Weekend Previews: November 2-4

‘The Skinny’ on weekend action for volleyball, field hockey, women’s soccer and men and women’s swimming and diving

sp-sarahbilliard-courtesyvirginiaathletics

Duke held Virginia sophomore outside hitter Sarah Billiard to single-digit kills in the two teams' matchup last week.

Courtesy Virginia Athletics

Volleyball

What: Virginia (7-15, 3-9 ACC) vs. Clemson (13-12, 4-8 ACC) and Georgia Tech (15-10, 4-8 ACC)

Where: Clemson, S.C. and Atlanta

When: Friday, Nov. 2 at 7:00 p.m. and Sunday, Nov. 4 at 12:00 p.m.

The Skinny: After going 1-1 last weekend, the Virginia volleyball team will finish its road trip against two tough opponents in Clemson and Georgia Tech. Following a winless weekend two weeks ago, the Cavaliers’ woes continued against Duke (13-8, 7-5 ACC) last Friday as the Blue Devils defense locked Virginia down. Duke held Virginia to an abysmal .039 hitting efficiency and recorded nine rejections, holding the Cavaliers’ usual attacking leader sophomore outside hitter Sarah Billiard to single-digit kills. Lacking a legitimate offense and a response to Duke’s attacking depth – six Blue Devils finished with at least five kills, Virginia were outmatched and dropped every set. However, the Cavaliers finished the weekend on a high note, handing Wake Forest (8-16, 3-9 ACC) its fourth consecutive loss with a 3-0 sweep. The Cavaliers dominated every aspect of the game. Defensively, the Demon Deacons were held to .098 hitting as Virginia produced an incredible 13 rejections. On the offensive side, the Cavaliers produced 37 kills on .255 hitting. Moving forward, with conference records of 4-8, Clemson and Georgia Tech are certainly within Virginia’s striking range. However, as both are on win streaks of two, neither will hand the Cavaliers an easy victory. If Virginia can replicate the positives of its game against Wake Forest and minimize the weaknesses that were exposed against Duke, the Cavaliers could make it three wins in a row.

— Compiled by Vignesh Mulay

Field Hockey

What: Virginia (9-8, 2-4 ACC) vs. North Carolina (17-0, 6-0 ACC); ACC Tournament Semifinal 

Where: Chapel Hill, N.C. 

When: Friday, Nov. 2 at 12:00 p.m. 

The Skinny: The Virginia field hockey team has been picking up momentum as the season winds down, and they currently are riding a four-game win streak into the semifinals of the ACC Field Hockey Championships. The Cavaliers will have to face top-ranked North Carolina, who has not lost once this season. When the two teams met earlier in the season, the Tar Heels cruised to a 3-0 win, which sparked a three-game losing streak for the Cavaliers. However, Virginia has been upsetting opponents in their last few games, including giving No. 2 Maryland only their second loss of the season. Most recently, the Cavaliers defeated Boston College 1-0 in the quarterfinal round, with junior Colleen Norair scoring the lone goal of the game. Over the course of this season, Virginia’s offense has been led by freshman Grace Wallis, who has four goals and five assists, and junior Erin Shanahan, who has three goals and three assists. Senior goalkeeper Carrera Lucas has been crucial in the net, with an 0.812 save percentage. The winner will advance to the championship game, which will be held Sunday, Nov. 4 at 1:00 p.m. 

— Compiled by Emma D’Arpino

Women’s Soccer

What: No. 11 Virginia (15-3-0) vs. No. 7 Florida State (13-4-2); ACC Women’s Soccer Championships Semifinals 

Where: Carry, N.C. 

When: Friday, Nov. 2 at 8:00 p.m.

The Skinny: After getting through the quarterfinal round with a 2-1 win, No. 11 Virginia will now take on No. 7 Florida State in the semifinals of the ACC Women’s Soccer Championship. While Virginia enters the game as the three-seed in the tournament and the Seminoles are only the seven-seed, when the two teams clashed just a few weeks ago, Florida State left Charlottesville with a 2-0 win. The Cavaliers will look to avenge that loss Friday night, led by junior Meghan McCool and freshman Alexa Spaanstra on offense. Spaanstra, an All-ACC Third Team and Freshman team selection, has a team-high 20 points off of seven goals and six assists, while McCool leads the team in goals, with eight. Defensively, Virginia has sophomore goalie Laurel Ivory and All-ACC Second Team selection, junior Phoebe McClernon on defense. Florida State’s offense is charged by junior Deyna Castellanos, who has seven goals and six assists and freshman Yujie Zhao, who has six goals and three assists. Both Castellanos and Zhao were All-ACC First Team selections, with Zhao earning the title of the conference’s freshman of the year. In goal, redshirt freshman Brooke Bollinger holds down the fort for the Seminoles, only allowing eight goals all season and positing 10 shutouts. The winner of the match will advance to the final round of the tournament, which will be held Sunday, Nov. 4 at 12 p.m. 

— Compiled by Emma D’Arpino

Swimming and Diving

What: No. 7 Virginia women’s team vs. No. 8 Louisville; No. 16 Virginia men’s team vs. No. 13 Louisville

Where: Louisville, Ky. 

When: Friday, Nov. 2 - Saturday, Nov. 3 

The Skinny: Both the Virginia men's and women's swimming and diving teams are heading to Louisville, Ky., this weekend for a two-day meet against the Louisville Cardinals. This meet marks the fourth dual meet of the season, with the men remaining a perfect 3-0 this season. They’ve beaten Penn State, Pitt and Auburn so far, but they will be the underdog against the Cardinals. Meanwhile, the women enter the meet after falling to No. 17 Auburn. This was the first loss for the women this season, who stand at 2-1 this season. The Cavaliers have quite a few individual performances rank nationally in the top 15 this season, with Morgan Hill, Paige Madden, Megan Moroney, Abby Richter, Kaki Christensen and Julia Menkhaus posting top-15 times for the women.  While the men have Matthew Otto, Keefer Barnum and Zach Fong, who have all recorded nationally ranked swims. 

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