CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. – After dropping the first two games, the Virginia volleyball team (9-13, 2-10 ACC) mounted a successful five-set comeback (20-25, 20-25, 25-15, 25-15, 15-11) over Virginia Tech (12-11, 2-10 ACC) in the program’s inaugural match at John Paul Jones Arena Sunday afternoon (Oct. 29). With the win, Virginia extended its lead in the Commonwealth Clash standings, presented by Smithfield, 4.5-0.
A UVA volleyball record 3,162 fans were in attendance for the win.
The Cavaliers were led by middle blockers Abby Tadder (18 kills, .441 hitting percentage, 6 blocks) and Veresia Yon (12 kills, .550 hitting percentage, 9 blocks). Tadder’s 18 kills matched her career high, which she achieved in last year’s five-set win over Florida State. Defensively, Milan Gomillion recorded a match-high 18 digs.
Set 1: Virginia Tech 25, Virginia 20
The opening set saw five early lead changes. The score was tied 7-7 when the Hokies grasped the lead and did not surrender it for the remainder of the frame. Virginia trailed 22-19 late in the game but was unable to spark a run. Tadder and Yon led the Hoos with three kills each in set No. 1. Both teams posted 11 kills, but the Hokies scored nine times off UVA attack errors.
Set 2: Virginia Tech 25, Virginia 20
Despite seven tied scores, Virginia did not lead at any point in set No. 2. The Cavaliers orchestrated a 4-0 run – UVA’s then-largest scoring run of the match – to tie the frame, 12-12. The score was knotted once more [16-16], but the Hokies tallied five straight points to take a commanding lead late in the game. Tech sided out on 16 of UVA’s 21 serves and Cara Lewis put down seven of the eight sets sent in her direction. Once again, Tadder had three kills on five swings.
Set 3: Virginia 25, Virginia Tech 15
Virginia’s offense came alive in the third as the Hoos embarked on an 11-1 run to gain a 15-7 lead. The Cavaliers went on to lead by as many as 11 [23-12] later in the game. Tadder led the charge with six kills on 11 swings, and for the second consecutive set recorded no errors. Ashley Le (24 assists), Yon and Regan Trueblood (20 assists) all dialed up one ace. Yon was also the spark behind the service for the Cavaliers amid the 11-1 scoring run.
Set 4: Virginia 25, Virginia Tech 15
The Hoos orchestrated unanswered runs of seven and five points to run away with game No. 4. UVA held the Hokies to just three kills on 38 swings in the fourth, while the Cavaliers posted 14 kills.
Set 5: Virginia 15, Virginia Tech 11
Tech utilized a 4-0 run to gain a 6-4 lead in the fifth, but the Cavaliers responded with a 5-1 run of their own to flip the score, 9-7. From there, UVA sustained its lead for the rest of the frame to capture the win. Fittingly, Tadder came up with her 18th kill on the final play on a set from Le.
FROM HEAD COACH SHANNON WELLS:
“I’ll start off with so much thanks. To Carla Williams and our administration for making this happen, the numerous amounts of people that go into video, concessions, RMC and security. Where are we going to put our locker room, where’s the visiting team? There’s just so many people [to thank] and all I asked was that this felt like a first-class event, and I think you guys can all agree that it definitely was. It was a really tough match between two gritty teams, fighting for so much more than just a win today. These two up here [Abby Tadder and Veresia Yon] are a huge reason why we’re successful. We keep just talking about getting one percent better every single day and I think that this was a really big step for our program. We believe that this season, we got so much more for this program and we’re excited. This is a big stepping stone for us.”
- With the win, Virginia extended its lead in the Commonwealth Clash standings, presented by Smithfield, 4.5-0.
- Virginia also tied the all-time series with the Hokies, 40-40, and has won the last three meetings in the series.
- A UVA Volleyball record 3,162 fans were in attendance for the win. This broke the previous record of 1,089 set against Virginia Tech on Sept. 27, 2019.
- Sunday’s result marked Virginia’s first reverse sweep of the season and the first five set win since Sept. 5 against Old Dominion.
- Milan Gomillion led all players with 18 digs.
- Abby Tadder tied her career high of 18 kills. Tadder took 34 swings and had only three errors.
- For the second match in a row, Ashley Le (24 assists, 12 digs) and Regan Trueblood (20 assists, 12 digs) each posted double-doubles.
- Tadder led all players with 21.0 points.
- Veresia Yon led all players with 9.0 blocks.
- Four Cavaliers registered double-digit digs (Borum, 15; Gomillion 18; Le, 12; Trueblood, 12).
THE SMITHFIELD COMMONWEALTH CLASH
The Smithfield Commonwealth Clash, originally called the Commonwealth Challenge (2005-2007), has been a part of the UVA-Virginia Tech rivalry since 2014. It is an all-sports, points-based program with the Commonwealth Clash trophy presented to the winning school each year for its dominance in head-to-head competitions. With the win, Virginia increases its lead in the competition to 4.5-0.
The Cavaliers travel to Miami (15-7, 8-4 ACC) on Friday (Nov. 3). First serve is set for 7 p.m. on ACC Network Extra (ACCNX).