16, earning the Cavaliers their first win of the season.

Virginia (1-2) will return home to play host to the Holiday Inn Jefferson Cup on Sept. 4-5. Campbell, NC Central and VCU will all visit Memorial Gymnasium for the two-day tournament, with the Cavaliers’ home debut coming at 1 p.m. on Friday again NC Central. Virginia will also face in-state rival VCU at 7 p.m. Friday evening, before concluding tournament play with Campbell at 3 p.m. Saturday.

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