Virginia Outlasts LSU in Five Sets
Box Score Sept. 2, 2016
BATON ROUGE, La. – The Virginia volleyball team outlasted LSU in a five-set battle 3-2 (25-18, 27-29, 18-25, 25-23, 15-13) on Friday night in the Tiger Classic at the Pete Maravich Center.
Virginia (3-2) was down 2-1 to LSU (2-3) heading into the fourth set. The Cavaliers had to use an 11-3 run to win the fourth set and send it to the tie-breaking fifth. UVA used its momentum to take a big lead in the fifth and hold on for the win.
“After game four I used the term blue-collar because we are the ditch-diggers right now and we are not the Wall Street executives,” head coach Dennis Hohenshelt said. “That win was a pure ditch-digger mentality where you keep grinding and we are down the whole time. That is how this team has to play.”
“The seniors led us really well out there tonight,” Hohenshelt added. “Jennifer set her first full match tonight and did some nice things. I am proud of the way this whole group played tonight.”
Freshman Jennifer Wineholt (San Diego, Calif.) guided the offense for UVA with 45 assists. Freshman Kelsey Miller () tallied three service aces, including two in the fifth set, and added 15 digs. Senior Lexi Riccolo (Wheaton, Ill.) led the UVA defensive unit with 20 digs. Along with Burton at the net, freshman Kiley Banker (West Lafayette, Ind.) had six blocks and redshirt freshman Kat Young (Chantilly, Va.) added five.
UVA finished with 56 kills on .186 hitting, while LSU had 66 kills on a .173 clip. The Cavaliers had the edge in blocks (12-9) and service aces (7-4), and LSU led in digs (78-53).
After going down 3-0 early, the Cavaliers used a 4-1 run to tie the game at 4-4. The teams then traded points with eight ties. A kill from Kole capped off a long rally, then the Cavaliers used a 3-1 run that included an ace from junior Krystal Ejesieme (Garland, Texas) to take a 16-13 lead and force a timeout for LSU. UVA continued to extend its lead and took the first set 25-17. Kole led the Cavaliers with seven kills in the opening set.
Virginia opened up the second set with an 8-4 lead, but LSU climbed back in with a 4-0 run to tie the set at 8-8. After several more ties, the Tigers took their largest lead of the set at 20-17. Sophomore Harley Sebastian (Atlanta, Ga.) landed a kill to spark a 4-1 run for UVA that tied the set at 21-21. It took extra points and five more ties before LSU won the second set 29-27 to tie the match at 1-1.
LSU was out quickly in the third set with a 7-3 lead. Virginia cut the lead to 8-7, but the Tigers stretched their lead back to four at 11-7. Down 21-13, the Cavaliers cut LSU’s lead to five twice but could not get any closer as LSU took the third set 25-18.
The teams continued to play a tight match in the fourth set. LSU pulled away with a 12-8 lead and UVA closed the gap back to one, 12-11. The Tigers stretched their lead once again but UVA closed out the set on an 11-3 run to take the 25-23 win and send the match to a tie-breaking fifth set.
Keeping with the match the teams remained close until back-to-back aces by Miller put UVA ahead 9-7. The Cavaliers then extended their lead, 11-7, on a block by Young and Burton followed by an error for the Tigers. Virginia had to fight off several runs by LSU but held on to take the set 15-13 and win the match.
“If I could press a button I would forget the match this morning, and sometimes that is going to happen with this team,” Hohenshelt stated. “But it happened that we were just really bad. It was bad as a group. It wasn’t just it players, it was the kids on the bench, it was me. We just weren’t sharp and we learned from it. For them to come back and grind like they did, I thought we did some nice things. We will build off of this and come back early tomorrow to play UConn.”
Virginia closes out the Tiger Classic Saturday morning against UConn at 12 p.m. ET/11 a.m. CT at the Pete Maravich Center.