Sept. 15, 2017
ORLANDO, Fla. – The Virginia volleyball team (4-6) fell 3-0 (25-21, 25-17, 25-17) to UCF (6-5) on Friday evening in Orlando, Fla. at The Venue at UCF.
“Our streaky play did us in tonight,” head coach Aaron Smith said. “We played some good volleyball at times, but we need to do it for longer stretches. I am looking forward to the opportunity to play UCF again tomorrow.”
Sophomore Jelena Novakovic (Belgrade, Serbia) led the team with nine kills, while junior Harley Sebastian (Atlanta, Ga.) added six and freshman Alex Spencer (Canton, Ohio) had five. Spencer finished with a team-high 10 digs.
The Cavaliers hit .178 to a .360 hitting percentage for UCF. The Knights led in digs (48-39) and aces (6-5). Both teams finished with four blocks.
Virginia fell behind early in the opening set, but used a 3-0 run to cut UCF’s lead to 9-8. The Cavaliers were down one, but a 6-1 run put UCF in the lead, 16-10. UCF expanded its lead, but a 4-1 run for UVA cut it to 21-19. The Cavaliers got as close as 23-21, but could not get closer as the Knights closed out the first set with a 25-21 win.
After the Knights scored the first two points in the second set, UVA came back to tie it at 3-3 on a block by Spencer and redshirt sophomore Kat Young (Chantilly, Va.). The teams remained close with Virginia down 12-11, but UCF scored six-straight to take an 18-11 advantage. UVA was down 24-14, when a kill by sophomore Chino Anukwuem (East Hanover, N.J.) sparked a 3-0 run for the Cavaliers to hold off set point, but UCF would take the set 25-17.
The Cavaliers scored the first point of the third on a kill by Novakovic, but a 7-1 run put UCF in front. UVA used a 3-0 run to cut it to 8-5. UCF was up 16-11 when Novakovic landed a kill and a service ace then sophomore Kiley Banker (West Lafayette, Ind.) added a kill to cut it to 17-13. UCF remained in the lead and took the win 25-17.
Virginia and UCF will meet again on Saturday for a 1 p.m. opening serve in Orlando, Fla.