In the first official matches of the season, UVA volleyball (2-1, 0-0 ACC) finished 2-1 in a tournament played at the University of Maryland.
On Friday night, the Hoos dropped the opening match 3-1 against the host Maryland Terrapins (1-0). After losing set one by a score of 25-21, UVA was able to hit 0.250 as a team with 11 kills in the second set to even the score. However, the Terps responded to take the final two sets, using 11 total blocks to lead them to victory, 7 of which came from Rainelle Jones. Sam Csire led Maryland with 13 kills, Sydney Dowler had 36 assists, and Milian Gomillion had an impressive 25 digs in the match. For the Hoos, Grace Turner led the way with 13 kills and 4 blocks, and setters Ashley Le and Hannah Predergast had 19 and 11 assists apiece.
Saturday proved to be a better day for UVA, as the team came out strong with a 3-0 win over the Hofstra Pride (0-1). The Hoos dominated the first two sets 25-16 and 25-14, and prevailed in a closer third set by a score of 25-22. After hitting an amazing 0.348 in the first set with 11 kills and just 3 errors, UVA cooled off a bit and wound up hitting a respectable 0.253 as a team compared to Hofstra’s 0.118. Grace Turner registered 11 kills and 5 aces for UVA to lead the team. On defense, Alana Walker and Mary Shaffer had 7 and 6 blocks each and Kristen Leland earned 11 digs. In addition to the higher hitting percentage, UVA also out-served the Pride with 10 aces to their 4.
The final game of the tournament also ended in favor of the Hoos, as they defeated Central Connecticut State Blue Devils (0-2) three sets to one. The offense was slow in this game because the Blue Devils hit just 0.074 and the Cavaliers hit 0.139, with 64 combined hitting errors. UVA won the first two sets 25-23 and 25-21, then Hofstra won 27-25, and finally the Hoos pulled out the win in set four after winning 25-20. UVA used a three-pronged attack of Alana Walker, Grace Turner, and Mary Shaffer, and all three players finished with 11 kills. Walker hit 0.526 and also registered 7 blocks in a standout performance. Setter Ashley Le stepped up with 25 assists and libero Kristen Leland had a career high 23 digs in the match.
After a solid start to the season, UVA will return to Charlottesville to take on Akron and Winthrop on September 3rd and 4th.