Virginia volleyball hosted Old Dominion Tuesday for their third home match of the season. After losing the first set, the Cavaliers (4-1, 0-0 ACC) battled hard against the Monarchs (4-3, 0-0 Sun Belt) and fought for a 3-2 win after taking the fifth set in extra points.
Old Dominion took charge of the first set, capitalizing on six attacking errors made by the Virginia offense. Even with 11 kills from the offense, the Cavaliers were unable to take scoring opportunities and turn them into scoring runs — their longest run was only three in comparison to the Monarchs’ five. After trading kills in the closing stages of the first set, Virginia lost the set 16-25.
Going into the second set, the Cavaliers appeared to find their offensive rhythm, as five of their first seven points were kills from four different players. Freshman pin hitter Lauryn Bowie contributed five kills alongside four from junior middle blocker Abby Tadder in the set. Service aces also came into play for Virginia, with two coming from sophomore defensive specialist Kate Johnson. This combination of offensive efforts allowed the Cavaliers to take the second set 25-21.
Virginia had a 9-4 lead early in the third set, but Old Dominion fought back and tied the set 9-9 with a five-point run. A five kill set from Bowie and five major blocks from the Cavaliers kept them in contention, but they were unable to string points together to beat the Monarchs. Old Dominion eventually took advantage of a service error to win the final two points in a 25-21 set victory.
In a must-win fourth set, the Cavaliers turned on the heat with their offense and put up a match high 17 kills for a hitting percentage of .385. Bowie and junior outside hitter Brooklyn Borum contributed five kills apiece, and graduate student middle blocker Veresia Yon pitched in with four. With the stellar performance on the offense, Virginia was able to cruise to a fourth-set victory 25-16, forcing a fifth set for the match.
After a thrilling four sets, the fifth continued the trend and went into additional points to determine the victor. Junior setter Ashley Le — who had a double-double with 45 assists and 13 digs across the game — had three consecutive service aces to begin the set. Old Dominion responded with a three-point run of their own and the teams traded points for most of the set.
At three different points in the fifth set the Cavaliers had to fight on match point for the Monarchs. Kills from Tadder and Yon, as well as a massive block from Yon and Le, kept Virginia in the game. A well-placed serve from Borum was the deciding factor for match point and the Cavaliers took the fifth set 18-16.
Virginia had a lot of standout stats against Old Dominion — Bowie led in kills for the second match in a row with a match high 18, Le set a career and match high in service aces of five and Johnson had a match and career high 20 digs.
The Cavaliers are back in action this weekend in the DMV Invitational. Their three-game weekend starts with a match at Howard Friday at 6 p.m. After that, Virginia makes its way to Baltimore, Md. with a match against Coastal Carolina Saturday at noon, and then concludes the trip with a final match against University of Maryland, Baltimore County Sunday at 1 p.m. The match-up with the Bison (3-3, 0-0 MEAC) will be streamed here and the matches against the Chanticleers (2-4, 0-0 Sun Belt) and the Retrievers (3-2, 0-0 AEC) will be streamed online through America East TV.