In their first two home matches of the season, the UVA Volleyball team (3-2, 0-0 ACC) went 1-1 in their weekend tournament hosted on September 3rd and 4th.
UVA earned its first home win of the season in a thriller against the Akron Zips (3-2) on Friday the 3rd. Memorial Gymnasium was packed with fans and the Hoos rallied from 1-0 and 2-1 deficits to win the fifth set and earn head coach Shannon Wells’s first home win. The Hoos registered eight hitting errors in the first set and fell 25-16, but then used five blocks in the second set to even the match. It looked like they would take the third set too until Akron pulled away to win 25-22. However, the Cavaliers weren’t finished yet. They dominated set four and hit an astonishing .600 with 13 kills and just one error to bring it to the tiebreaking fifth set. After trailing 8-3, the Hoos executed another comeback to finish with a 15-12 victory. Grace Turner led the Hoos with 17 kills and five blocks. Other standouts include Mary Shaffer (12 kills, six blocks), Alana Walker (10 kills, five blocks), and setter Ashley Le with 39 assists.
On Saturday, September 4th, the Hoos were outmatched by the Winthrop Eagles (3-3) and fell 3-0. The Eagles registered 7 aces in the game and the Hoos didn’t have any aces, and Winthrop outhit UVA .244 to .144. Those key stats made the difference in the contest as Winthrop won with solid leads of 25-18, 25-20, and 25-18. Mary Shaffer and Brooklyn Borum both had 8 kills for UVA, while Nikkia Benitez had 15 kills for Winthrop.
Mary Shaffer and Alana Walker represented the Hoos on the All-Tournament team for the weekend. UVA’s next matches will be against VCU and Ohio St in the VCU Invitational on September 10th and 11th.