CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. – Virginia (12-18, 4-13 ACC) and its senior class made the final home match of the year a memorable one with a 25-16, 25-19, 25-22 sweep of Boston College (19-10, 10-6 ACC) on Friday night (Nov. 22).
Senior libero Kelsey Miller (Crestwood, Ky.), who suffered a season-ending knee injury on October 4, made one final appearance for Virginia by serving to open the match. The Cavaliers earned the point and opened the frame on a 5-0 run. The emotional start was indicative of the evening to come.
Fellow senior Chino Anukwuem (East Hanover, N.J.) made the most of her final appearance in Memorial Gym, throwing back 10 blocks in the match. The 10 rejections marked a career high and are the second most in Virginia history in a three-set match. Anukwuem added six kills, hitting .417 in the win. A third senior, Jelena Novakovic (Belgrade, Serbia) led the Cavaliers with 11 kills.
Boston College got a match-high 12 kills from Clare Naughton but Virginia’s 16 blocks stymied the Eagles.
SET 1: Virginia 25-16
Miller’s opening serve ended with a block from Novakovic and Anukwuem to send the Cavaliers off and running. Virginia built a 5-0 lead and immediately forced a Boston College timeout. Anukwuem would pair with Sarah Billiard (Matthews, N.C.) for a block to extend the lead to 17-6 as Virginia seized total control of the set.
Novakovic led the frame with four kills while Anukwuem and Milla Ciprian (St. John’s, Fla.) racked up three blocks each.
SET 2: Virginia 25-19
Virginia continued the momentum with another six blocks in the second set. Senior Jennifer Wineholt (San Diego, Calif.), Ciprian and Billiard all produced three kills to lead the Cavaliers.
Trailing 12-11 in the set, Virginia used a block from Anukwuem and Novakovic to spark a 6-0 run. Ciprian and Christine Jarman (Boynton Beach, Fla.) fittingly capped the run with a rejection as well. The Cavaliers never allowed Boston College back into the frame and claimed a 2-0 lead.
SET 3: Virginia 25-22
Novakovic floored five kills and Anukwuem added four in the final set to ensure Virginia earned the sweep over the Eagles. Boston College produced its first substantial threat with a 4-0 run to take a 20-17 lead late in the frame.
After a timeout, Virginia used two blocks and a kill from Anukwuem to knot the score at 20-20. Yet another rejection from Anukwuem and Billiard put Virginia ahead to stay in the 25-22 finale.
• Virginia’s 16 blocks are the second most in a three-set match in school history. The record is 19 set in 2006 against Maryland.
• Anukwuem’s 10 blocks matched a career-high and fell one shy of the individual three-set record at UVA.
• Virginia’s seniors combined for 21 kills and 17 blocks in the victory. Novakovic had 11 kills and four blocks, Anukwuem six kills and 10 blocks, Wineholt four kills and three blocks.
• Libero Alex Spencer (North Canton, Ohio) had a match-high 12 digs.
Virginia concludes the 2019 season at Virginia Tech on Wednesday, Nov. 27.