CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. – Virginia (9-15, 1-10 ACC) fell 25-19, 25-17, 26-24 to Duke (10-13, 4-7 ACC) on Friday night (Nov. 1) in Memorial Gymnasium.
Jelena Novakovic (Belgrade, Serbia) led Virginia with 11 kills while hitting .391 in the match. Sarah Billiard (Matthews, N.C.) added 10 terminations and Jennifer Wineholt (San Diego, Calif.) produced eight kills. Wineholt hit a match-leading .421.
Duke was paced by a match-high 12 kills from Ade Owokoniran. Payton Schwantz finished with 11 kills for the Blue Devils while Gracie Johnson added another 10. Duke hit .367 for the match and committed just one unforced error.
SET 1: Duke 25-19
Six Virginia service errors proved costly in the opening set. Both sides produced 12 kills in the frame, but Duke made the most of the Cavalier miscues to control the run of play.
With the Blue Devils leading 11-10, Duke claimed six of the next eight points to build a 17-12 advantage. Johnson had a pair of kills and a block in the run. Virginia chipped away and pulled within three at 21-18 on a Mattison Matthews (Charleston, S.C.) termination. Duke had an answer, however, finishing on a 4-1 run to take the set.
SET 2: Duke 25-17
Owokoniran produced five of her 12 kills in the middle set to lead Duke to a .500 hitting percentage in the frame. A 4-0 Duke run made it 9-5 to open the set and the Blue Devils went on to build a 13-8 lead. Virginia countered in the middle of the set, as a block from Wineholt and Milla Ciprian (St. John’s Fla.) pulled the Cavaliers within 16-14.
Owokoniran and Duke poured it on to finish the frame on a 9-3 run to take a 2-0 lead.
SET 3: Duke 26-24
Duke seemed in control of the final set, building a 19-14 lead behind another Owokoniran termination. The Blue Devils held triple set point at 24-21 before Virginia launched a rally.
Novakovic floored a kill to spark the Cavaliers and Jayna Francis (Virginia Beach, Va.) followed in a long rally to close within one. Wineholt and Matthews teamed up for Virginia’s seventh block of the match to tie the set at 24-24. Samantha Amos put Duke back in front and a tight set at the net led to four touches for Virginia to seal the win for Duke.
• Wineholt’s eight kills are a season high and her .421 hitting percentage is the best since 2016 for the senior.
• Alex Spencer (North Canton, Ohio) led the match with 16 digs.
• Ciprian recorded four blocks and a pair of service aces.
Virginia faces Wake Forest at 2:30 p.m. on Sunday, Nov. 3. The match will be televised on ACC Regional Sports Networks.