CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. –Virginia (3-4) was unable to find the crucial points in a 25-23, 25-22, 30-28 loss to Liberty (4-2) on Tuesday (Sept. 10) evening in Memorial Gymnasium.
Senior Jelena Novakovic (Belgrade, Serbia) led Virginia with 10 kills on the night. Liberty was paced by Amelia Johnson who floored 18 kills for the Flames. Casey Goodwin added another 13 kills for Liberty.
SET 1: Liberty 25-23
The match opened with a tight first set, as both teams traded points to a 10-10 score. Liberty scored the next three points, capped by a block, to build a 13-10 lead. The lead held until 22-19, when Virginia mounted a rally.
The Cavaliers used a kill from Jayna Francis (Virginia Beach, Va.) to pull within one at 23-22, but Liberty saw the set out with a kill from Johnson.
SET 2: Liberty 25-22
Johnson recorded seven kills in the middle set to give Liberty the 2-0 lead. After falling behind 15-10, Virginia once again found its way back within a single point. A 3-0 Cavalier run, capped by a Novakovic ace, made it 23-22 Liberty.
Once again, the Flames had the answer with a kill from Johnson and an error to close the set.
SET 3: Liberty 30-28
In a thriller of a final set, Virginia and Liberty played well into extras. Johnson was again key for Liberty, flooring another seven kills. Virginia staved off a pair of match points at 24-22, using a kill from Novakovic and an ace from Milla Ciprian (St. John’s, Fla.) to draw even.
A Mattison Matthews (Charleston, S.C.) kill gave Virginia set point at 27-26, but a service error spoiled the opportunity. A Virginia error at 28-28 was followed by a kill from Goodwin to close the match.
• Virginia middles Ciprian and Matthews each had five kills while hitting a combined .435.
• Junior Christine Jarman (Boynton Beach, Fla.) had a career-high five blocks.
• Matthews also set a career-high in blocks with six rejections.
• Libero Kelsey Miller (Crestwood, Ky.) led all players in the match with 17 digs, averaging nearly six per set.
Virginia heads to the Bobcat Invitational hosted by Ohio on Friday (Sept. 13). The Cavaliers will take on UConn and College of Charleston on Friday before playing host Ohio on Saturday (Sept. 14).