Virginia Downs Delaware, 3-1, in Second Match of Temple Invitational
PHILADELPHIA, Pa. – The Virginia volleyball team earned its second win of the season Saturday afternoon, defeating Delaware, 3-1 (25-18, 20-25, 26-24, 25-21), in the second match of the Temple Invitational.
“We played very well in the first set,” head coach Lee Maes said. “We were in rhythm offensively because we were passing well and in response, Delaware had to be a lot more aggressive with their serving. That put a lot of stress on us offensively because we weren’t able to handle their serve consistently.
“Delaware is a very efficient team offensively, as well. They don’t make a lot of hitting mistakes, so it was really important for us to continue to work hard defensively to control the ball. When we did that, it allowed us to have a lot more options.”
Virginia’s defense held the Blue Hens to a .187 hitting percentage as a team, while the Cavaliers’ offense hit .230 for the match. Virginia collected 90 digs, as opposed to Delaware’s 85, and the Cavaliers landed seven services aces, in comparison to the Hens’ four.
Junior Simone Asque collected her 12th career double-double – and first of the season – to lead the Cavaliers individually. The Preseason All-ACC honoree knocked down a team-high 16 kills and earned a career-high 22 digs.
In addition, senior AJ Cushman also picked up a career-high in digs – collecting a match-high 28, while sophomore Jess O’Shoney had a career day offensively – knocking down her personal-high of 14 kills to go with a career-best .619 hitting percentage.
Redshirt sophomore Beth Wildermuth dished out a team-high 29 assists, while sophomore Rachel Gray handed out 17. Freshman Emily Rottman helped anchor the defense, collecting 18 digs.
“Today, Jess was a big recipient of good first contacts and was unstoppable,” Maes said. “Simone continued her offensive production, but when it came down to the different in the match, it was AJ and Emily’s ability to provide stability in the back row.”
The Cavaliers used an efficient attack – landing 13 kills while only committing one error – throughout the opening of the first set, carrying them to a 19-14 lead and it forced Delaware to use its second timeout. Out of the intermission though, Virginia went on a 6-4 run to close out the frame with a 25-18 victory.
Delaware broke open an even contest midway through the second stanza, using a 5-0 run to pull ahead three, at 12-9. The Hens then maintained their advantage throughout the rest of the set and went on to win, 25-20.
Following a tie score in the third game, at 16-16, Virginia scored six of the next nine points to force Delaware to call a timeout, down 22-19. The Hens responded out of the break and worked to even the score at 24 all. But despite tying the game, Delaware committed a service error and junior Tess Udall then secured the set win for the Cavaliers, at 26-24, landing a kill.
A 5-0 run in favor of the Cavaliers gave Virginia a five-point lead toward the beginning of the fourth frame, but the Cavaliers were unable to fight off the Hens, as they came back to even the score at 19 and again at 21. Virginia responded with four straight points though, taking a 25-21 set win to win the match.
Virginia (2-0) will return to action tonight, facing host Temple in the nightcap. Opening serve is slated for 7 p.m.