Oct. 27, 2006
CHAPEL HILL, N.C. - After letting a 2-0 lead slip away to North Carolina last season, the Virginia volleyball team found itself in a similar situation Friday evening (Oct. 27), but this time the Cavaliers prevailed with a 3-2 (30-28, 30-25, 28-30, 21-30, 15-13) victory over UNC at Carmichael Auditorium. The victory is UVa's third consecutive as it improves to 16-6 overall and 9-4 in the Atlantic Coast Conference. The Tar Heels fall to 6-16 overall and 4-9 in the ACC.
With the victory, Virginia earned its first season sweep over the Tar Heels since the 1993 season when UVa took a pair of 3-1 decisions. Fourth-year setter Emily Kirkwood (Tampa, Fla.) reached an individual milestone for the Cavaliers as she became the 10th ACC volleyball player to surpass the 5,000-career assist milestone. Kirkwood tallied 66 assists in the contest and now has 5,023 in her career. She is second on UVa's all-time assists list. Kirkwood also moved within one service ace of tying Andrea's Fischer's (1997-99, 2001) UVa school record of 154. Kirkwood tallied three aces in the match to raise her career total to 153.
Third-year outside hitter Sarah Kirkwood (Tampa, Fla.) and third-year middle Katie Oakes (Lorton, Va.) both totaled 17 kills to lead UVa's offense. Both players played key roles on the defensive end as Kirkwood shattered her career high with 32 digs for her 10th double-double of the season, and Oakes tallied six blocks. Kirkwood's previous career high for digs in a match was 24 vs. Wake Forest in 2004.
Second-year middle Shannon Davis (Austin, Texas) and fourth-year outside hitter Lindsay Osco (Houston, Texas) both had 14 kills, while first-year outside hitter Lauren Dickson (Austin, Texas) was the fifth Cavalier to reach double figures in kills with 10. Davis also had four digs and three blocks, including two solo stuffs. Osco added nine digs three blocks and shared team-high honors with three service aces, while Dickson completed a double-double with 10 digs. Emily Kirkwood and Emily Perilli (Thompson's Station, Tenn.) both had three aces. Kirkwood also posted 12 digs and two blocks, while Perilli notched 15 digs. Third-year libero Melissa Caldwell (Houston, Texas) and third-year defensive specialist Beth Shelton (Cincinnati, Ohio) totaled 21 and 17 digs, respectively, to round out the seven Cavaliers in double figures in defensive saves.
Megan Owens led North Carolina with 20 kills and 15 digs, while Ingrid Hanson-Tuntland hit an impressive .538 with 15 kills. Brianna Eskola led all players with 39 defensive saves.
The Cavaliers posted 73 kills while hitting .163, while North Carolina had 70 kills and a .171 hitting percentage. The two teams combined for an incredible 248 digs with the Tar Heels holding a 127-121 edge. The 121 digs are a season high for Virginia. UVa held a 12-7 advantage in service aces, while UNC led 12-9 in team blocks.
Davis and Oakes had five and four kills, respectively, while leading UVa to a 30-28 win in the first game. The Cavaliers took a 2-0 lead with a 30-25 win in game two. Sarah Kirkwood and Oakes both had five kills in the game with Kirkwood adding 10 digs. The Tar Heels jumped out to a 19-9 lead in game three and held on for a 30-28 win. In game four, UVa never led and North Carolina won 30-21 to force a deciding game five. Virginia had only six kills in game five, but took advantage of seven UNC hitting errors to post a 15-13 victory.
Virginia returns to action on Saturday (Oct. 28) when it plays NC State at 6:00 p.m. in Raleigh.
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A 1985 graduate of UVA, White worked at the Richmond Times-Dispatch until July 2009. He was honored six times as the state's Sportswriter of the Year.
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