AMES, Iowa – The Virginia (0-3) volleyball team closed out the Iowa State Challenge with a 3-1 (25-18, 24-26, 25-12, 25-19) loss at No. 21 Iowa State (2-0) on Saturday morning at Hilton Coliseum.
The Cavaliers fell behind 1-0, but stretched the second set into extra points to tie the match 1-1. After dropping the third set, UVA fought to keep the match alive as it led 18-16 in the fourth. Iowa State won nine of the last 10 points to seal the match. Sarah Billiard (Matthews, N.C.) tallied 19 kills to pace the Cavaliers.
UVA hit .144 while Iowa State had a .286 hitting percentage. Iowa State was strong at the net with 13 total blocks. Grace Lazard had 12 kills with six blocks for the Cyclones. Virginia finished with 4.0 blocks. Iowa State led in kills (52-48), digs (53-50) and service aces (9-3).
After going down 3-1, the Cavaliers battled back with a 3-0 run that included back-to-back blocks. Chino Anukwuem (East Hanover, N.J.) combined with Billiard then Jelana Novakovic (Belgrade, Serbia) to complete the run. UVA went ahead 8-6 on an ace by Anukwuem, but Iowa State took the lead on a 4-0 run. The Cavaliers cut it to four several times down the stretch, but the Cyclones took the set 25-18.
It was a battle from the start. UVA took a 2-0 advantage before Iowa State quickly tied it up. The teams saw nine ties before UVA took a 12-10 lead on a kill by Billiard. The Cavaliers stretched their lead out to 15-12 with kills by Anukwuem and Novakovic. Iowa State fought back to tie it up 15-15. Grace Turner (Cincinnati, Ohio) landed three kills in five points to push UVA ahead 20-16 on a 5-1 run. Iowa State would close the gap with a 4-1 run to tie it up 24-24.
Novakovic notched her sixth kill of the match and Jennifer Wineholt (San Diego, Calif.) capped of the second set with a kill as UVA took the win 26-24 to take the second set and tie the match 1-1.
Iowa State jumped out to a 5-0 lead. The Cavaliers cut it to 10-6 with a 3-1 run, but the Cyclones responded with a 6-0 run and went on to take the third set 25-12. Iowa State hit .511 in the set as the Hoos were unable to gain any momentum.
Virginia was down 5-4 before taking the lead with a 3-0 run. The Cyclones tied the set but kills by Billiard and Novakovic then an ace for Megan Wilson (Brookeville, Md.) gave UVA an 11-8 advantage. The Hoos remained in the lead until the set was tied at 16. UVA lead 18-16 after Billiard put down another kill, but Iowa State scored nine of the next 10 points to take the set 25-19.
• Three Cavaliers – Billiard (19), Novakovic (10) and Turner (10) – each finished with double digit kills.
• Billiard was selected to the All-Tournament Team after finishing with 52 kills on the weekend.
• Libero Kelsey Miller had a team-high 16 digs.
• Anuekwum finished with three blocks and added two aces.
Virginia will begin play in the NIU Invitational on Friday, Aug. 31, taking on Northern Kentucky and Nevada before playing tournament-host Northern Illinois on Saturday, Sept. 1.