Oct. 29, 2017
SYRACUSE, N.Y. – The Virginia volleyball team (5-18, 1-11 ACC) fell 3-0 (25-17, 25-19, 25-21) to Syracuse (17-8, 9-3 ACC) on Sunday afternoon at the Women’s Building in Syracuse, N.Y.
“Syracuse’s block really kept us out of rhythm offensively,” head coach Aaron Smith said. “We had chances in all three sets to make runs, but just could not capitalize. The team continues to work and I know that will lead us to results as long as we maintain that mentality.”
Sophomore Jelena Novakovic (Belgrade, Serbia) led Virginia with nine kills. Freshman Alex Spencer (Canton, Ohio) and sophomore Chino Anukwuem (East Hanover, N.J.) each added six kills. Anukwuem had a .455 hitting percentage and added a team-high three blocks. Anastasia Gorelina led Syracuse with 13 kills.
Virginia was out-hit by Syracuse, .297-.110. The Cavaliers trailed the Orange in digs (35-34), blocks (11-4) and aces (5-1).
Virginia scored the first point of the match on a kill by redshirt sophomore Kat Young (Chantilly, Va.) as the teams battled back-and-forth to begin the set. With UVA down 10-9, Syracuse used a 4-1 run to take a 14-10 lead. A kill by Anukwuem made it 14-11, but the Orange scored four of the next five points to lead 18-12. The Cavaliers cut it to 22-17 with a Novakovic kill, but Syracuse scored three-straight to take the first set 25-17.
The Orange took a 5-1 lead early in the second set, but Virginia battled back with an 8-1 run to go ahead 11-7. Syracuse scored three-straight to cut it to 11-10 but a kill by junior Harley Sebastian (Atlanta, Ga.) halted the run and kept UVA in the lead, 12-10. Syracuse would tie it up at 12-12 as the teams began trading points and the lead with UVA going in front twice on kills by freshman Sarah Billiard (Matthews, N.C.). With the set tied 15-15, the Orange scored three-straight to take an 18-15 lead. Syracuse went on to win the second set 25-19.
UVA fell behind 7-2 in the third set and was down 11-4 when it used a 4-0 run to cut Syracuse’s lead to 11-8. The teams traded points as UVA cut the lead to three several times. Virginia was down 20-17 when it scored three-straight points with a kill by Billiard and an ace for freshman Megan Wilson (Brookeville, Md.) to make it 20-19. The Cavaliers were within one again, 21-20, on a kill by Young and an error for Syracuse tied the set 21-21. Syracuse scored the last four points to win 25-21 and clinch the match.
Virginia will return home next weekend to host Clemson on Friday, Nov. 3 and Georgia Tech on Saturday, Nov. 4 at Memorial Gymnasium.