Watch (Lehigh Match) | Live Stats | Game Notes
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. – Virginia volleyball (5-5) closes non-conference action by hosting the Jefferson Cup on Friday, Sept. 20 and Saturday, Sept. 21 inside Memorial Gymnasium. The Cavaliers will welcome Lehigh (5-6), Elon (4-6) and UNCG (6-5) for the tournament.
Friday, Sept. 20
10 a.m. – Elon vs. Lehigh
3:30 p.m. – UNCG vs. Elon
6:30 p.m. – Virginia vs. Lehigh
Saturday, Sept. 21
10 a.m. – Virginia vs. Elon
12:30 p.m. – Lehigh vs. UNCG
6:30 p.m. – Virginia vs. UNCG
HOW TO FOLLOW
Fans can watch Virginia’s match versus Elon on Friday night on ACCNX, which streams live on WatchESPN and the ESPN app. ACCNX is available through participating TV providers that carry ACCN.
Live stats will be available for all games this weekend on VirginiaSports.com.
Virginia’s meeting with Lehigh will be the fourth in series history on Friday night. The Cavaliers have taken all three previous meetings and have not dropped a set to the Mountain Hawks. The most recent meeting came in 2012.
Virginia and Elon are meeting for the first time since 1981 and just the second time ever. The Cavaliers claimed that meeting 3-1.
The Cavaliers will face UNCG for the first time since 1996 on Saturday. Virginia earned a sweep in that lone previous meeting with the Spartans.
Virginia’s fifth-year right side, Jelena Novakovic (Belgrade, Serbia), has floored eight or more kills in all 10 matches for the Cavaliers this season. She might have produced her best weekend ever as a Cavalier at the Rutgers Invitational. The southpaw went for 17, 14 and 13 kills in the three matches and set a career-high with 21 points against Princeton.
Novakovic is averaging a career-best 3.03 kills per set this season and is the first Cavalier to eclipse 100 kills on the season. Her .240 hitting percentage this season would also set a career high.
MILLER MAKES IT DIFFICULT
Senior libero Kelsey Miller (Crestwood, Ky.) is putting together her best campaign as a Cavalier, averaging a career-best 4.57 digs per set this season. Miller has recorded double-digit digs in 9-of-10 contests, including a season-high 29 digs last weekend against College of Charleston.
Miller ranks third in the ACC in digs per set.
With her 52 digs last weekend, Miller moved into 11th on the all-time digs list at UVA with 1,233 to her credit. She is just 65 digs away from the top 10 and 274 from entering the top five.
HOOS ON THE BLOCK
Virginia currently leads the ACC with 87 blocks this season. The Cavaliers are averaging 2.50 rejections per set, good for second in the league behind No. 21 Florida State.
Virginia has sent back 10 or more opponent attacks on four occasions this season. Milla Ciprian (St. John’s, Fla.) leads the Cavaliers with 45 blocks this season, averaging 1.29 per set. Fellow middle Mattison Matthews (Charleston, S.C.) averages 0.92 blocks per set while Novakovic adds another 0.83.
Novakovic served up a career-high seven aces in Virginia’s win over College of Charleston. The senior floored an eye-popping five aces as part of a 10-0 run to open an 11-1 lead in the first set.
The total is tied for third in program history, as Novakovic became the first to reach seven aces since Kayla Sears’ record-tying nine aces in 2015.
MATTHEWS MAKING MOST OF OPPORTUNITY
Freshman middle blocker Matthews has started each of the past five matches for the Cavaliers and her impact has been immediate. In her first two matches, Matthews hit .458 (13-2-24).
In the past five games, Matthews has floored 28 kills, 1.65 per set, and hit a team-leading .407 since she entered the starting lineup. In addition, she has put up an average of 1.06 blocks per set during the stretch, forming a formidable blocking tandem alongside Ciprian.
Virginia’s homestand continues next week as the Cavaliers open ACC play against No. 6 Pitt (10-0) on Wednesday (Sept. 25). The Cavaliers will then host rival Virginia Tech (6-4) on Friday (Sept. 27) for the first meeting in the Commonwealth Clash this season.