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Box Score Sept. 4, 2015

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CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. – The Virginia volleyball team topped VCU, 3-1 (25-20, 25-14,19-25, 25-23), in front of a capacity crowd in its first match of the Fairfield Inn & Suites Cavalier Classic on Friday at Memorial Gymnasium.

“The crowd was unbelievable tonight,” head coach Dennis Hohenshelt said. “They were really into the match. We are very appreciative of all the fans coming, especially the students. They help us win.”

Virginia (2-1) hit over .300 in the first two sets and finished with a .242 hitting percentage to top VCU’s (2-3) .167 on the night. The Cavaliers also topped the Rams in total kills, 54-41, and assists, 49-38. VCU had a slight advantage with 12 blocks to 11.

“I thought the first two games were really good and we executed really well,” Hohenshelt remarked. “We made some unforced errors in the third game that put us in a little bit of a panic mode, but I think we will learn from that. I thought we played hard and gave great effort.”

Senior Natalie Bausback (Carlsbad, Calif.) led the team with a season-high 15 kills and a .414 hitting percentage. Bausback just missed a double-double with nine digs and added six blocks. Junior Haley Kole (Tallahassee, Fla.) recorded 12 kills and senior Kayla Sears (Moorpark, Calif.) notched 11.

Senior Lauren Fuller (Manhattan Beach, Calif.) guided the UVa offense with 45 assists and junior Lexi Riccolo paced the defense with 10 digs, her third-straight match in double figures. Freshman Anna Walsh had a career-high five blocks to help the Cavaliers at the net.

Virginia did not trail VCU in the opening set after taking a 2-1 lead early. The Cavaliers built their largest lead of five with a 6-2 run to close out the set with a 25-20 win. Kole and Sears each tallied five kills and UVa used a .364 hitting percentage in the first set to top the Rams.

VCU scored three-straight points to open the second set, but Virginia countered with a 6-1 run to take a 6-5 lead. The teams traded points back and forth until a 5-1 run put the Cavaliers ahead 13-9 to force a timeout by the Rams. Virginia remained in control for the rest of the set to win 25-14 and head into the break with a 2-0 lead.

The Cavaliers fell behind early in the third set and were unable to regain the lead as VCU went on to win 25-19 to send the match to a fourth set. Virginia jumped out to an 8-3 lead in the fourth, but VCU fought back to tie the match at 17-17.

The teams saw two more ties until UVa stretched out its lead to 22-19 off three-straight points. VCU would tie it up again at 23-23, but a kill from Kole followed by and error for the Rams secured the win for Virginia.

“We talked about steps as a team and one of the tings that we are learning is finishing a match when we are up big,” Hohenshelt said. “I think there are some real positives that we have practiced finishing games with a big lead, now we have to finish one off in three. I think we can be better.”

The Cavaliers will be back in Memorial Gym on Saturday for two matches. UVa hosts Appalachian State in the first match of the day at 10 a.m., then returns to play Iowa State at 7 p.m.

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