Volleyball Wins Season Opener Over LMU, 3-1
Box Score Aug. 28, 2015
LOS ANGELES, Calif. – The Virginia volleyball team opened the 2015 season with a 3-1 win (24-26, 25-23, 25-22, 27-25) over Loyola Marymount on Friday night at the Gersten Pavilion.
“Tonight was a tight match throughout and that was what we expected,” head coach Dennis Hohenshelt said. “LMU plays hard and I felt we would have to match their effort. I believe we did that. We had a great team effort and I am extremely proud of the girls.”
Virginia (1-0) totaled 56 kills on .242 hitting percentage, while holding LMU (0-1) to a .176 attack percentage despite the Lions edging with 57 kills. Three players finished with double-digit kills for the Cavaliers, with senior Kayla Sears (Moorpark, Calif.) earning a team-high 18.
Senior Natalie Bausback (Carlsbad, Calif.) finished with a double-double, recording 10 kills and 11 digs. Freshman Anna Walsh (Grapevine, Texas) tallied 10 kills in her Cavalier debut and sophomore Alex Thorson had a career night with nine kills and six blocks.
Virginia won the battle at the net with 10.5 blocks to six for the Lions and had eight service aces on the night. Junior Lexi Riccolo (Wheaton, Ill.) tallied 18 digs to lead the back row.
The Cavaliers were down early after dropping the first set, 25-22, to LMU. Virginia held a 5-4 lead to start the second set, but the Lions came back with a 6-1 run to take a 10-6 advantage. The Cavaliers would counter with a 7-0 run behind Bausback’s serve to go ahead 14-11.
UVa remained in front and led 20-16 until LMU tied it up 20-20. Back-to-back service aces from Riccolo pushed the lead to 24-22. Sears landed her 10th kill of the match to secure a 25-23 win in the second set and tie the match up at 1-1.
The third set was a battle between the two teams. Virginia took a 12-11 advantage after a kill by Bausback followed by a block from Walsh and Thorson, but neither team led by more than two points. With the set tied 22-22, the Cavaliers forced three-straight errors from the Lions to win the third set, 25-22, and lead the match 2-1.
Down 10-6 in the fourth, Virginia called a timeout that sparked a 4-0 run as the Cavaliers tied it up 10-10. The tight set saw 15 ties and was forced into extra points as the teams were knotted up at 25-25.
Walsh landed her 10th kill of the night to give UVa the advantage, then redshirt sophomore Megan McDowell (Clarendon Hills, Ill.) and Bausback combined for a block to cap off the win in the first match of the season.
“We need to learn from this win and continue to improve as a team,” Hohenshelt remarked. “We have a big match tomorrow against UCLA and we are excited to be challenged again by a good team.”
Virginia will be back in action on Saturday (Aug. 29) at 9 p.m. ET against No. 20 UCLA at the John Wooden Center. The match will air live on the Pac-12 networks.