Today, @VBCoachWells announced the signings of Lauryn Bowie (Columbus, Ohio) and Nala Cornegy (Brooklyn, N.Y.) as part of our 2023 signing class!#GoHoos⚔️https://t.co/BpHrXvC5yw
— Virginia Volleyball (@UVAVolleyball) November 10, 2022
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. – After a four-match road swing Virginia (11-14, 3-11 ACC) returns home to host Virginia Tech (11-14, 4-10 ACC) in the Commonwealth Clash, presented by Smithfield, at Memorial Gymnasium on Friday (Nov. 11) at 7 p.m.
Friday’s match will serve as the Cavaliers’ Senior Night. The program will honor Josi Williams, Jayna Francis, Mattison Matthews, Grace Turner and Simone Dominique prior to first serve.
- Friday’s contest is set to stream on ACC Network Extra (ACCNX) through the ESPN app, which is available through participating TV providers that carry ACC Network.
- Live stats will also be available for both matches and can be accessed via the Cavaliers’ schedule page on VirginiaSports.com.
- This weekend is also UVA Volleyball Alumni Weekend.
- The program is expecting approximately 20 former players to return to Grounds, all of whom will be recognized at midcourt in between sets 2 and 3.
- Virginia Tech leads the all-time series, 40-38, but had its three-match win streak over the Cavaliers snapped just two weeks ago on Oct. 28 in Cassell Coliseum. The Hokies are winners of nine of the last 13 matchups in the Commonwealth Clash series, dating back 2015.
- The last two meetings between the in-state rivals have required five sets, including UVA’s 16-14 triumph in the fifth in Blacksburg just two weeks ago. The Cavaliers registered 78 kills in the win, the most by a UVA team in a single match since Oct. 21, 2006 against Georgia Tech. Virginia’s 78 kills stand at No. 5 in program history since the implementation of the rally-scoring format (2001), and is fifth all-time among five-set matches.
- Outside hitter Grace Turner tied her then-career best of 23 kills on a season-high 57 swings. Turner also tallied 15 digs to notch her ninth career double-double and fourth of 2022.
- Simone Dominique posted a career-high 13 kills on 34 swings and setter Gabby Easton dished out 49 assists, her season high, and the most by a UVA player in a single match since 2018.
LAST TIME OUT
- Virginia dropped its pair of ACC road contests at Boston College (19-25, 25-19, 24-26, 25-23, 13-15) on Nov. 4 and at Syracuse (19-25, 11-25, 25-20, 22-25) on Nov. 6.
- For the second year in a row, the Eagles knocked off UVA on their home floor in a five-set showdown. Grace Turner posted a career-high 24 kills by the end of the fourth set, but was held without a kill in the fifth. Middle blocker Veresia Yon notched 11 kills with no attack errors on 14 swings to hit .786, the best hitting percentage by a UVA player in a single match since 2016. For the match, Virginia hit .280, its best hitting percentage in an ACC contest since 2019.
- In the Cavaliers’ four-set loss at Syracuse, the Orange finished with a dozen service aces, second most by a UVA opponent this season, while Virginia had only three. Syracuse also out-blocked the Cavaliers, 9.0 to 1.0, marking the most lopsided performance by UVA this season. For the match, the Orange had just 13 attack errors in contrast to Virginia’s 25. Grace Turner, once again, led UVA with a match-high 16 kills on 45 swings.
COMMONWEALTH CLASH, PRESENTED BY SMITHFIELD
- The rivalry between Virginia and Virginia Tech has a long and storied history dating back more than 125 years within the Commonwealth of Virginia. The Cavaliers and Hokies first faced off on the gridiron in Charlottesville in 1895. First coined the Commonwealth Clash during the 2014-15 season, the rivalry has expanded and intensified across the 22 sports the two institutions face off in head-to-head competition.
- UVA currently leads the Hokies in the 2022-23 Commonwealth Clash standings, 4.0 to 0.5, which includes UVA’s 0.5 points from its win in volleyball two weeks ago. Friday’s contest in Mem Gym will be worth an additional 0.5 points to cap the season series in the sport.
- The Cavaliers are undefeated in all head-to-head meetings against VT this season. The Hokies’ 0.5 points are a result of the two teams tying 3-3 in a women’s soccer match in Blacksburg on Oct. 13.
THE SHANNON WELLS ERA HAS BEEN A BLOCK PARTY
- Since Shannon Wells became Virginia volleyball head coach in 2021, there have been six matches in which the Cavaliers have tallied at least 15.0 blocks, including twice in 2022 against then-No. 10 Pittsburgh (17.5) and Notre Dame (16.0).
- Virginia’s season-high 17.5 blocks against the tenth-ranked Panthers are good for fifth all-time among four-set matches and No. 4 since the implementation of the rally-scoring format (2001).
- In UVA’s sweep over Notre Dame, the Cavaliers registered 16.0 total blocks, good for second most all-time in program history among three-set matches. UVA’s 16.0 blocks also tied for second most by any NCAA Division-I team in a three-set match this season.
- In 2021, Wells’ first season at the helm, Virginia posted four matches with at least 15.0 blocks, including a season-best 20.0 blocks at Boston College (Nov. 26, 2021), which tied for sixth all-time. The Cavaliers also had 18.0 blocks against Clemson (Oct. 10, 2021), 16.5 blocks in UVA’s lone ACC win of the season at North Carolina (Sept. 26, 2021), and 15.5 blocks at NC State (Sept. 24, 2021).
AMAZING GRACE (TURNER)
- Grace Turner has been a workhorse for the Cavaliers this season. Turner has started in all 25 matches and appeared in all 102 possible sets as a six-rotation outside hitter.
- She leads the Cavaliers in kills per set (3.47), aces per set (0.40), points per set (4.12) and total receptions (691). Her 3.47 kills per set are good for ninth in the ACC, while her 0.40 aces per set are fifth and her 4.12 points per set are seventh.
- With six 20-kill performances in 2022, including a career-high 24 kills at Boston College (Nov. 4), Turner is the first UVA player to accomplish that feat since 2010, when Simone Asque, who is the program’s No. 4 leader in kills per set (3.48), posted seven 20-kill outings.
- Turner has also registered back-to-back 20-kill matches twice this season: the first against Charlotte (Sept. 9 & 10) and the second against NC State (Sept. 23) and North Carolina (Sept. 25). She is the first UVA player to notch back-to-back 20-kill performances since 2016.
- Turner also leads the Cavaliers with nine career double-doubles, including four this season.
- Through 25 matches in 2022, Turner has registered 40 aces, which is 13 more than her total for the 2021 season (27), which was a then-career best in a single season.
WHY DON’T YOU JUST MEET ME IN THE MIDDLE
- Middle blockers Abby Tadder and Veresia Yon have been a steady force for Virginia this season.
- Yon leads the Cavaliers in hitting percentage (.359) and is second on the team in blocks per set (0.85). Her 0.85 blocks-per-set average is good for sixth in the ACC.
- Yon registered seven blocks (1 BS, 6 BA) in UVA’s sweep over Notre Dame, when the Cavaliers posted 16.0 total team blocks.
- Yon is a graduate transfer from West Florida, a premier Division-II program, where she was named the 2022 AVCA South Region Player of the Year and a First Team All-American. Yon is currently in her first year of graduate school at UVA, but is set to return for the Cavaliers in 2023 to exhaust her final season of eligibility.
- Tadder leads the Cavaliers in blocks per set (1.06) and is second in hitting percentage (.334).
- Tadder had a career day in the Cavaliers’ win over Florida State (Oct. 14), when she posted a career-high 18 kills and hit .517 (18-3-29). Her 18 kills against the Seminoles are the most by a Cavalier middle blocker since Oct. 18, 2015, when Anna Walsh tallied 20 kills at Syracuse.
- Tadder also led UVA with nine blocks against then-No. 10 Pittsburgh (Sept. 28), which tied for third most by an ACC in a single match this season.
THE ACC: THE NATION’S PREMIER VOLLEYBALL CONFERENCE
- Last season, the Atlantic Coast Conference led all conferences in the nation in both RPI and adjusted RPI.
- For the first time in league history, two ACC teams (Louisville and Pitt) advanced to the NCAA Volleyball Tournament semifinals in 2021.
- In addition to the Cardinals and Panthers, Georgia Tech was also one of three ACC teams to advance to the Elite 8, also a first in ACC history.
- A record-tying six ACC schools made the 2021 NCAA Volleyball Tournament, including No. 1 overall seed Louisville, which won 32 consecutive matches last season.
- This year marks the 44th season of Virginia Volleyball, which held its inaugural season in 1979.
- The Hoos are slated to face four AVCA preseason top-25 teams, including three teams ranked in the top 10, in No. 4 Louisville (Oct. 21), No. 6 Pitt (Sept. 28), at No. 9 Georgia Tech (Oct. 7) and at No. 15 Florida (Aug. 27).
- Virginia’s 2022 schedule consists of seven 2021 NCAA Tournament teams in Florida, Florida State, Georgia Tech, Louisville, Miami, North Carolina and Pittsburgh.
- With a home-and-home series against Virginia Tech, both matches between UVA and the Hokies will be worth 0.5 points toward the Commonwealth Clash standings, presented by Smithfield.
- The Cavaliers will host 14 home matches in 2022.
- For the first time in history, Virginia faced Purdue Fort Wayne (Sept. 3) and Mercer (Sept. 16).