CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. – Virginia volleyball (2-1) split a pair of matches against Loyola (1-2) and Coastal Carolina (3-0) on the final day of the Cavalier Classic.
The Cavaliers swept Loyola in the first match of the day before suffering a sweep at the hands of Coastal Carolina in the nightcap.
VIRGINIA 3, LOYOLA 0
Virginia opened the day with a dominant 25-17, 25-15, 25-20, sweep of Loyola. The Cavaliers hit .300 as a team, led by eight kills from senior Jelena Novakovic (Belgrade, Serbia) and sophomore Milla Ciprian (St. John’s, Fla.).
Novakovic hit .438 while Ciprian finished the match at .462. Sarah Billiard (Matthews, N.C.) added seven kills for the Cavaliers.
SET 1: Virginia 25-17
Virginia used four blocks to stifle the Loyola attack to a -.027 hitting percentage. Three of those four blocks came in the first four points of the set, as the Cavaliers jumped to a 4-0 lead. Novakovic and Ciprian opened the match with a rejection. Ciprian followed with a solo stuff before teaming up with Grace Turner (Cincinnati, Ohio) for the third block.
The hot start continued, as Virginia built an 18-7 lead. Turner recorded four kills to help the Cavaliers cruise to the 25-17 win.
SET 2: Virginia 25-15
Novakovic came alive in the second frame to power another blowout set. The veteran recorded five kills in the frame and added a pair of block assists.
Down 8-6 early in the set, Novakovic and Ciprian sparked a rally with a block. Ciprian then jumped with freshman Jayna Francis (Virginia Beach, Va.) for a second-consecutive rejection to tie the score. It was the beginning of an 11-1 Virginia run to take control of the set.
SET 3: Virginia 25-20
Billiard recorded six of her seven kills in the final frame to help Virginia seal the sweep. As the Cavaliers turned to a youthful lineup in the third, they steadily built a 10-7 advantage.
A 5-2 run helped Virginia pull away in the middle of the frame, ignited by an ace from Novakovic.
• Novakovic recorded three more service aces after having three in the season opener.
• Cirpian recorded six block assists in the match.
• Jennifer Wineholt (San Diego, Calif.) earned her second straight double-double with 12 assists and 10 digs.
• Libero Kelsey Miller (Crestwood, Ky.) led the match with 19 digs.
COASTAL CAROLINA 3, VIRGINIA 0
The Cavaliers fell flat in the closing match of the tournament, as Coastal Carolina cruised to a sweep in 25-18, 25-22, 25-16 fashion.
The Chanticleers hit .330 in the victory, led by Mariia Levanova with 12 kills and Kyla Manning with another 11. Virginia was paced by Jelena Novakovic with eight kills.
SET 1: CCU 25-18
Coastal hit .440 in the opening frame while the Cavaliers committed seven errors and hit just .097. With the frame tied 17-17, the Chants went on a 6-0 run to make the decisive move. Coastal had a pair of blocks in the run.
SET 2: CCU 25-22
Defense was the name of the game in the second set, as both sides hit below .150. Coastal built a lead as laage as 21-14, but the Cavaliers would not go quietly. Virginia used a 6-2 run to close the gap to 23-20. A block by Ciprian and Novakovic spark the rally, which was capped by a kill from freshman Mattison Matthews (Charleston, S.C.).
Coastal had the answer, however, getting a kill from Manning to ice the set.
SET 3: CCU 25-16
Coastal capitalized on its momentum and hit .500 in the third set to close the door on Virginia. A 9-1 Chants run built an insurmountable 11-3 deficit early in the frame.
Mariia Levanova floored six of her 12 kills in the final set.
Kelsey Miller – UVA
Grace Turner – UVA
Katie Forsythe – Loyola
Andrea Aceveda – Furman
Ani Bozdeva – CCU
Lina Perugini – CCU
MVP – Brigitta Petrenko – CCU
Virginia returns to action next weekend at the Rutgers Invitational. Play begins Friday (Sept. 6) when the Cavaliers take on Princeton and Towson.