Virginia Tops George Washington, 3-0
Box Score Aug. 26, 2016
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. – The Virginia volleyball team (2-0) picked up its second sweep of the day after topping George Washington 3-0 (29-27, 25-21, 25-20) on Friday evening in the Cavalier Classic at Memorial Gymnasium.
“This group is a work in progress and we are learning on the fly,” head coach Dennis Hohenshelt said. “I don’t know if we have played like we did today over the last two or three weeks in practice. It has slowly been getting better in training and it was nice to see it come to fruition today. I don’t think the freshmen played like freshmen, and we were hoping that would be the case, so they helped. The seniors showed a lot of great leadership today.”
Virginia hit .238 on the night, while George Washington finished with a .247 hitting percentage. The Cavaliers led in blocks, 8-5, but the Colonials had a 31-25 edge in digs. Virginia also added seven service aces on the night.
Senior Haley Kole (Tallahassee, Fla.) led Virginia with 12 kills, tallying a double-double in both games on Friday. Redshirt freshman Kat Young (Chantilly, Va.) added six kills and three players each had five.
Redshirt junior Meghan McDowell (Clarendon Hills, Ill.) dished out 30 assists on 33 kills for the Cavaliers. Senior Lexi Riccolo (Wheaton, Ill.) and freshman Kelsey Miller (Crestwood, Ky.) each led with nine digs. Freshman Kiley Banker (West Lafayette, Ind.) paced UVA at the net with a career-best six blocks.
It was a close first set, until a 3-0 run pushed George Washington ahead 12-9. The Colonials were still leading 19-15 when Virginia mounted a 7-1 run to go up 22-20. GW fought back to tie the set at 25-25, then the teams saw two more ties before Virginia had a solo block by redshirt junior Alex Thorson (Spring, Texas) followed by a block from McDowell and Banker to take the set 29-27.
The teams continued to battle in the second set with 10 ties and three lead changes. The Cavaliers took advantage of a 3-0 run to stretch their lead to 13-10. UVA held off several runs by George Washington to stay in control, winning 25-21 and taking a 2-0 lead into the break.
UVA came out strong in the third set jumping out to a 9-3 lead capped off by an ace from Riccolo to force a timeout by George Washington. The Colonials pulled within three, 21-18, but Virginia did not cave as it held on for the 25-20 win.
“We are going to have to be a lot better tomorrow because that is a good Northwestern team,” Hohenshelt added. “As I said to the kids, you are not going to have many chances this year to play a Big 10 team so this is our chance to win a Big 10 championship because they could be in a battle at some point for a playoff spot. We are going to come out ready to play and thanks to every that came out to support us today. We definitely appreciate playing in front of our great crowds.”
Virginia will close out its home tournament Saturday night when it hosts Northwestern at 7 p.m. in Memorial Gymnasium.