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CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. – The Virginia volleyball team swept in-state rival Liberty (26-24, 25-20, 25-18) Friday evening in its second match of the 20th annual Holiday Inn Jefferson Cup to move to 5-0 on the season. This marks the first time since 2003 that the Cavaliers have won their first five matches of the season.

“We knew this match was going to be tough,” head coach Lee Maes said. “Liberty is one of the best teams in our region and the coaching staff does a nice job preparing them, so we knew that we had to continue our efficient performance from the first match of the day, which we did. Liberty stressed us a lot with their serve, but we responded well with making a lot of smart shots and our blocking was much improved this evening. I’m happy that we prepared better for two matches in one day and we improved as the match wore on.”

Junior Simone Asque once again led the Cavaliers offensively, knocking down 19 of Virginia’s 43 kills, while sophomore Tobi Farrar led the team in efficiency. Farrar landed five kills on eight swings and committed zero errors.

Defensively, senior Sydney Hill led the charge at the net, recording a season-high six blocks, while sophomore Jessica O’Shoney tallied five blocks.

Senior AJ Cushman picked up a match-high 13 digs, while sophomore Rachel Gray and transfer sophomore Beth Wildermuth each dished out 18 helpers.

For Liberty (3-2), Karyl Bacon led the way with a double-double of 10 kills and 12 digs, while Jade Craycraft dished out 32 assists.

Throughout the match, the first set was evenly contested as it featured 18 tie scores in the frame. Liberty rallied to force extra points, but Virginia capitalized on consecutive kills by junior Tess Udall and Asque to win the set, 26-24.

The Cavaliers and the Flames continued their close play in the second frame, posting 10 tie scores over the course of the set. With the score knotted at 17, Virginia went on a 3-0 run to take the lead 20-17. From there, the Cavaliers held on to take the set, 25-20.

Virginia took an early advantage in the third set, forcing a Liberty timeout at 12-8. The Cavaliers then added to their lead, forcing another Flames timeout with the score at 19-12. UVa and Liberty exchanged points for the remainder of the match, but the Cavaliers held on to a seven-point lead to take the frame 25-18.

In the earlier match this evening, George Washington defeated North Florida, 3-0.

The Cavaliers will be back in action Saturday when they take on George Washington in the final game of the Holiday Inn Jefferson Cup at Memorial Gym at 3 p.m. Liberty and North Florida will start the day with a contest at 1 p.m.

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