CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. – The Virginia volleyball team (0-0) open its 43rd season at the Maryland Invite, beginning Friday (Aug. 27) at 7 p.m., when the Cavaliers take on Maryland at the Xfinity Center. On Saturday, the Cavaliers will face Hofstra (10 a.m.) and Central Connecticut State (4:30 p.m.).
HOW TO FOLLOW THE ACTION
- All three matches are set to stream on B1G Network+, a paid subscription service through Fox Sports.
- Live stats will also be provided for all three matches and links to both the stream and live stats are available at VirginiaSports.com.
- Fans can also get updates by follow Virginia Volleyball’s official Twitter account (@UVAVolleyball).
CAVALIERS WELCOME HEAD COACH SHANNON WELLS
- On April 26, 2021, Virginia Director of Athletics Carla Williams announced the hiring of Shannon Wells as the ninth head volleyball coach in program history.
- Wells came to UVA having spent the last seven seasons at Florida, including the last four seasons in which she served as Associate Head Coach (2017-20).
- While at Florida, Wells guided the Gators to seven consecutive NCAA tournament appearances and achieved a record of 184-33 (.848).
- The Cavaliers will look to the fill the void of four starters lost (Alex Spencer, Christine Jarman, Megan Wilson and Sarah Billiard) from the 2020 season, which bled into the 2021 calendar due to COVID-19.
- This season, Virginia returns three starters in Jayna Francis, Mattison Matthews and Grace Turner.
- The Hoos are slated to face four AVCA preseason top-25 teams in No. 9 Pitt (Sept. 29), No. 13 Louisville (Oct. 22), No. 24 Georgia Tech (Oct. 8) and No. 25 Notre Dame (Oct. 24).
- Virginia won its only two non-conference matchups of the season in sweeps over The Citadel (25-20,25-21, 25-23) and then-first year program Old Dominion (25-14, 25-19, 25-22) in Mem Gym.
- Friday’s season opener against Maryland marks the first matchup between Virginia and the Terrapins since Nov. 30, 2013, which occurred during Maryland’s final season as a member of the ACC.
- The Cavaliers swept Hofstra (Aug. 25, 2017) in their most recent matchup … Virginia is currently riding a two-match winning streak over the Pride, which dates back to Oct. 17, 1992 … Virginia, which is 2-7 in the all-time series, dropped the first seven matchups.
- Virginia’s match against Central Connecticut State marks the first between the two programs.
- The Hoos welcomed five newcomers, including four true freshmen, this offseason.
- Graduate middle blocker Alana Walker was the only transfer Wells and her staff brought in … Walker transferred from Northwestern, where she averaged 1.96 kills per set, hit .268 and averaged 0.78 blocks her set in the last four seasons … Walker is also the daughter of former NBA All-Star Antoine Walker, who won an NCAA Championship at Kentucky and an NBA Championship with the Miami Heat.
- Freshmen Brooklyn Borum, Abby Tadder, Ashley Le and Heyli Velasquez round out the UVA newcomers.