Volleyball drops Commonwealth Clash at Virginia Tech

Cavaliers remain winless in conference play

Jelena Novakovic

Junior right side hitter Jelena Novakovic led the team with nine kills Sunday against Virginia Tech. 

Courtesy Virginia Athletics

The Virginia volleyball team finished its ACC road trip Sunday afternoon with another straight-set loss, this time at the hands of Virginia Tech that secured their first win in four games. 

The Cavaliers (4-8, 0-2 ACC) were led by junior right side hitter Jelena Novakovic and freshman middle back Milla Ciprian who led the team in kills (9) and hitting percentage (0.333), respectively. 

Despite these impressive individual performances, the Hokies (10-4, 1-1 ACC) held advantages in kills (47-32) and digs (42-29), as the Cavaliers were outperformed offensively and defensively. 

The two teams struggled in the first set as they both recorded their worst hitting percentages of the day. The Cavaliers, in particular, had 12 attack and service errors, over half of their total for the entire game. In fact, four of the Hokies’ last six points were a result of Virginia’s errors, allowing Virginia Tech to secure the 25-20 victory.

Virginia started the second set well with five kills on its first seven swings, but Virginia Tech held its own and countered with a 6-0 run to push the lead to seven (20-13). Despite the Cavaliers’ resilience to come back and cut the lead to three, the Hokies finished the set, 25-21.

The final set was a close affair, with several lead changes, and neither team ever ahead by more than six points. Towards the end of the set, however, the Hokies pulled away. A kill by sophomore Kai Young led to four consecutive points, allowing Virginia Tech to build a six-point lead and eventually win the set 25-20.

The Hokies’ Commonwealth Clash sweep ended with a kill by senior right-side hitter Jaila Tolbert, who led Virginia Tech’s dynamic attack with 13 kills. This, coupled with Virginia’s defensive struggles — just seven blocks compared to 12 against Pitt — decided the game.

The Cavaliers will next kick off a four-game homestand, as they host Florida State (6-6, 2-0 ACC) Friday before taking on Miami (6-3, 2-0 ACC) Sunday.

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