NEW BRUNSWICK, N.J. – Rutgers (3-3) racked up 13 aces to down Virginia (3-3) in four sets, 24-26, 25-11, 25-16, 25-20, on Saturday (Sept. 6).
Rutgers’ service game also kept the Virginia attack off-balance, as the Cavaliers were held to .171 hitting. Jelena Novakovic (Belgrade, Serbia) led Virginia with 13 kills on the day. Novakovic’s performance over the weekend earned her a spot on the All-Tournament team.
The Scarlet Knights were led by Anastasii Maksimova with 17 kills. Two other Scarlet Knights, Tali Marmen and Kamila Cieslik, added double-digit kills. Marmen finished the day with five aces and Cieslik added four.
SET 1: Virginia 26-24
Three early Virginia errors on the service line helped Rutgers build a 13-11 lead in the opening set. Novakovic recorded a kill and a solo block to spark a 6-0 Virginia run to put the Cavaliers out front 17-13.
The Scarlet Knights slowly chipped away, before a block put Rutgers up 23-22. Virginia would finish strong, scoring four of the next five points to take the set. Mattison Matthews (Charleston, S.C.) was a perfect 5-for-5 in attack, including the set-clinching kill.
SET 2: Rutgers 25-11
Rutgers used three service aces to race out to a 10-5 lead. A fourth Rutgers ace keyed a 5-0 run as the Scarlet Knights built a 15-6 lead. Rutgers never looked back as it cruised to a 25-11 win to tie the match.
SET 3: Rutgers 25-16
Three more Rutgers aces, including a pair by Marmen in the midst of a 4-0 run, led to an 18-11 lead for the Scarlet Knights. After a Virginia timeout, the run continued as Marmen rifled another ace to make it 20-11 Rutgers.
The tough serving also kept Virginia out of system in attack, as the Cavaliers hit just .172 in the set.
SET 4: Rutgers 25-20
With the set tied at 14-14 after a 3-0 Virginia run, Rutgers answered with a 3-0 run of its own. The spurt was capped by Rutgers’ 13th ace of the match. Virginia would get no closer than two the remainder of the way as Rutgers earned a 25-20 win to take the match.
• Novakovic recorded double-digit kills for the third consecutive match.
• Matthews produced her best day as a Cavalier with eight kills while hitting .400 in the middle.
• Milla Ciprian (St. John’s, Fla.) picked up seven block assists to give her 33 total blocks on the season.
• Libero Kelsey Miller (Crestwood, Ky.)  led the match with 15 digs.
Virginia returns home for a Tuesday (Sept. 10) night matchup against Liberty. First serve is set for 6:30 p.m. at Memorial Gymnasium.