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Women’s volleyball travels to face NC State, North Carolina

Virginia seeks vital road win to keep season afloat

<p>Junior outside hitter Harley Sebastian recorded a career-high 15 kills in Virginia's loss to Louisville last Sunday.&nbsp;</p>

Junior outside hitter Harley Sebastian recorded a career-high 15 kills in Virginia's loss to Louisville last Sunday. 

Virginia will travel first to Raleigh, N.C. Friday to face NC State and then face off against North Carolina in Chapel Hill, N.C. in search of their first ACC win of the season. 

Virginia (4-13, 0-6 ACC) begins its weekend series against a Wolfpack (11-6, 6-0 ACC) team that has found a system that works. NC State has won seven of their last matches, has swept their last three ACC opponents and will prove to be one of the toughest in-conference opponents for Virginia. In their last match against Duke, the relentless NC State defense was able to disrupt and hold out against the Blue Devils at every key moment of the match, crushing their hopes of gaining momentum in the second set. 

Leading the Wolfpack on offense is senior outside hitter Julia Brown, who was able to contribute 16 kills for NC State. Also contributing to the dominant success on the offensive side of the net is junior setter Kylie Pickrell who finished the match with 43 assists. 

Saturday, the Cavaliers will travel to Chapel Hill to battle the Tar Heels (7-7, 4-2 ACC). The Tar Heels began their season 0-4 but have since been able to get back on track and achieve a 7-7 record. 

In their last match, North Carolina was able to come up with a big win against Wake Forest in a hard-fought match that lasted five sets. North Carolina made the match harder on themselves through many defensive and service errors that made it tough to gather any real momentum against the Demon Deacons. 

North Carolina’s success stemmed from its ability to maintain their composure as a team and convert on key plays in difficult situations. In a contentious third set, the Tar Heels were able to come out ahead — despite six lead changes and 15 tied scores. North Carolina put forward an impressive defensive effort and was able to outblock the Demon Deacons, 15-5. 

Virginia is fresh off of a stinging loss against Louisville last Sunday. Losing 3-1 against the Cardinals, the Cavaliers were unable to capitalize on scoring opportunities and stifled their momentum with 20 unforced errors. 

Leading the Cavaliers on offense was junior outside hitter Harley Sebastian. Sebastian was able to put forward a career-high 15 kills and proved instrumental in keeping Virginia afloat by helping win the third set. Virginia sophomore outside hitter Jelena Novakovic was also able to contribute by adding versatility to the Cavalier offense — finishing with nine kills, 15 digs and three service aces. 

Virginia begins its ACC road series Friday at 7 p.m. in Raleigh, N.C.