The Cavalier Daily
Serving the University Community Since 1890

Cavs look to step up, spike ACC foes

As the Virginia women's volleyball team begins play in the ACC tournament in Tallahassee, Fla., tonight, thoughts of the regular season's missed opportunities and inconsistencies will be left behind. The Cavaliers (7-17, 3-13 ACC) will look to prove themselves on the postseason stage.

Drawing the eighth seed in the tournament after Saturday's loss to Clemson, Virginia's potential path to glory will begin with tonight's play-in match against N.C. State (6-20, 1-15). Although the Cavaliers twice beat the Wolfpack by a score of 3-1 this season, the extra match is yet another obstacle for the team to overcome.

"It's not a good situation, but we'll make a best of it and see what we can do," Virginia coach Melissa Aldrich Shelton said. "Against N.C. State we'll be looking to maintain our ball control and serve tough. They don't really have a hitter or two that we need to worry about, they're more of an even-keel team, so we just need to be able find a rhythm and serve and pass well. We have to worry about our side."

"It's a game that we know we can win, if we just go all out and play like we know we can," senior outside hitter Andrea Fischer said. "We've been improving every single day the second half of the season, so we know that we can take care of them and have a chance against Duke."

Related Links

  • ACC women's volleyball tournament bracket
  • Sophomore outside hitter Paige Davis is confident that the Cavaliers will take their opening match.

    "We're excited that we're playing N.C. State," Davis said. "It's a team that we can beat and that we're going to beat. They're a very good team, it's not to put them down at all, but we've taken them twice and we're going to take them a third time."

    Although Duke (21-3, 13-3), which enters with a five-match winning streak, may seem the strong favorite to carry the tournament, second-seeded UNC (20-7, 12-4) and third-seeded Georgia Tech (18-6, 12-4) - with a four-game winning streak of its own - also have been touted as strong possibilities.

    "Duke has put together a good schedule, [and] their girls have confidence," Aldrich Shelton said. "I would also look at Georgia Tech as a favorite. They've won more of their last matches than UNC, and although I haven't seen UNC in a long time, looking at the results and statistics that we are getting, Georgia Tech is playing really well right now."

    Florida State (15-11, 10-6) finished just behind the Yellow Jackets in fourth place. The Seminoles are led by current ACC player of the week Erica Bunch and will look to capitalize on their home-court advantage. Lucy McDaniel Arena at Tully Gym, where all matches will be played, is known throughout the conference as an extremely tough venue for outside teams.

    The Cavaliers have maintained all year that any team in the ACC can walk away with the conference championship. With one final chance to prove themselves better than their record, the Cavaliers are looking forward to this weekend's games.

    Related Links

  • Official site for Virginia volleyball
  • "We've said all year long that we have so much potential and athletic ability and skills than the other teams but we just don't prove it," senior outside hitter and co-captain Jenny Harmon said. "I think if we go down there to Tallahassee and show our skills and show what we've been talking about and not proving this year then they're going to have to watch out. We can win - it's just a matter of believing in it and proving it on the court"


    Latest Podcast

    Today, we sit down with both the president and treasurer of the Virginia women's club basketball team to discuss everything from making free throws to recent increased viewership in women's basketball.