Aug. 25, 2006
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. -
The Virginia volleyball team took game one from 11th-ranked Tennessee, but the Lady Vols rallied to win the next three games for a 3-1 (29-31, 30-15, 30-13, 30-18) victory over the Cavaliers in the season-opener for both teams at the Comcast Lady Vol Classic at Stokely Athletic Center. It marked the first time in the 27-year history of the UVa volleyball program the Cavaliers opened the season against a ranked opponent.
Third-year middle Katie Oakes (Lorton, Va.) paced the Cavaliers with 10 kills, while third-year outside hitter Sarah Kirkwood (Tampa, Fla.) had nine. Kirkwood had her streak of 30 consecutive matches in double digits in kills snapped. Second-year middle Shannon Davis (Austin, Texas) and first-year outside hitter Lauren Dickson (Austin, Texas) both added seven kills. Davis and Oakes also tallied three blocks apiece.
Second-year setter Marlow Bruneau (Lakeville, Minn.) registered her first career double-double with 37 assists and 10 digs, both of which are career highs. She also established a career high with four kills and added a team-best four blocks. Third-year libero Melissa Caldwell (Houston, Texas) led Virginia's defensive effort with 14 digs.
Sarah Blum led Tennessee with 16 kills while hitting .433 and added 11 blocks. Leah Hinkey and Kelsey Fautsch both added 13 kills and Fautsch paced all players with 18 digs. Setter Chelsey Noble handed out 50 assists and added eight digs, four blocks and four kills.
UVa hit just .006 in the match with 43 kills and 42 attack errors, while the Lady Vols managed a .244 hitting percentage with 61 kills and only 23 errors. Tennessee, which advanced to the NCAA Semifinals last season, also held an 18-6 edge in team blocks and an 81-60 advantage in defensive saves. The Lady Vols registered four service aces in the contest, while Virginia had three.
UVa wraps up play in the tournament Saturday with a pair of matches. The Cavaliers play Miami (Ohio) at 10:00 a.m. and Centenary at 5:00 p.m. Miami defeated Centenary 3-0 (30-16, 30-25, 30-14) in the first match of the tournament.