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Women's volleyball dives into thick of ACC schedule

After Tuesday's narrow defeat of ACC rival Duke, the Virginia women's volleyball team faces two of its toughest conference opponents this weekend at University Hall. The Cavaliers play host to Wake Forest tonight and Florida State tomorrow. Both matches start at 7:30 p.m.

The Cavs (5-6, 1-0 ACC) struggled through the 2000 Bank of Fayetteville Invitational last weekend in Arkansas, losing to Arkansas, Houston and No. 23 Michigan. Against Wake and FSU, they look to maintain the momentum they gained after snapping a four-match losing streak with a marathon 3-2 defeat of the Blue Devils. Virginia coach Melissa Aldrich Shelton recognizes it won't be an easy task.

"The games are gonna be really, really tough," Shelton said. "Wake Forest is returning five starters and they have some big wins under their belt, while Florida State is probably the hardest team in the ACC right now."

Senior middle blocker Deanna Zwarich, who turned in a Virginia record 40 kills in Tuesday's match, is optimistic about the team's performance heading into the weekend.

Related Links
  • Florida's Official Athletic Site
  • Wake Forest's Official Athletic Site
  • Florida State's Official Athletic Site
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    "It will be a confidence booster to go into those games having won [the Duke] game," Zwarich said. "This game should pick up the confidence, especially of the first years, going into the Wake and FSU games."

    Zwarich has been the brightest star thus far for the Cavaliers. She garnered All-Tournament honors not only in the Bank of Fayetteville tourney, but at the Jefferson Cup and the Xavier Invitational as well. Two weeks before her record performance against Duke, she became just the sixth Virginia player to rack up 1,000 career kills.

    The Deacons (9-1, 1-0) head to Charlottesville fresh off a 3-1 defeat of Maryland, their first ACC victory of the 2000 season. Wake allowed the Terrapins 47 points during the match, the most they have given up in a win this year.

    The Deacs were led both offensively and defensively by junior outside hitter Trina Maso de Moya, who had 28 kills, 57 attacks and a match-high 25 digs. Sophomore setter Ashlee Phillips contributed with a career-high 61 assists.

    Wake's only loss this season came Sept. 15 at the hands of eighth-ranked Pepperdine at the University of Florida Invitational Tournament.

    Florida State (11-2, 0-0) opens conference play at Maryland tonight before facing Virginia tomorrow. FSU boasts not only junior middle hitter Norisha Campbell, the ACC Player of the Week, but also senior Jennifer Werrick, who recently reached the 1,000 career kills mark. Werrick is the only senior on the young Seminole squad.

    Florida State easily handled Central Florida Tuesday, defeating the Golden Knights in four games. FSU remains unbeaten against Florida opponents.

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