CINCINNATI – After coming up short with match point in set No. 3, Virginia (5-1) posted a dominant performance in the fifth to defeat Eastern Michigan (0-6), 25-19, 25-20, 24-26, 20-25, 15-6, in the final match of the Xavier Tournament at the Cintas Center Saturday afternoon. The Cavaliers hit a whopping .571 in the decisive fifth game, while holding EMU to a -.062 hitting percentage.
With the wins over Xavier, Purdue Fort Wayne and the Eagles, the Cavaliers effectively won the round robin non-conference tournament. Saturday’s win also marked the second day in a row Virginia was victorious in five sets, having mounted a successful five-set comeback over the Musketeers on Friday (Sept. 2).
Madison Morey, Abby Tadder and Grace Turner were named the all-tournament team. For the tournament, Morey led the team in digs per set (4.00) and posted a match-high 19 digs and had three service aces against the Eagles. Turner led Virginia in kills per set (3.31), was fourth on the team in digs per set (2.08) and tied for a team-leading six aces. Tadder led the Hoos in hitting percentage (.436) and blocks per set (1.15) and posted seven total blocks against EMU.
HOW IT HAPPENED
- Virginia pulled away in the latter half of the set thanks to a pair of 3-0 UVA runs, including to end the set. Mary Shaffer tallied five kills on six swings and Morey led the defensive charge with six digs. Setters Ashley Le and Gabby Easton assisted on 15 of UVA’s 17 total kills in set No. 1. The Cavaliers’ defense held EMU to just nine terminations in the first frame, which UVA won, 25-19.
- After trailing 9-6 to open the second, the Cavaliers sparked a 9-1 run to gain a 17-11 advantage. The Eagles would chip away the UVA lead, cutting it to as little as 22-18, but a kill by Shaffer ended the set, 25-20, as UVA led 2-0 led entering the intermission.
- The Eagles went up 20-12 late in the third before UVA made things interesting. A 5-0 UVA run put the Cavaliers within one, 21-20, later in the set. Virginia scored three straight to grasp match point, 24-23, but coming out of an EMU timeout, the Eagles fired off three straight points to prolong the match.
- Virginia never led at any point during set No. 4. After trailing by as many as six (13-7), the Cavaliers tied the frame at 18-18, but EMU scored the final four points of the game to trigger a fifth game after winning the fourth, 25-20.
- It was all Virginia in the fifth, which capped the match by scoring the final five points. The Cavaliers posted three blocks and held EMU to just to just four kills in the final frame. After recording three service errors throughout the match, Morey posted two service aces in the fifth to help seal UVA’s fifth victory of the season.
- With the win, Virginia even the all-time series with Eastern Michigan, 2-2.
- After claiming the first two sets against the Eagles, UVA won its eighth straight set, a streak that began Friday night against Xavier.
- With the win, the Cavaliers improved to 2-0 in five-set matches this season and 4-3 all-time under the direction of head coach Shannon Wells.
- Madison Morey, Abby Tadder and Grace Turner were named to the all-tournament team, which marks the second consecutive weekend that Tadder was recognized.
Virginia kicks off an eight-match homestand with its home opener against Charlotte (4-2) on Friday (Sept. 9) at 7 p.m. UVA and the 49ers will also square off once more in a rematch on Saturday (Sept. 10) at 3 p.m. Both matches are set to stream on ACCNX. Admission to all Virginia volleyball regular-season matches is free to the public.
Grace Turner, Virginia – MVP
Abby Tadder, Virginia
Madison Morey, Virginia
Carrigan O’Reilly, Xavier
Angel Robinson, Xavier
Rachael Crucis , Purdue Fort Wayne