Virginia Defeats Eastern Michigan, Marshall Saturday
Box Score Aug. 30, 2014
HUNTINGTON, W.Va.-The Virginia volleyball team improved to 3-0 on the season after defeating Eastern Michigan, 3-1, and Marshall, 3-0, on the final day of the Marshall Thunder Invitational Saturday (Aug. 30). Virginia has won all three matches at its season-opening tournament for the second consecutive season and the for the first time on the road since 2010.
Junior middle hitter Natalie Bausback (Carlsbad, Calif.) was named the tournament MVP, while junior outside hitter Kayla Sears (Moorpark, Calif.) and sophomore defensive specialist Karlie Suber (Mechanicsville, Va.) were also recognized on the all-tournament team.
“It was a good first weekend,” head coach Dennis Hohenshelt said. “I wouldn’t say it was great, because we found some things we can get a lot better at, but we also found we are already better in some areas as compared to last year, especially blocking.
“We were a streaky team; we had some really good plays in a row and then had some bad stretches. When we begin to eliminate having those bad plays in bunches, we can be very dangerous. I like that the student-athletes understand that and that is one of the things we will work on as we get ready for three quality teams coming to Mem Gym next week.”
After dropping the first set against Eastern Michigan, 25-21, the Cavaliers rallied to win the next three, 25-22, 26-24 and 25-22. UVa held the Eagles (2-1) to a .103 hitting percentage and had five players with double-digit digs, including sophomore defensive specialist Lexi Riccolo (Wheaton, Ill.), who recorded a career-high 23 digs.
Sophomore outside hitter Jasmine Burton (White Hills, Calif.) and Sears led the Cavalier attack with 17 and 16 kills, respectively, while Bausback had nine blocks for the second consecutive match. UVa out-blocked EMU, 14-8.
In the last match of the tournament, Virginia swept the host Thundering Herd, 27-25, 25-20 and 28-26. The Cavaliers rallied from early deficits in each of the three sets, including a 7-0 Marshall lead to start the match. Virginia out-hit Marshall (1-2), .202-.127.
Sears led UVa with 13 kills and a career-high eight blocks, double her previous high (four against James Madison in 2012). Bausback hit .500 with eight kills and five more blocks, giving her 23 for the tournament. Junior setter Lauren Fuller (Manhattan Beach, Calif.) dished out 37 assists, while Riccolo led the squad with 11 digs.
Up next, Virginia hosts the Cavalier Classic Sept. 5-6 at Memorial Gymnasium. The Cavaliers face LIU Brooklyn on Friday at 7 p.m., before playing Navy and Alabama on Saturday at 10 a.m. and 7 p.m., respectively.