CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va.—The Virginia volleyball team came from two sets down to defeat Liberty, 3-2, in the final match of the Marriott Cavalier Classic on Saturday (Sept. 15) at Memorial Gymnasium.
“We knew we had some things isolated that we could turn around (after two sets) and we showed some fight,” head coach Dennis Hohenshelt said. “I’m proud of them and wins like this feel great.”
Sophomore Tori Janowski (Sterling, Va.) hit a career-high .524 with 25 kills and 30 assists, while freshman Kayla Sears (Moorpark, Calif.) tallied a season high 18 kills.
“We figured out that we could set the ball behind (to the right side) as the match progressed and obviously Tori and Kayla were the beneficiaries of that,” Hohenshelt said.
“Everything felt right tonight,” Sears said, “and I was connecting with the setters well. We weren’t afraid to go after it because of the energy we played with, so it was easy to go out and play my hardest and do what I needed to do for the team.”
Fellow freshman Natalie Bausback (Carlsbad, Calif.) earned 12 kills and nine digs, while classmate Manon Greskovics-Fuller (Manhattan Beach, Calif.) hit six kills and .400 in her best match as a Cavalier to date.
“Manon played front row in Southern California on a good high school team, so it wasn’t new to her,” Hohenshelt said. “She’s worked hard and she was solid and worked hard tonight. I’m happy for her.”
For the match, Virginia earned 23 more kills than Liberty (70-47), while the Flames led in blocks (13-7) and aces (10-6).
In the first set, Liberty hit .429 with only two errors, while earning four blocks. UVa was held to a .222 hitting percentage and did not tally a block.
After the second set was tied at 18, 19 and 21, Liberty used two Virginia hitting errors and two kills to win the set, 25-23.
In the third set, Liberty had an 18-17 lead, but UVa earned four points in a row to lead, 21-18, and force a LU timeout. Out of the break, Virginia tallied four out of the next five points to win the frame, 25-19.
The fourth set was tied at 20 when Liberty scored three of four points to lead, 23-21. Two Janowski kills tied the set at 23, and a Liberty rotation error followed by a hitting error gave UVa the frame, 25-23.
In the fifth, Liberty cut the lead to 6-5, but Virginia went on a 5-1 run to force a Flame timeout at 11-6. LU would earn the next point, but UVa tallied five of the next six with a Janowski kill finishing the match at 15-8.
Ansley Gebben and Caroline Douglas led the Flames with 15 and 14 kills, respectively.
Up next, the Cavaliers host Miami on Sept. 21 at 7 p.m., and 2011 national semifinalist Florida State on Sept. 22 at 7 p.m.