Sept. 16, 2017
ORLANDO, Fla. – The Virginia volleyball team (4-7) fell 3-0 (25-17, 25-14, 25-18) to UCF (7-5) on Saturday afternoon at The Venue at UCF in Orlando, Fla.
Sophomore Jelena Novakovic (Belgrade, Serbia) led the Cavaliers with 12 kills. Freshman Alex Spencer (Canton, Ohio) and redshirt sophomore Kat Young (Chantilly, Va.) each added six kills. Freshman Megan Wilson (Brookeville, Md.) had 31 assists and sophomore Kelsey Miller (Crestwood, Ky.) led the team with 13 digs.
Virginia tied the first set 4-4 after a kill by Novakovic then an ace from Miller. UVA took a 6-5 lead when sophomore Kiley Banker (West Lafayette, Ind.) landed her first kill of the match followed by an error for the Knights. A 3-0 run put the Knights back in the lead 8-6. Virginia cut it to 9-8 with a kill by Spencer, but an 8-3 run gave UCF a 17-11 lead. The teams started trading points when UVA had two-straight to cut the lead to 21-17. UVA had kills by Novakovic and Spencer to hold off set-point, but UCF went on to take the set 25-19.
The Cavaliers fell behind early in the second set, but Novakovic put down a kill then landed an ace and Spencer added a kill to cut UCF’s lead to 6-5. The Knights scored three-straight to extend their lead, but Banker recorded a kill to halt the run and keep UVA close. Virginia was down 12-9, when UCF put together a 4-0 run and went on to take the second set 25-14.
It was close early in the third set, but a 3-0 run put the Knights ahead 9-4 as UVA called timeout. The Cavaliers were down 11-6, before three-straight points that included two kills by sophomore Chino Anukwuem (East Hanover, N.J.) cut the UCF lead to 11-9. Back-to-back kills by Novakovic kept UVA within two, 14-12. The Knights used a 6-1 run to lead 20-13. UVA started a 4-1 run with two kills by junior Harley Sebastian (Atlanta, Ga.) and one from Anukwuem to make it 21-17, but UCF held on to win the set 25-18.
Virginia was out-hit by UCF, .359-.148. UCF had the advantage at the net with 8.0 blocks to 1.0, and edged the Cavaliers in digs, 46-44.
Virginia will begin ACC play next weekend at No. 20 Florida State on Friday, Sept. 22 and Miami on Sunday, Sept. 24.