ATLANTA – In a tight match that saw two sets go to extra points, errors proved the difference as Virginia (7-17, 3-11 ACC) fell 29-31, 25-17, 28-26, 25-20 to Georgia Tech (16-11, 5-9 ACC) on Sunday (Nov. 4) at O’Keefe Gym.
Freshman Grace Turner (Cincinnati, Ohio) led the Cavaliers with 14 kills on the day. She added six digs, four blocks and three aces. Sarah Billiard (Matthews, N.C.) and Alex Spencer (North Canton, Ohio) also joined Turner in double figures with Spencer recording a double-double. Despite the strong offensive performances, Virginia hit just .136 as the Cavaliers committed 30 errors.
Four Yellow Jackets finished with double-digit kills, led by Mikaila Dowd (20) and Mariana Brambilla (12). Both Dowd and Brambilla finished with double-doubles for Georgia Tech.
SET 1: Virginia 31, Georgia Tech 29
Georgia Tech recorded kills on seven of its first 13 swings to build a 13-9 advantage. Brambilla had a trio of kills and an ace in the early run to carry the home squad.
Virginia responded with a 4-0 run, powered by a pair of aces from Turner, to draw even at 14-14. From there, the two teams traded points, going deep into extras as Georgia Tech staved off five Virginia set points. The Cavaliers finally recorded back-to-back kills from Turner and Spencer to take a 31-29 thriller.
The 31-29 victory is the deepest set victory for Virginia since 2014.
SET 2: Georgia Tech 25, Virginia 17
After piling up 22 kills in the opening set, Virginia struggled to find the floor in the early going of the second. Georgia Tech built a 15-12 lead at the media timeout by holding a 9-4 advantage in kills to open the set.
Virginia finished the set hitting .000, with seven kills and seven errors as Georgia Tech pulled away late for a 25-17 victory. Dowd led the Yellow Jackets with seven kills in the set.
SET 3: Georgia Tech 28, Virginia 26
A pair of Georgia Tech blocks helped the Yellow Jackets turn a tied set into a 14-11 lead. The Yellow Jackets would hold the three-point advantage to 21-18 before Virginia rallied back.
Three-straight points, capped by a Spencer kill, brought the Cavaliers even at 21-21. After two-consecutive points for Georgia Tech, Spencer came up big again to draw Virginia level at 23-23.
Virginia earned set point at 26-25, but a Georgia Tech kill and pair of Cavalier miscues gave the Yellow Jackets a 28-26 frame and 2-1 lead.
SET 4: Georgia Tech 25, Virginia 20
Georgia Tech raced out to an 11-6 lead in the closing set and Virginia could never recover. Four service errors and five attack errors plagued the Cavaliers in the final frame. Meanwhile, Georgia Tech hit .289 with 16 kills in the set.
A late Virginia rally brought the Cavaliers within three at 23-20, but a service error halted the comeback.
• Miller’s 33 digs mark the first time a Cavalier has gone over 30 digs since Lexi Riccolo in 2016. The total is also the most by a Cavalier since Emily Rottman racked up 40 in 2012.
• Spencer finished with 10 kills and 10 digs for her second double-double of the season.
• Jelena Novakovic (Belgrade, Serbia) finished the day with eight kills and three aces.
Virginia returns home to open a three-match homestand on Friday (Nov. 9) against Virginia Tech in the Commonwealth Clash presented by Virginia529.