Virginia Falls to Villanova in Marriott Cavalier Invitational
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. – The Virginia volleyball team saw its home match win streak come to an end Saturday afternoon against Villanova in the second day of the Marriott Cavalier Invitational. The Wildcats defeated the Cavaliers, 3-1 (25-19, 25-21, 20-25, 25-16), to improve to 10-3 on the season, while Virginia falls to 6-5 on the season and 4-1 at home.
Senior Lauren Dickson led Virginia with a double-double of 13 kills and 10 digs, while freshman Rachel Gray collected her second career double-double of 34 assists and 12 digs. Sophomore Simone Asque landed 10 kills to help the attack, while Brittani Rendina led the defense with 16 digs and junior AJ Cushman contributed 11. Cushman also added three service aces.
For Villanova, Krista Anderson and Maggie Mergen led all players with 15 kills each. Anderson also had 20 digs, while Kim Maroon led all players with 25 digs and seven service aces. Courtney Oertli dished out a match-high 51 assists.
With the score tied at six in the first set, Villanova went on a 4-0 run, breaking the deadlock and pulling ahead 10-6. The Wildcats went on to extend their lead to seven, but the Cavaliers responded with a 4-0 run of their own to pull within three. The rally wasn’t enough to top the Wildcats, though, as Virginia fell, 19-25.
The second set was a tight one punctuated by 11 tie scores and four lead changes. With the score tied at 19, the Wildcats went on a 3-0 run. The teams alternated points for the remainder of the frame, but Virginia could not overcome the deficit. Villanova took the set, 21-25.
In the third frame, the Cavaliers pulled out to a nine-point lead and never looked back. Dickson led the offense, tallying seven kills in the frame, en route to a 25-20 victory.
The Wildcats capitalized on a 7-0 run early in the fourth set, maintaining the lead for the entire frame and sealing a match with the 25-16 set win.
Virginia will look to rebound this evening in the tournament finale. The Cavaliers will face Albany at 7 p.m.