Sept. 22, 2017
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – The Virginia volleyball team (4-8, 0-1 ACC) fell 3-1 (25-22, 25-21, 23-25, 25-14) in the ACC opener at No. 19 Florida State (7-2, 1-0 ACC) on Friday evening at Tully Gymnasium in Tallahassee, Fla.
Sophomore Kiley Banker (West Lafayette, Ind.) sparked the Virginia offense with 14 kills on a .321 hitting percentage, while sophomore Jelena Novakovic (Belgrade, Serbia) added 11 kills. Florida State was led by Milica Kubura with 20 kills.
“The team put forth a strong showing tonight,” head coach Aaron Smith said. “We struggled to slow down Kubura, who is one of the best offensive players in the conference. We were able to execute things offensively that we worked on all week. I was happy to see us get our middle blockers and right side hitters involved in the offense and we will continue doing that as we look forward to Miami on Sunday.”
Freshman Megan Wilson (Brookeville, Md.) finished with five of UVA’s 10 service aces. Banker and sophomore Chino Anukwuem (East Hanover, N.J.) each had two blocks, including the set-winner in the third. Sophomore Kelsey Miller (Crestwood, Ky.) had 12 digs to lead the team.
Virginia hit .242 on the night to Florida State’s .369 attack percentage. The Cavaliers led with 10 aces to six. FSU had the advantage in digs (47-39) and blocks (7-3).
Virginia came out strong with a 5-2 lead in the first set. A kill by Banker followed by an error for the Seminoles put UVA in the lead 8-4. Florida State had a 3-0 run, but a kill by Anukwuem kept UVA in front 9-7. FSU then used another 3-0 run to take the lead, but Virginia responded right back with a run of its own, including back-to-back aces by Wilson, to go ahead 12-10. FSU scored seven of the next eight points to lead 17-13. The Cavaliers cut the lead back to one several times, but the Seminoles took the first set 25-22.
FSU took the early lead in the second set, going up 5-2. The Seminoles continued to lead throughout the set. UVA made it close after being down 22-16, mounting a 4-0 run to cut the lead to two, but FSU held on for the 25-21 win.
In the third set, FSU scored the first three points but Virginia fought back to tie the set up at 5-5 on Wilson’s third ace of the night. The teams traded points until a 4-1 run put Florida State in the lead, 14-10. Virginia responded with a 5-0 run that included two aces and a kill for Wilson to regain the lead, 15-14. There were then five ties as the teams were knotted up 21-21. Kills by Anukwuem and Banker followed by an ace for sophomore Jane Horner (Mission Viejo, Calif.) gave UVA a 24-21 lead. FSU cut it to 24-23, but the Cavaliers held on for the 25-23 win on a block by Banker and Anukwuem to send it to a fourth set.
Virginia had a 2-1 lead in the beginning of the fourth set, but Florida State slowly began to pull away. The Seminoles went on to take the fourth set 25-14 to win the match.
Virginia will remain on the road as it travels to Coral Gables, Fla. to play Miami on Sunday at 1 p.m. in the Knight Complex.