GAINESVILLE, Fla. – Abby Tadder (14 kills) and Madison Morey (26 digs) led Virginia in a four-set victory (25-21, 25-14, 15-25, 25-21) over ETSU in the Cavaliers’ season opener at the O’Connell Center in the first match of the Gators Invitational Friday evening. Tadder’s 14 kills and Morey’s 26 digs are career bests.
Tadder finished Friday’s match with a hitting clip of .591 after only committing one attack error on 22 swings. She also tallied five block assists, four digs and added one service ace.
With the win, Virginia (1-0) improved to 27-17 (.614) all-time in season openers and took a 4-3 lead in the all-time series against the Buccaneers (0-1).
HOW IT HAPPENED
- Virginia won the first set 25-21 with the help of six Tadder kills and one ace. The Cavaliers led by as many as seven (23-16) late in the game. Grace Turner shut down ETSU’s 5-1 run with a kill of her own late in the set to give UVA a 1-0 lead heading into the second.
- Chloe Wilson tallied five of her nine kills on the right side in set No. 2, which UVA dominated, 25-14. The Cavaliers led 13-10 midway through the set before tallying six unanswered scores. A kill by GG Carvacho sealed the set and gave the Cavaliers a 2-0 advantage heading into the intermission.
- Coming out of the break, the Bucs leaped out to an 11-5 lead, thanks to five consecutive ETSU points before the Cavaliers signaled for time. Another unanswered run – this one six straight points –was too much for UVA to overcome as the Bucs claimed the set, 25-15.
- The fourth was close throughout, featuring 15 ties and four lead changes. Tadder asserted her dominance, putting down seven of the 10 balls set in her direction. The Bucs broke an 18-18 tie before the Cavaliers scored three straight, prompting an ETSU timeout. The Bucs cut the UVA lead to as little as 21-20 late in the fourth, but the Cavaliers closed out the set and match by claiming four of the last five points up for grabs, which featured back-to-back kills by Turner, who finished the match with 13 kills on 39 swings.
- With the win, Virginia improved to 27-17 (.614) all-time in season openers and took a 4-3 lead in the all-time series against the Bucs.
- UVA hit .277 on 59 kills, 21 errors and 137 total attacks, while the Bucs hit .183 with 44 kills, 18 errors and 143 swings.
- Middle blocker Abby Tadder posted a career-high 14 kills and hit. 591 on 22 swings. She also added five block assists, one service ace and four digs.
- As UVA’s starting libero, Madison Morey’s 26 digs are a career best and the most by a Cavalier in a single match since 2020.
- Setter Ashley Le finished with a team-best 28 assists.
- Middle blocker Mattison Matthews posted a match-high seven blocks, including one solo.
- All five of Virginia’s newcomers in Gabby Easton, Kate Johnson, GG Carvacho, Veresia Yon and Chloe Wilson made their UVA debuts.
- Virginia returns to the O’Connell Center on Saturday (Aug. 27) to face North Florida (10 a.m.) and No. 15 Florida (7:30 p.m.).
- Saturday’s nightcap against the Gators is slated to stream on SEC Network+.