BLACKSBURG, Va. – Virginia volleyball (13-18, 5-13 ACC) closed the 2019 season with a 25-17, 25-13, 25-22 sweep of rival Virginia Tech (10-20, 3-14 ACC) on Wednesday (Nov. 27).
With the victory, Virginia sweeps the season series against the Hokies for the first time since 2013. The Cavaliers also earned one-half point in the Commonwealth Clash presented by Virginia529.
Virginia was paced offensively by nine kills from senior Jelena Novakovic (Belgrade, Serbia) and junior Sarah Billiard (Matthews, N.C.). The Cavaliers also clamped down defensively, holding Virginia Tech to .000 hitting. The mark is the lowest hitting percentage by a Virginia foe since the Cavaliers held Rhode Island to negative-.057 in 2012.
Virginia Tech was led by Ester Talamazzi and Marisa Cerchio with six kills each.
SET 1: Virginia 25-17
The Cavaliers used a 4-0 run to build an 11-8 advantage behind a block and kill from Chino Anukwuem (East Hanover, N.J.). After the Hokies closed within 12-11, Virginia used an 8-2 run to open up a 20-13 lead. Virginia closed the set on a 3-0 run to earn a 25-17 victory to open the match.
The Cavaliers held Virginia Tech to just six kills and a negative-.057 hitting percentage in the set.
SET 2: Virginia 25-13
Virginia dominated the second set, stifling Virginia Tech to a negative-.114 hitting percentage in the frame. A pair of Billiard kills highlighted an early 4-0 run for the Cavaliers to build an 8-3 lead. Moments later, Milla Ciprian (St. John’s, Fla.) capped another 4-0 run with an ace to build the advantage to 12-4.
The Cavaliers never looked back, continuing to stretch the lead until Billiard’s fourth kill of the frame sealed the 25-13 win. Defensively, the Cavaliers added three more blocks and forced 10 Hokie hitting errors in the frame.
SET 3: Virginia 25-22
The Cavaliers broke a 6-6 deadlock with a 7-1 spurt featuring two kills each from Billiard, Ciprian and Jennifer Wineholt (San Diego, Calif.). Virginia Tech answered with a 5-0 run to knot the set at 15-15.
After a timeout, Virginia used a 5-1 run regain control of the frame. This time it was Novakovic with a pair of kills to fire the run. After a Billiard kill, she and Anukwuem jumped together for Virginia’s eighth block of the match to seal the sweep.
• Libero Alex Spencer (North Canton, Ohio) racked up a match-high 18 digs.
• Wineholt notched a double-double to end her career, dishing out 20 assists and adding 10 digs.
• Virginia’s 13 wins are the most since 2015 for the Cavaliers.
• Ciprian hit a career-best .778 with seven kills on nine error-free swings.
• Virginia had eight total blocks. Anukwuem, Ciprian and Billiard all had four total blocks.
Wednesday’s match was sponsored by Virginia529, the official college savings plan of University of Virginia Athletics. With Virginia’s victory, the Hoos have earned one-half point in the Commonwealth Clash presented by Virginia529. The score for the Clash is now University of Virginia – 3.0 and Virginia Tech – 2.0. Learn more about Virginia529 and this competition at TheCommmonwealthClash.com.