The Virginia volleyball team squares off against conference rivals Clemson and Georgia Tech this weekend with a chance to build up stream heading into the stretch run of the regular season.
"We feel like we're in a situation right now where we have to make some things happen for us," coach Lee Maes said. "[Wins are] not just going to happen because we want them to. That's creating positive plays, creating energy, creating momentum and being able to build on top of that."
Last weekend, Virginia nabbed its second conference victory of the season with a 3-1 road triumph against N.C. State just one day after getting swept by North Carolina in three straight sets.\nAlthough the Cavaliers (8-11, 2-7 ACC) got off on the wrong foot last weekend, Maes felt his squad rebounded nicely with a complete performance against the Wolfpack. Virginia held N.C. State to a paltry .127 hitting percentage during the matchup and blocked 16 shots. Sophomore middle blocker Mallory Woolridge contributed 10 of the Cavaliers' 16 blocks, while senior outside hitter Simone Asque recorded a season-high 23 kills.
"I think it was really indicative of our level of execution," Maes said. "We had a lot more players who stepped up their play ... Jessica O'Shoney and Simone Asque were very good offensively in that match, and when we can have a number of things click at the same time, we were able to package that all together and get a really nice win."
Virginia will try to fire on all cylinders again this weekend against a pair of quality opponents as it tries to collect its first two-win weekend during regular season play.
The Tigers (13-7, 5-4 ACC), who will descend on Memorial Gym tomorrow night, are coming off a pair of tough 3-0 losses against league-leaders Miami and Florida State. Despite falling in back-to-back sweeps, Virginia believes Clemson will provide a stiff challenge, especially up front around the net.
"They're one of the better blocking teams in the country," Maes said. "They have two very good middles, one in particular, [junior] Sandra Adeleye, who's one of the top leaders in the conference in blocking and attacking. She's a very dominant force."
Georgia Tech (11-8, 4-5 ACC), meanwhile, suffered a similar 3-0 defeat at the hands of Florida State but upset No. 23 Miami 3-1 last weekend, proving that the Yellow Jackets are a tough test for any team in the conference. This week at practice, the Cavaliers focused on improving their level of intensity in anticipation of the pesky Yellow Jacket squad.