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Weekend Previews: Nov. 21-23

“The Skinny” on weekend matchups for women’s basketball, swim & dive, and volleyball

Women’s Basketball

What: Virginia (3-0) vs. Auburn (3-0)

Where: John Paul Jones Arena, Charlottesville, Va.

When: Sunday, 2:00 p.m.

The Skinny: After beating Xavier on the road Thursday night, the Cavaliers improved to 3-0 on the season.

In the 71-62 win, the Cavaliers out-rebounded the Musketeers 44-33, a point of emphasis after their last game. Thirteen of those rebounds came from senior center Sarah Imovbioh, who also added 18 points. Junior guard Faith Randolph contributed 26 points to match her career-high.

Sophomore guard Breyana Mason led the Cavaliers in assists with six in the game. Xavier transfer and former Cavalier, sophomore guard Raeshaun Gaffney, led the Musketeers with 15 points.

The Cavaliers now return to John Paul Jones Arena Sunday to face Auburn, a team that is also 3-0 after home wins against Troy, Grambling State and Florida Gulf Coast. The Tigers blew out Troy, 71-54, and put up 92 points on their way to a 50-point win against Grambling State. They played a much closer game against Florida Gulf Coast Thursday, winning 72-69.

Last season, the Tigers finished 19-15, falling in the third round of the WNIT.

Sophomore guard Brandy Montgomery and senior guard Hasina Muhammad lead the Tigers into Charlottesville. Montgomery was named to the SEC All-Freshman team last year while Muhammad received SEC All-Defensive honors. Montgomery was second on the team in scoring last year as a freshman and has taken the helm now after leading-scorer Tyrese Tanner graduated.

—compiled by Chanhong Luu

Swim and Dive

What: Virginia men and No. 9 women at the Ohio State Invitational (divers only)

Where: Bill and Mae McCorkle Aquatic Pavilion, Columbus, Ohio

When: All day Friday, Saturday and Sunday

The Virginia diving team hopes to make a splash this weekend as it heads to Columbus to participate in the ninth annual Ohio State Swimming and Diving Invitational.

Virginia is one of seven teams taking part in the Invitational, alongside Ohio State, Kentucky, Kenyon, Purdue, Wisconsin and Miami. Like Virginia, Purdue and Miami are sending only their divers to compete in the event. The Buckeyes No. 12 men’s (5-0) and No. 18 women’s (8-0) swimming and diving teams aim to remain unbeaten this season as the men eye their sixth consecutive first-place finish at the Ohio State Invitational.

In its appearance in the Invitational last season, the Virginia women’s swimming and diving team surged to an early first-place lead after the first day of the event. However, Florida eventually overtook the Cavaliers and finished first by a margin of four points, 1,099 to 1,095. The Virginia men’s team finished third in the event with 801.5 points to first-place Ohio State’s 1,137 points.

In the program’s split against NC State last weekend, the women’s swimming and diving team shattered three Aquatic and Fitness Center records in its 188-112 victory against the Wolfpack, while the men’s team suffered its third consecutive loss. Both the men’s and women’s swimming teams are on hiatus until the weekend of Dec. 5-7, when they will take part in the Georgia Fall Invitational.

In the meantime, the Virginia diving teams are looking to represent the Cavaliers well as they aim for high marks this weekend in the Invitational.

—compiled by Chuck Siegel

Volleyball

What: Virginia (15-12, 8-6 ACC) vs. Georgia Tech (12-15, 5-9 ACC); vs. Pittsburgh (21-6, 9-5 ACC)

Where: Memorial Gymnasium, Charlottesville

When: Friday, 7 p.m.; Sunday, 1 p.m.

The Virginia volleyball team looks to get back on the winning track after losing three straight games as it closes out its home schedule this weekend against Georgia Tech and Pittsburgh. Prior to last weekend, the Cavaliers had only lost one game in Memorial Gym, falling to No. 21 Duke. But this past weekend the team suffered a second home loss against in-state rival Virginia Tech.

In the game, the Cavaliers were outplayed by the Hokies from the get-go and were only able to claim the first set thanks to two straight Hokie attack errors. Virginia junior middle hitter Natalie Bausback and senior outside hitter Tori Janowski hit a dismal .056 and -.125. Overall, the Cavaliers were outhit .293 to .145.

Senior middle hitter Morgan Blair was one of the bright spots for the Cavaliers against Virginia Tech. Blair hit eight kills and only three errors on 16 attempts to lead the team with a .312 attack percentage. She, along with Janowski and defensive specialists Abbey Welborn and Sydney Shelton, will play the final home games of their respective careers this weekend.

The Cavaliers will first face Georgia Tech, a team that is 2-8 on the road in coach Michelle Collier’s first season. Offensively, Georgia Tech is led by sophomore outside hitter Teegan Van Gunst, who currently leads the team in kills.

The Cavaliers will then face the Pittsburgh on Senior Day. The Panthers and Cavaliers are battling for the fifth spot in the ACC standings, with Pittsburgh holding the advantage with one more conference win than the Cavaliers — including an upset against Duke earlier this month.

The Panthers are currently second in the league in opponent hitting percentage, assists and kills, and lead the ACC in service aces. They are led by a handful of players who appear in the top 10 in conference individual statistics, most notably junior middle hitter Amanda Orchard, who sits atop of the league in hitting percentage.

—compiled by Chanhong Luu

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