Nov. 22, 2017
BLACKSBURG, Va. – The Virginia volleyball team (7-23, 3-16 ACC) was edged 3-2 (25-27, 25-19, 13-25, 25-19, 15-10) by Virginia Tech (10-22, 4-15 ACC) on Wednesday afternoon in Cassell Coliseum in Blacksburg, Va.
The Cavaliers battled to a 27-25 win in the opening set, but Virginia Tech tied the match up with a 25-19 win in the second. UVA cruised to a 25-13 win in the third set to take a 2-1 lead, but the Hokies responded once again to send the match to a tie-breaking fifth set. The teams saw six ties but a 5-1 run closed out the win for the Hokies.
“It is a disappointing loss,” head coach Aaron Smith said. “I have to give Virginia Tech credit, they were more consistent and executed in the right moments. We still have one more match on Saturday against a strong Pitt team who has a lot to play for. Our goal is to finish our season with win.”
UVA had three players with double-figure kills, led by sophomore Chino Anukwuem (East Hanover, N.J.) with a career-high 15 kills. Sophomore Jelena Novakovic (Belgrade, Serbia) had 12 kills and freshman Alex Spencer (North Canton, Ohio) added 11 kills. Kaity Smith led Virginia Tech with 21 kills.
Freshman setter Megan Wilson (Brookeville, Md.) had a double-double with 46 assists and 10 digs. Sophomore Kelsey Miller (Crestwood, Ky.) had a team-high 17 digs and Anukwuem led the team with three blocks.
Virginia scored the opening point on a kill by Anukwuem, but Virginia Tech scored the next four points to lead 4-1. The Cavaliers would use a 4-1 run to take a 9-8 lead. With the set tied 11-11 VT had a 3-0 run to take a 14-11 advantage. Virginia stayed close and eventually tied the set 18-18. The teams traded points and the lead the remainder of the set. UVA had a 26-25 advantage on an error by VT and took the win 27-25 on a kill by sophomore Jennifer Wineholt (San Diego, Calif.).
Virginia Tech took the early lead in the second set. The Cavaliers made several runs by the Hokies held the lead and took the win 25-19 to tie the match.
The Cavaliers jumped on the board first in the third set and took a 6-3 lead over VT. The Hokies cut the lead to two, 8-6, before a 5-0 run, that included two aces by Horner, gave UVA a 13-6 advantage. Virginia continued to lead the set and closed out the 25-13 win with six of the last seven points to take a 2-1 lead in the match.
The fourth set was a battle early with four ties scores until UVA took a 7-5 advantage. The Cavaliers were leading 9-7 when a 5-0 run put Virginia Tech ahead 12-9. The Hokies remained in front and went on to take the set 25-19.
Virginia fell behind 3-0 in the fifth set, but a 4-1 run that included two kills by Anukwuem tied the set 4-4. The teams battled again with six ties. It was 9-9 when Virginia Tech had a 5-1 run to clinch the match.
UVA finished with a .230 hitting percentage, while VT hit .261. The Hokies had the edge in blocks (14.0-8.0), digs (61-58) and service aces (8-5).
Today’s game was sponsored by Virginia529, the official college savings plan of University of Virginia Athletics. With Virginia Tech’s victory, the Hokies have earned a half point in the Virginia529 Commonwealth Clash. The score for the Clash is now University of Virginia – 1 and Virginia Tech – 3. Learn more about Virginia529 and this competition at TheCommmonwealthClash.com.
Virginia closes out the season at home, hosting Pittsburgh on Saturday, Nov. 25 at 4 p.m. at Memorial Gymnasium.