Virginia Closes Out West Coast Trip With Three-Set Loss to No. 23 Long Beach State
LONG BEACH, Calif. – The Virginia volleyball team saw a tough West Coast trip come to a close Saturday event, dropping a three-set match to No. 23 Long Beach State in the Walter Pyramid by scores of 26-24, 25-16, 25-18.
Virginia (5-4) was led offensively by junior Simone Asque and sophomore Jess O’Shoney, who landed eight and seven kills, respectively. Senior AJ Cushman led the defense with 10 digs, while freshman Emily Rottman contributed eight. At the net, freshman Mallory Woolridge blocked a team-high four attacks.
Long Beach State (6-2) was led by Janisa Johnson’s 16 kills and 10 digs. Caitlin Ledoux and Lauren Minkel also reached double figures in digs, recording 15 and 14, respectively, while Michelle Osunbor had a match-high six blocks.
Sophomores Beth Wildermuth and Rachel Gray shared setting duties, with Wildermuth distributing 16 assists, while Gray dished out 14.
A string of errors at the beginning of the first set saw the Cavaliers fall behind 4-1, but Virginia hung around and eventually managed to even the score at 22-22. The game was again tied at 23, before a kill from the 49ers gave Long Beach State its first set-point opportunity. Virginia fought back, with a kill from Clark, to force extra points, but a kill and block from the 49ers provided LBSU the two-consecutive points it needed to win the set, 26-24.
The opening of the second frame remained tight as well, but the 49ers used a 10-4 run to break open an even 10-10 contest and never looked back. Up 20-14, Long Beach State scored five of the next seven points to earn a 25-16 victory.
Virginia lost momentum toward the end of the third set. Down two, at 19-17, the Cavaliers saw Long Beach State call a timeout. But out of the intermission, the 49ers rallied for four-straight points to take a 23-17 lead, en route to a 25-18 win.
The Cavaliers will return home next weekend to host the Marriott Cavalier Classic. Virginia will open ACC play on Friday, hosting Virginia Tech, before facing George Mason on Saturday. Both matches are scheduled for 7 p.m.