Nov. 19, 2017
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. – The Virginia volleyball team (7-22, 3-15 ACC) fell 3-1 (16-25, 25-18, 25-23, 25-19) to Florida State (17-10, 10-8 ACC) on Sunday afternoon in Memorial Gymnasium.
Virginia won the first set to take the early lead in the match, but Florida State came back to win the next three. The Cavaliers hit .253 on the afternoon, while the Seminoles had a .310 hitting percentage. FSU led in blocks (10.0-6.0), digs (66-63) and aces (2-1).
“This weekend shows that we have a lot of resiliency,” head coach Aaron Smith said. “We have dealt with some injuries and moved people around and the team has responded. I’m proud of this team. We are playing some good volleyball, we just have to string together some consistency. Florida State has a lot of veteran players that have been in 23-23 moments and had to take that big swing. We have to take these lessons and use them in the coming years.”
Four players scored in double-figures, led by freshman Alex Spencer (North Canton, Ohio) with 17 kills. Freshman Sarah Billiard (Matthews, N.C.) had 14 kills, sophomore Chino Anukwuem (East Hanover, N.J.) had 12 kills and sophomore Jennifer Wineholt (San Diego, Calif.) added 10 kills.
Anukwuem led the Cavaliers with a .450 hitting percentage and had a team-high six blocks. Spencer finished with her second-straight double-double with a team-high 17 digs. Sophomore Jane Horner (Mission Viejo, Calif.) had 15 digs and sophomore Kelsey Miller (Crestwood, Ky.) had 12. Freshman Megan Wilson (Brookeville, Md.) dished out 50 assists.
Billiard put down a kill for the first point of the match and Virginia would open up a 6-3 advantage after a 3-0 run capped off by kills for Wineholt and Spencer. Florida State had a 5-1 run to go ahead 8-7. The Cavaliers quickly responded with a 3-0 to lead 10-8 as FSU called timeout. The Seminoles cut it to one twice but UVA extended its lead to 16-11 after a 4-0 run that included two kills by Spencer. Virginia had another 3-0 later in the set, sparked by a kill by WIneholt and finished off with back-to-back kills for Spencer to lead 20-13. A kill by Anukwuem followed by one for Billiard closed out the set for a 25-16 win as UVA to a 1-0 lead.
Both teams traded points to begin the second set with four ties before two-straight points put FSU in front 6-4. The teams battled with the Cavaliers cutting the lead to one several times. Virginia would eventually tie the set 13-13 with a 3-1 run. The Seminoles scored three straight points to go ahead 16-13 and led the remainder of the set to win 25-18.
The Cavaliers were on the board first in the third set with a solo block by Anukwuem. UVA stretched out to a 3-1 lead after Anukwuem combined with Wineholt for a block. Florida State tied the set 3-3 and the teams saw another tie before kills by Wineholt and Spencer put the Cavaliers in front 6-4. FSU tied the set at 7-7 then a 3-0 run gave UVA the edge, 10-7. The Seminoles cut the lead to 11-10 before a 6-1 run gave UVA a 17-11 advantage. FSU had 10-2 run to take a 21-19 lead. Kills by Billiard and Anukwuem tied the set 21-21. Florida State had the advantage twice but UVA responded each time. With the set tied 23-23, FSU scored two straight to take the 25-23 win.
After FSU scored the first two points, Virginia had a 3-0 run with back-to-back kills by Billiard to lead 3-2. Florida State regained the lead with a 4-1 run to go up 6-4. The Seminoles would use a 5-1 run to take a 12-7 lead. Virginia was down 14-9 when it scored five of the next six points to cut it to 15-14. The Cavaliers had back-to-back kills by Spencer to then tie the set 16-16. The teams saw another tie at 18-18 but FSU Scored seven of the final eight points to win 25-19.
Virginia will play at Virginia Tech on Wednesday, Nov. 22 in a Commonwealth Clash match before closing out the season at home against Pitt on Saturday, Nov. 25.