Nov. 25, 2006
ATLANTA, Ga. -
The Virginia volleyball team locked up second place in the Atlantic Coast Conference with a 3-0 (31-29, 30-26, 30-27) victory over Georgia Tech Saturday evening (Nov. 25) at O'Keefe Gymnasium. The Cavaliers close out the regular season with a 23-8 overall record and set a new school record with their 16th ACC victory against just six defeats. Georgia Tech finishes the season with a 20-12 overall record and a 12-10 mark in the conference.
UVa's 16 ACC wins bettered the school mark of 15 conference victories set last season. Combined with a 3-2 win in Charlottesville on Oct. 21, the Cavaliers registered their first season sweep over Georgia Tech since the 1998 season. The win also snapped Virginia's seven-match losing streak at Georgia Tech, which dated back to the 1998 season. UVa's 3-0 win is its first 3-0 triumph over the Yellow Jackets since 1990.
The Cavaliers featured a balanced offense with four players tallying double figures in kills. Third-year middle Katie Oakes (Lorton, Va.) led UVa with 14 kills, while hitting .414. Third-year outside hitter Sarah Kirkwood (Tampa, Fla.) notched 13 kills while hitting .500. She also recorded five digs, three blocks and a service ace. First-year outside hitter Lauren Dickson (Austin, Texas) and fourth-year outside hitter Lindsay Osco (Houston, Texas) both posted 11 kills. Osco added three digs, two blocks and two service aces. Second-year middle Shannon Davis (Austin, Texas) recorded eight kills and three blocks.
Fourth-year setter Emily Kirkwood (Tampa, Fla.) dished out 52 assists (17.3 per game) and also contributed four digs and three aces. With the three aces, she increased her school record total to 167. Third-year libero Melissa Caldwell (Houston, Texas) led all players with 16 digs, while second-year defensive specialist Beth Shelton (Cincinnati, Ohio) had nine defensive saves.
Georgia Tech's Talisha Kellogg totaled 15 kills and six blocks to lead all players in those two categories. Lindsey Gray posted a double-double with 12 kills and 10 digs. Setter Allie Niekamp also had a double-double with 32 assists and 11 digs.
The Cavaliers hit .306 with 58 kills in the match. Georgia Tech posted a .273 hitting percentage with 50 kills. UVa served up 10 aces compared to the Yellow Jackets' five. Georgia Tech led 10-5 blocks while both teams totaled 50 digs.
UVa hit an impressive .479 with a school record 26 kills in winning the first game 31-29. Oakes led the way with seven kills, while Dickson and Kirkwood both tallied six. With the game tied at 29-29, Sarah Kirkwood registered a kill and then combined with Davis for a block to close out the game. The Cavaliers never trailed while winning game two 30-26. Dickson, Osco and Oakes each had four kills in the game. UVa won game three 30-27 despite trailing 17-12. Virginia came back to take a 22-21 lead, only to see Georgia Tech pull ahead 26-24. Consecutive GT attack errors tied the match at 26-26 and UVa took the lead for good, 28-27 on another GT hitting error. A service ace by fourth-year Emily Perilli (Thompson' Station, Tenn.) and a kill by Sarah Kirkwood sealed the victory.
Virginia now awaits word on a possible at-large bid to the 2006 NCAA Tournament. The 64-team bracket will be announced on ESPN News Sunday (Nov. 26) between 3 and 3:30 p.m.