Virginia Claims American Classic Title
Box Score Sept. 19, 2015
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. – Trailing 2-0 in the match, the Virginia volleyball team came back to win the next three sets to defeat tournament-host American, 3-2 (20-25, 22-25, 25-19, 25-23, 15-7), on Saturday night in Bender Arena.
“It was a good weekend for us,” head coach Dennis Hohenshelt said. “Even though we were down 2-0, I thought we had done some good things but just did not convert. We grinded and started to make plays and were able to build momentum. One thing this group does is play hard. That effort paid off tonight against a very good American team.”
The win secured the American Classic Tournament title for Virginia, as it improved to 8-3 on the season. Junior Lexi Riccolo (Wheaton, Ill.) was named the tournament MVP and was joined by senior Natalie Bausback (Carlsbad, Calif.) and junior Haley Kole (Tallahassee, Fla.) on the all-tournament team.
Riccolo totaled 47 digs, including a career-high tying 25 against American. She also added six service aces and nine assists in the three matches.
The Cavaliers out-hit American (8-5) with a .315 attack percentage and 73 kills, while allowing just 64 kills on a .259 clip. Virginia also had the advantage with nine service aces to six and 71 digs to 62 for the Eagles. American edged UVa in blocks, 13-12.
Senior Kayla Sears (Moorpark, Calif.) led with 18 kills on the night. Bausback recorded her fourth double-double of the season with a season-high 17 kills and 14 digs. Freshman Anna Walsh notched a career-high 16 kills and Kole added 12.
Senior setter Lauren Fuller (Manhattan Beach, Calif.) recorded a career-high 58 assists to pace the offense. Defensively, Bausback and sophomore Alex Thorson (Spring, Texas) had five blocks apiece and junior Karlie Suber (Mechanicsville, Va.) had 13 digs.
The Cavaliers were leading 13-10 in the first set when American made its charge with a 5-0 run to take a 15-13 lead. Virginia suffered a drought as the Eagles took a 20-14 lead, and American held on to win the first set 25-20.
Tied at 21-21 in the second set, American scored back-to-back points to go up by two. Sears put down a kill out of a timeout, but UVa was unable to get another score as American won 25-22.
The Cavaliers came out strong in the must-win third with a 4-1 lead, and would later use a 7-1 run to go up 18-9. Virginia never trailed as it won, 25-19, to send the match to a fourth set.
It was a set of runs as UVa had the lead early, but a 6-0 run swung the advantage to American, 10-6. The Cavaliers would then use a 7-2 run to regain the lead, 13-12. From there the teams saw seven tie scores. Sears landed back-to-back kills to close out the 25-23 win and send it to a tiebreaking fifth set.
With the momentum in its favor, Virginia jumped out to a 7-3 lead to force an American timeout. The Cavaliers closed out the set on a 6-1 run to win 15-7 and complete the come back.
Virginia will open ACC play on the road next weekend. The Cavaliers travel to Durham, N.C. to face Duke on Friday (Sept. 25) and turnaround to play Wake Forest on Saturday (Sept. 26) in Winston-Salem, N.C.