BLACKSBURG, Va. – All four sets were decided by the minimum two points as Virginia (1-2, 0-2 ACC) dropped a tight 27-25, 29-31, 25-23, 26-24, match to rival Virginia Tech (3-1, 2-1 ACC) on Friday night (Oct. 16) inside Cassell Coliseum.
Grace Turner (Cincinnati, Ohio) led Virginia with 14 kills while Sarah Billiard (Matthews, N.C.) added 10 terminations. Mattison Matthews (Charleston, S.C.) added another nine kills while hitting .500 out of the middle.
Marisa Cerchio paced the Hokies with a match-hit 17 kills while hitting .432. Kaity Smith added 14 kills and Ashley Homan 10 to give Virginia Tech three in double figures.
“I don’t think either team played their best volleyball,” head coach Aaron Smith said. “I definitely think we could have been better – it was a very high-error match for us… We’re down some people, but we were ready to play tonight and didn’t show up in the moments we needed to. It was a tight, hard-fought match and we needed to be one or two points better each set. We’ll be ready to do that on Sunday.”
SET 1: Virginia Tech 27-25
In an error-filled first set, Virginia built an early 10-5 lead off of a slew of Hokie miscues. The Cavaliers held the advantage 15-11 at the media timeout before four-straight UVA misfires tied the match.
From there, the rivals traded points with Virginia reaching set point at 24-23. The Hokies staved off two set points before back-to-back Virginia errors gave Virginia Tech a 27-25 first set.
SET 2: Virginia 31-29
Virginia found its footing offensively, hitting .400 and adding three service aces to build a 15-10 lead midway through the set. The Cavaliers continued to extend the advantage to 19-12 before Virginia Tech rallied once more.
Cerchio recorded back-to-back kills for the Hokies to thwart two set points for Virginia. The teams then battled to a 29-29 deadlock before Christine Jarman (Boynton Beach, Fla.) and Laila Rogers (Rockville, Md.) floored kills to give Virginia the 31-29 set.
SET 3: Virginia Tech 25-23
Turner recorded three early kills while Rogers and Matthews paired together for a rejection to help Virginia open an 8-5 lead. The Hoos were unable to pull away, however, as Virginia Tech drew level at 16-16.
A Billiard kill gave Virginia a late 20-17 lead but, like the first two sets, the Cavaliers were unable to hold the advantage. Virginia Tech used back-to-back kills from Homan to close a 25-23 set and take a 2-1 lead in the match.
SET 4: Virginia Tech 26-24
Virginia Tech jumped to an early 5-2 lead in the fourth frame. The Hokies continued their early success to build a 13-7 lead and force a Virginia timeout. The Cavaliers responded behind a Billiard kill to close within 14-11 after the timeout. The Cavaliers continued to chip away, using a 4-0 run behind kills from Matthews and Turner to take a 21-20 lead.
Once again, Virginia miscues led to the final points as an errant attack and a service ace closed the match for Virginia Tech.
- Virginia committed 32 errors in the loss, its most since 2017
- Alex Spencer (North Canton, Ohio) led the match with 17 digs
- Megan Wilson dished out a season-high 31 assists
- The Cavaliers were aced 11 times in the loss
Virginia and Virginia Tech meet again on Sunday (Oct. 18) in Blacksburg. The match will air on the ACC Network at 5:30 p.m.