Virginia Opens Five-Match Road Swing at Clemson and Georgia Tech
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. – The Virginia volleyball team will open its five-match road swing to end the regular season this weekend, heading to Clemson and Georgia Tech. The Cavaliers will face the Tigers on Friday at 7 p.m., before taking on the Yellow Jackets Sunday at 1 p.m. Live statistics will be available for both matches at VirginiaSports.com.
Earlier this season, Virginia dropped a four-set match to Georgia Tech in Memorial Gymnasium, before rebounding to down the Tigers in five sets. The win marked the Cavaliers’ first ACC victory of the season. It was also head coach Lee Maes’ first career win over Clemson.
Virginia (13-12, 7-8 ACC) is coming off a 3-0 sweep of Boston College on Senior Day last weekend and has won four of its last six matches. The Cavaliers are led by junior Simone Asque, who brings a career total of 996 kills into this weekend. The outside hitter needs just four more kills to become the 15th player in UVa history to reach the 1,000-career kills plateau.
Asque is ranked second in the ACC and 33rd nationally with 4.05 kills per set this year. She also sits second in the league by averaging 0.33 aces per set. Sophomore Jess O’Shoney joins Asque among the ACC leaders in two statistical categories, as the middle blocker is fourth in hitting percentage (.365) and eighth in blocks per set (1.03). Senior AJ Cushman leads the defense and is ranked second in the league with 4.97 digs per set.
For Clemson (15-11, 6-9 ACC), Sandra Adeleye leads the way with 3.31 kills per set – the fifth-best average in the ACC, while Alexa Rand leads the conference and is sixth nationally, averaging 1.49 blocks per set. Adeleye is also ranked in the ACC in blocking, holding a 1.08 average – good for sixth.
As a team, the Tigers’ defense ranks among the league’s best. Clemson tops the ACC in blocks per set (2.84) and is third in opponent hitting percentage (.184). Cansu Ozdemir leads the back line, averaging 4.32 digs per set, the sixth-best season average in the ACC.
In the all-time series with Clemson, Virginia trails, 36-15. The Cavaliers have only won four matches in Jervey Gymnasium, with the last victory coming on Oct. 21, 2005, when Virginia defeated the Tigers, 3-2.
Georgia Tech enters the weekend with a 16-11 overall record and 9-6 mark in ACC play. Monique Mead leads the league and is ranked 20th nationally in kills per set, averaging 4.31, while Mary Ashley Tippins is ranked third in the ACC and 32nd nationally with 10.94 assists per set. Defensively, Asia Stawicka is second in the league in blocks per set (1.16) and Jordan McCullers is ninth in digs per set (4.01).
In a series that dates back to 1983, the Cavaliers trail the Yellow Jackets, 30-17. Virginia is 8-15 on the road when facing Georgia Tech, but has come out on top in two of the last four meetings.
Virginia will continue its five-match road swing to conclude the regular season next weekend, heading to Wake Forest and Duke. The Cavaliers will play the Demon Deacons Friday and the Blue Devils on Saturday. Both matches are slated to begin at 7 p.m.