The Virginia volleyball team played its second home tournament this weekend at Memorial Gymnasium, hosting Bellarmine and Georgetown on Friday and Fairleigh Dickinson on Saturday to close out the UVA non-conference schedule.
The Cavaliers did not just win. They won convincingly.
The Hoos went undefeated in the tournament, winning each of the three matches without dropping a single set.
Match 1: Virginia defeats Bellarmine 26-24, 25-11, 26-24
UVA started off the weekend with a three-set sweep over Bellarmine on Friday afternoon. Early on in the match, however, it appeared that Bellarmine might take a set off of Virginia, as UVA committed six service errors and the Knights took a 23-21 lead in the first set. The Cavaliers responded with a 5-1 run, however, including three kills by Mary Shaffer, and took the opening set 26-24. Shaffer led the Cavaliers with 14 kills in the match.
The Hoos got off to a much better start in the second set, jumping out to a 16-5 lead. Virginia won four straight points to end the set, including a pair of blocks by Alana Walker to close it out. Walker finished the match with a team-leading 10 blocks.
It looked like Virginia would run away with the third set as the Cavaliers won the first five points and seven of the first eight. But Bellarmine rallied to take the lead and nearly forced a fourth set. The Knights led 23-20 before Virginia took the next three points, two of which were Mary Shaffer kills. Bellarmine won the next point to reach a set point, but UVA responded by winning the next three points, including back-to-back blocks by Alana Walker again to clinch the set, 26-24, and the match, three sets to none.
Brooklyn Borum had 9 kills and Ashley Le recorded 18 assists and 8 digs in the match.
Match 2: Virginia defeats Georgetown 25-11, 25-19, 26-24
The theme in Friday night’s match against Georgetown was energy. The Hoos played in front of a packed house at Mem Gym and the players clearly fed off of the energy delivered by the rowdy fans.
Virginia went on a 14-2 run to start the match, en route to a dominant 25-11 win in the opening set. Mary Shaffer had four of her team-leading 10 kills in the first set.
Georgetown gave UVA a better fight in the second set, but the Cavaliers pulled away and used a 6-1 run to take a 24-16 lead. Grace Turner led the Hoos in the second set, recording four of her nine kills.
The third set was the most competitive of the three. The first half of the set was tightly contested before the Hoyas built a 20-15 lead and appeared on their way to stealing a set from Virginia. Behind a solid defensive effort and a tremendous amount of support from the UVA crowd, the Hoos rallied to tie the set at 22 and went on to win the third set 26-24, and the match, 3-0.
UVA’s setters Ashley Le and Maddie Boylston had 14 and 12 assists, respectively, while Kristen Leland had 13 digs for Virginia.
Match 3: Virginia defeats Fairleigh Dickinson 25-15, 25-20, 25-17
In the final match of the tournament, Virginia handily defeated Fairleigh Dickinson, winning each set by a decent margin.
A 7-0 run in the middle of the first set helped the Cavaliers to a 25-15 opening-set victory. Ashley Le ran the offense very well, recording nine of her team-leading 20 assists in the first set.
In the second set, Fairleigh Dickinson did well to keep up with Virginia and even tied the set at 18-18. Then, UVA won seven of the next nine points to win the set.
The Hoos thoroughly outplayed the Knights in the final set en route to a 25-17 win to clinch the match, completing Virginia’s perfect 9-0 set record in the tournament.
Brooklyn Borum led Virginia in the match with 14 kills.
Mary Shaffer was named Tournament MVP after recording 35 kills and a hitting percentage of .476 over the course of the weekend
With the win, Virginia improves to 7-3 on the season. Shannon Wells has the Cavaliers looking as sharp as they have all season this weekend, just in time for ACC play. UVA opens up its conference slate at NC State on Friday night.