Volleyball suffers defeat against Liberty in straight sets

Cavaliers lose three tightly contested sets to the Flames Tuesday night


Senior right-side hitter Jelena Novakovic led all Virginia players with 10 kills against Liberty.

Courtesy Virginia Athletics

The Virginia volleyball team lost to Liberty in straight sets Tuesday night at Memorial Gymnasium. The final score read 25-23, 25-22, 30-28.

The Cavaliers (3-4, 0-0 ACC) began the first set well, racing out to a quick 4-1 lead. However, the Flames (4-2, 0-0 Atlantic Sun) bounced back and the teams proceeded to trade points until the score was tied at 10-10. 

Liberty then scored three consecutive points to take the lead and hung onto it for the remainder of the set. Virginia was close to tying it multiple times late in the set but was unable to overcome the deficit, allowing Liberty to take the first set 25-23.

The second set was again closely contested at the beginning as neither team could gain a significant lead. However, Liberty went on a run midway through the set and built a five-point lead at 15-10. Virginia made a late rally and cut the deficit to one at 23-22, but Liberty secured the final two points to win the set by a score of 25-22.

The third set was a back-and-forth affair throughout. Liberty had two match points at 24-22, but Virginia saved both of them to stay alive in the match. Afterward, neither team was able to string together two consecutive points until the score was knotted at 28-28. The Flames took advantage of an error by the Cavaliers and scored on the ensuing point to win the set and the match.

Senior right-side hitter Jelena Novakovic paced Virginia with 10 kills, while Liberty’s junior outside hitter Amelia Johnson led all players with 18 of her own. Senior libero Kelsey Miller had the most digs in the match with a total of 17.

Liberty outplayed Virginia on both offense and defense, recording a hitting percentage of .270 and hold Virginia to just .153.

The Cavaliers return to action this weekend when they will participate in the Bobcat Invitational in Athens, Ohio. Virginia will face Connecticut and College of Charleston Friday at 10 a.m. and 5 p.m., respectively, before playing the hosts Ohio Saturday at 2 p.m.

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