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CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. – The Virginia volleyball team saw its rally fall short to George Washington in the final match of the 2010 Holiday Inn Jefferson Cup Saturday afternoon, but the Cavaliers still claimed their 12th tournament title due to set victories throughout the three matches. The tournament title marks the third-straight year the Cavaliers have won the Jefferson Cup.

Despite dropping today’s first two sets to the Colonials (22-25, 22-25), Virginia dominated the third and fourth frames, by scores of 25-10 and 25-12, respectively, but eventually fell to George Washington in the fifth set, 15-9. The loss dropped the Cavaliers to 2-1 in the tournament, while George Washington and Liberty also posted 2-1 records throughout the weekend. The Cavaliers won the tiebreaker by winning eight sets in the two days, while George Washington took second with seven sets won and Liberty was victorious through six. North Florida wrapped up tournament play with a 0-3 record.

Virginia (5-1) was led by tournament MVP sophomore Jess O’Shoney, and also placed junior Simone Asque on the all-tournament team. George Washington’s Katie Zulandt and Katie Crosby, Liberty’s Jade Craycraft and Karyl Bacon and North Florida’s Paige Pridgeon were also honored on the all-tournament team.

“Unfortunately, we didn’t start today’s match with the level of focus, effort and execution that we’ve had in the previous two matches,” head coach Lee Maes said. “We weren’t very efficient, especially with our serving and attacking, and that’s been a staple for us throughout our great start to the season. Obviously, we put ourselves in a hole by being down 2-0. We needed our players to be more accountable for their focus and effort. They responded in sets three and four, but once you get to a fifth set, it’s a toss up because fifth sets are won by who makes the least amount of errors, and we couldn’t make positive plays at the end of the match; when it counted. The lesson here is to start the match with the same level of urgency as we did in set three.”

George Washington (4-2) gained momentum through the beginning of the first set, causing Virginia to call a timeout, down 14-16. The Cavaliers tried to regroup following the short intermission, but was unable to recover as George Washington held on to win, 25-22.

The Cavaliers responded at the opening of the second set, taking a 7-3 lead, but the Colonials swung the momentum their way and pulled ahead 19-16. Virginia cut GW’s advantage to one by 22-21, but couldn’t overcome the Colonials as George Washington won the frame, 25-22.

Virginia’s defense sparked a big run for the Cavaliers at the opening of the third set. The tandem of O’Shoney and junior Tess Udall blocked five attacks in seven points to help Virginia to a 12-2 advantage, and the Cavaliers never looked back. With seven team blocks and 14 digs, the Cavaliers earned a 25-10 win.

The fourth frame carried a powerful Virginia to another quick lead. Down 7-2, George Washington to call a timeout, but it didn’t halt the Cavaliers, as Virginia increased its lead to 16-8 and eventually forced a deciding set with a 25-12 victory.

The Colonials came out strong in the fifth set, leading 9-5 midway through the final frame. The Cavaliers rallied to cut their deficit to one, at 8-9, but George Washington won the next four-straight points and ultimately won, 15-9.

Virginia was led by O’Shoney, who recorded her first-ever double-double by knocking down a career-high 18 kills to go with a personal-best 12 blocks. Her 12 blocks ties Virginia’s all-time third-best single match performance.

Asque and freshman Emily Rottman also earned double-doubles today. Asque had 15 kills and 11 digs, while Rottman landed 10 kills and picked up 17 digs.

Defensively, with a dig in the first point of the second frame, senior AJ Cushman became the 14th Cavalier to record 1,000 career digs. She finished today with a match-high 23 and currently has 1015 in her career – 62 shy of Virginia’s all-time top-10 records.

In other milestones, junior Tess Udall had four kills to mark the 100th of her career.

Up next, the Cavaliers will head to the west coach for a three-match swing. Virginia will face San Diego at Long Beach State on Sept. 9, before heading to USC to play the Trojans on Sept. 10. Virginia will close out the trip returning to Long Beach State to take on the 49ers on Sept. 11. All matches are scheduled to begin at 10 p.m. Eastern Time.

Tournament Results
Fri, Sept. 3
Liberty , George Washington 1
Virginia 3, North Florida 0
George Washington 3, North Florida 0
Virginia 3, Liberty 0

Sat, Sept. 4
Liberty 3, North Florida 1
George Washington, Virginia 2

All-Tournament Team
Katie Crosby – George Washington
Katie Zulandt – George Washington
Jade Craycraft – Liberty
Karyl Bacon – Liberty
Paige Pridgeon – North Florida
Simone Asque – Virginia
Jess O’Shoney – Virginia – MVP

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