CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. – Sarah Billiard (Matthews, N.C.) piled up a career-high 25 kills to lead Virginia (4-5) to a 25-17, 24-26, 25-19, 25-21, victory over George Mason (2-7) to close the Jefferson Cup on Saturday night.
Billiard and Jelena Novakovic (Belgrade, Serbia), who added nine kills and four aces to the victory, were named to the all-tournament team for the Cavaliers. Billiard is the first Cavalier to eclipse 25 kills since Haley Kole in 2016.
Freshman Milla Ciprian (St. John’s, Fla.) put forth a career-best 10 kills in her first start at Virginia. The middle blocker hit .412, also a collegiate best.
SET 1: Virginia 25, George Mason 17
Virginia held George Mason to .000 hitting in the set and cruised to a 25-17 victory. Billiard floored seven kills in the set while Chino Anukwuem (East Hanover, N.J.) added four more for the Cavaliers.
Kelsey Miller (Crestwood, Ky.) racked up eight of her team-leading 17 digs to highlight the defensive effort. Alex Spencer (North Canton, Ohio) added another eight digs in the set. She finished with 12 digs on the night.
SET 2: George Mason 26, Virginia 24
Five attack errors and a trio of service miscues proved the difference in the second set. Ciprian put three of her four swings to the floor as the Cavaliers hit .343 in the set.
George Mason found its groove offensively, hitting .333 in the frame, led by Peyton Ehmke. The Patriots piled up four service aces to help overcome a 17-12 deficit in kills. George Mason scored the final three points, staving off a set point in the 26-24 Patriot win.
SET 3: Virginia 25, George Mason 19
Billiard hit .556 in the third set, adding six more kills to her career effort. Virginia hit .480 as a team in the frame, while limiting George Mason to a .111 hitting percentage.
A kill followed by an ace from setter Megan Wilson (Brookeville, Md.) built a 10-6 lead for the Cavaliers, but the Patriots reeled off the next four points to tie it at 10. Three kills from Billiard in a four-point span helped Virginia regain control of the set at 18-14. Ciprian would close the frame with her sixth termination of the night.
SET 4: Virginia 25, George Mason 21
Billiard exploded for eight kills in the final frame to ensure the Cavaliers closed it out in four sets. Ciprian added four more kills to her total, helping Virginia hit .393 in the decisive set.
An emphatic block from Anukwuem and Wilson capped the night and a 2-1 weekend for Virginia.
• Novakovic hit .429 in the match with nine kills and four more service aces. The right side had 10 aces over the weekend to earn all-tournament honors.
• Billiard finished the weekend with 55 kills, averaging 4.58 per set while hitting .360.
• Anukwuem finished with eight blocks including a pair of solo rejections, both a season high.
• The Cavaliers recorded 12 blocks for the second time this season.
• Virginia finished the night at .360 in attack, marking the third time in four matches over .300 for the Cavaliers.
JEFFERSON CUP ALL-TOURNAMENT TEAM
Maddy Kline – UNCW (MVP)
Halle Hunt – UNCW
Anna Moss – UNCW
Sarah Billiard – UVA
Jelena Novakovic – UVA
Aleah Hughes – YSU
Kat Santos – GMU