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Virginia volleyball falls to Duke in three sets on Senior Night

The Cavaliers lost the first two sets by a combined three points and ran out of gas in the third

<p>The Cavaliers have one final chance to secure a home victory Wednesday against NC State.</p>

The Cavaliers have one final chance to secure a home victory Wednesday against NC State.

Virginia volleyball hosted Duke Friday for its penultimate home game of the 2023 season. The Cavaliers (10-16, 3-13 ACC) were unable to generate any momentum in a tight first two sets, eventually getting swept by the Blue Devils (18-9, 9-7 ACC). 

Virginia honored six players for Senior Night festivities — outside hitters GG Carvacho and Ciera Hecht, defensive specialist Madison Morey, setter Regan Trueblood, middle blocker Veresia Yon and outside hitter Chloe Wilson.

After a back and forth opening to the first set, the Cavaliers went on a six-point run to lead 18-17. Junior middle blocker Abby Tadder punctuated the run with three straight kills. Duke was able to respond with five kills and an ace and eventually had set point 24-22. A block from Virginia held off the final point but the Blue Devils managed to close out the set 25-23.

The second set mirrored the first as the teams traded points. A Duke run brought the score to 17-12 until the Cavaliers responded with a five-point run to tie the set. From that point on neither team led by more than three. Virginia managed to run the score up to 26-25 but was unable to finish off the Blue Devils and allowed two kills to put Duke back in the running. A Blue Devils block finally ended the set 29-27.

Duke dominated the third and final set of the match. After the Blue Devils went on a 7-1 run to open the set, the Cavaliers tried to respond but were unable to string more than three points together. Another massive run from Duke put the score at 24-10 — match point. Virginia was able to pull themselves out of a hole with four consecutive points but a Blue Devils kill ended the match 25-14. 

Ultimately, a team in the top half of the ACC is still an issue for the Cavaliers, and the 30 total errors from the home squad show that there is still work to be done in cleaning up their play. While the Cavaliers were unable to produce a win on their Senior Night, there is still a lot to celebrate. Attendance was measured at 1,018, the highest of the season in Memorial Gymnasium. Junior outside hitter Brooklyn Borum reached a milestone 500 digs as well. Tadder, Yon and junior setter Ashley Le topped the stat line with 9 kills, 6 blocks and 14 assists respectively. 

Virginia is back in action for their final home match of the season Wednesday against NC State. First serve against the Wolfpack (21-7, 11-6 ACC) is scheduled for 7 p.m. 


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