Virginia Set For Tough Contests Against Duke and Wake Forest
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. – Fresh off two wins last weekend against Boston College and Maryland, the Virginia volleyball team prepares to face Duke on Friday at 7 p.m., and Wake Forest on Sunday at 1 p.m., in Memorial Gymnasium. Live statistics for both matches will be available at VirginiaSports.com.
Virginia (9-8, 3-4 ACC) enters the weekend led by junior Simone Asque, who tops the ACC with 24 services aces and ranks second in the league with 4.09 kills per set. In conference games, Asque is ranked second with 4.04 kills per set, while freshman McKenzie Adams sits fourth with a 3.46 per game average. Sophomore Jess O’Shoney, ranked second in the ACC in efficiency, contributes to the offense hitting .381 on the year, while she is also fifth in blocks, earning 1.14 per game. Rounding out the ranked Cavaliers is senior AJ Cushman, who sits third in digs per set, at 4.81.
Duke (15-2, 7-0 ACC), the current leader in the ACC standings, holds a 40-13 record against Virginia in the all-time series. At home, UVa is 8-18 against Duke, but the Cavaliers have won six of the last 13 matches in Charlottesville. No one on the Cavaliers’ roster has beaten the Blue Devils, as Virginia’s last win against Duke was on Oct. 7, 2005 in Memorial Gymnasium.
This year, the Blue Devil defense holds opponents to a league-best .144 attack percentage, while Ali McCurdy ranks second in the league with 4.83 digs per set. Christiana Gray leads the way with a .370 attack percentage, while Kellie Catanach is ranked second in the ACC, dishing out 10.84 assists per set.
The Demon Deacons (11-6, 4-3 ACC) currently trail Virginia 20-17 in the series. At home, Virginia dominates the series, 12-4, and has won the last six matches. Wake Forest last win in Charlottesville was on Sept. 26, 2003.
Kadija Fornah leads Wake Forest’s offense, knocking down the third-best ACC mark of 3.51 kills per set, while Andrea Beck leads the team in efficiency. Attacking at a .364 clip, Beck is also ranked eighth in the ACC with 3.20 kills per game. Defensively, Megan Thornberry leads the way with 260 digs, while Carlin Salmon has blocked 62 attacks.
Next weekend, Virginia is on the road visiting NC State on Friday, Oct. 22 at 7 p.m., and North Carolina on Saturday, Oct. 23 at 6 p.m.