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CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. – The Virginia volleyball team closed out non-conference play Saturday evening by handily defeating in-state rival George Mason, 3-0 (25-18, 25-14, 25-11), in the final match of the Marriott Cavalier Classic. The win snaps a five-match losing skid for the Cavaliers and improves them to 6-5 on the season, while the Patriots drop to 5-7.

“Tonight, our team did a good job in responding to the disappointing loss we had the night before,” head coach Lee Maes said. “For such a young team, it’s part of the maturation process. It was good to see the level of efficiency that we’ve been striving for every single day. We had a lot of people contribute tonight and it was good to see that we were able to maintain continuity with different players on the floor. Our goal is to continue building upon what we learned this weekend about ourselves. Our players are excited to get back in the gym and get better.”

The Cavaliers had 10 players contribute a kill tonight, led by junior Simone Asque – who knocked down a match-high 13.

Freshman McKenzie Adams also had an impressive evening, landing 11 kills on 18 swings, while committing no errors for a .611 attack percentage, while sophomore Jess O’Shoney had eight kills and a match-high four blocks.

Adams and O’Shoney were named to the all-tournament team for their play. Virginia Tech’s Jennifer Wiker and Felicia Willoughby, George Mason’s Lana Zonjic, Stony Brook’s Ashley Headen and Towson’s Kelsey Hoefler were also named to the all-tournament team.

Midway through tonight’s opening frame, Virginia used an 11-1 run to erase a two-point deficit and take an 18-11 lead over the Patriots. From there, the two squads traded serves, leading the Cavaliers to a 25-18 victory.

Virginia then used nine-straight points to take control of the second frame. With a 19-9 advantage, the Cavaliers cruised to a 25-14 victory.

Virginia clung to another big run in the third set, allowing the Cavaliers to cruise to their match win. Up 8-6, UVa closed the frame by scoring 17 of the final 22 points, earning a 25-11 victory.

Freshman Emily Rottman led the defense, earning a match-high 14 digs, while senior AJ Cushman tacked on 13. Sophomore Beth Wildermuth dished out a match-high 25 assists, while sophomore Rachel Gray had 15.

As a team, Virginia outhit George Mason, landing 52 kills as compared to the Patriots’ 25, while UVa’s defense collected 44 digs and GMU’s had 21. The Cavaliers also struck at a season-best .473 clip, while the defense held George Mason to a .125 attack percentage.

Virginia will look to carry the momentum into the rest of the Atlantic Coast Conference schedule, as the Cavaliers head south to face No. 15 Florida State and Miami next weekend. Opening serve with the Seminoles is slated for Friday, Sept. 24 at 7 p.m., while game time with the Hurricanes is scheduled for Sunday, Sept. 26 at 1 p.m.

All-Tournament Team
Lana Zonjic – George Mason
Ashley Headen – Stony Brook
Kelsey Hoefler – Towson
Jennifer Wilker – Virginia Tech
Felicia Willoughby – Virginia Tech
McKenzie Adams – Virginia
Jess O’Shoney – Virginia

Tournament Results
Fri., Sept. 17:
George Mason 3, Stony Brook 1
Virginia 2, Virginia Tech 3

Sat., Sept. 18
Towson 3, Stony Brook 1
Virginia Tech 3, Towson 0
Virginia 3, George Mason 0

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