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CHARLOTTESVILLE – The Virginia volleyball team opens its 2011 campaign with the Marriott Cavalier Classic on Friday (Aug. 26) and Saturday (Aug. 27). The Cavaliers welcome Western Michigan, USC Upstate and Western Carolina to Memorial Gymnasium for the two-day, round robin tournament.

UVa begins its season with a 7 p.m. Friday match against Western Michigan, following the tournament’s opening game, Western Carolina vs. USC Upstate at 4:30 p.m.

Saturday’s full slate of matches includes Western Michigan vs. Western Carolina (11 a.m.), UVa vs. USC Upstate (1 p.m.), Western Michigan vs. USC Upstate (5 p.m.) and UVa vs. Western Carolina (7 p.m.)

Live statistics will be available for all matches of the tournament.

Volleyball season tickets are now on sale. All tickets for the 2011 season are general admission in the bleachers and standing room areas of Memorial Gymnasium. Please note that while entry is guaranteed for all ticketed patrons, the purchase of a season ticket also guarantees a seat in a reserved general admission seating area. All other tickets and admissions are general admission and do not guarantee a seat in the bleachers.

Fans can order season tickets online, in person or by telephone. To purchase tickets online, visit In-person sales can be made at the Virginia Athletics Ticket Office in Bryant Hall at Scott Stadium on weekdays between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. Telephone purchases can be made by calling 1-800-542-UVA1 (8821) or locally at 434-924-UVA1 (8821).

Season tickets for adults are $30, while youth, senior and faculty/staff season tickets are $20. For a single match, general admission tickets are $5 but do not guarantee a seat in the bleachers. Youth, senior and faculty/staff general admission tickets are $4 and group tickets (20 or more) are $3 per ticket. Discounted tickets for active faculty/staff members are limited to two per match.

The Cavaliers finished the 2010 season with a 14-16 record (8-12 ACC) and this year were predicted to finish ninth in the league by a vote of ACC head coaches.

Highlighting the list of returners is senior outside Simone Asque (Chicago, Ill.), who earlier this week was selected to the Preseason All-ACC squad. Asque led the 2010 team by averaging 3.77 kills per set, which ranked third in the ACC.

The senior is climbing up the offensive career charts and enters this season ranked No. 11 all-time at UVa with 1,038 kills.

Friday’s match vs. Western Michigan will feature Asque playing against her younger sister, Gillian.

Junior Jessica O’Shoney (Austin, Texas) returns after earning All-East Region honorable mention honors and a spot on the all-state team (VaSID). In 2010 she was named to the Marriott Cavalier Classic all-tournament team. For the season she averaged 2.25 kills per set and led the team with 118 blocks.

Mallory Woolridge (Glen Allen, Va.) and Beth Wildermuth (San Clemente, Calif.) are also back in the mix for UVa, which hosts its first six matches within the friendly confines of Memorial Gymnasium.

Wildermuth along with senior Hillary Trebels (Arlingon Heights, Ill.) were recently selected as team captains for the 2011 season.

Four newcomers join the Virginia program. The freshman class features Morgan Blair (Morristown, N.J./TCA New Jersey), Tori Janowski (Sterling, Va./Metro America VBC), Sydney Shelton (Stockton, Calif./Rage VBC) and Abbey Welborn (Pasadena, Calif./Club Troy VBC).

Following this weekend’s matches, Virginia hosts the Holiday Inn Jefferson Cup (Sept. 2-3) in Memorial Gymnasium. East Carolina, California and Long Island will be the participants in addition to the ‘Hoos.

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