Volleyball Looks to Rebound with Georgia Tech, Clemson at Home

VIRGINIASPORTSDOTCOM
VIRGINIASPORTSDOTCOM

VIRGINIASPORTSDOTCOM
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. The Virginia volleyball team looks to rebound from a tough loss at Virginia Tech on Tuesday, hosting its first home Atlantic Coast Conference matches this weekend at Memorial Gymnasium. The Cavaliers (8-5, 0-1 ACC) play Georgia Tech (9-2, 1-0 ACC) on Friday and the defending ACC Champion Clemson (8-4, 0-1 ACC) on Saturday.

Both contests are scheduled to begin at 7 p.m. and will be broadcast by ACC Select. Livestats for both matches will be available at VirginiaSports.com.

The Cavaliers opened ACC play earlier this week at Virginia Tech, dropping a three-set match to the Hokies. Virginia struggled to get anything going early in the first frame, but rallied to take a 24-22 lead. Tech worked to even the score at 24 and again at 25, before winning two-consecutive points for a 27-25 victory.

The Hokies dominated the second frame, winning 25-11, before Virginia responded with a 10-4 run late in the third frame to even the score at 24, forcing another set with extra points. The run wasn’t enough, though, as Tech won the next two points for a 26-24 match win.
 
Third-year Lauren Dickson (Austin, Texas) leads the Cavaliers this season with 146 kills, while third-year Brittani Rendina (Lisle, Ill.) has collected 142 digs and landed 17 aces.

Second-year Sydney Hill (Kalamazoo, Mich.) leads the squad with 55 blocks, while fourth-year Shannon Davis is hitting a team-high .314.

Sharing setting duties are fourth-year Marlow Bruneau (Lakeville, Minn.) and second-year Kelly Irvin (Pacific Palisades, Calif.). Bruneau has dished out 321 assists, while Irvin has 93.

For Georgia Tech, the trio of Alison Campbell, Callie Miller and Talisa Kellogg lead the attack, each recording over 100 kills. Asia Stawicka’s clip of .462 paces the Yellow Jackets to a .281 team attack percentage, while Georgia Tech’s defense holds opponents to a .195 hitting percentage. Michelle Kandell’s 172 digs and Stawicka’s team-high 49 blocks lead the Jackets’ defense.

Mary Ashley Tippins and Allie Niekamp have each dished out 237 assists, while five Jackets have landed at least 10 service aces. Tech has 72 aces as a team, while its opponents have only found the floor 50 times.

The Tigers’ attack is led by Lia Proctor’s 177 kills, while Danielle Hepburn is hitting .351 with 157 kills. Kelsey Murphy has distributed 456 assists and leads three players in double-figure aces, with 14.

Didem Ege paces the defense with 180 digs, while Hepburn leads the team in blocks with 72.

Georgia Tech and Clemson met on Sept. 18 in the first ACC match for the schools, with the Yellow Jackets escaping with a 15-13 fifth-set victory in Clemson, S.C. Kellogg led the Jackets to the win with 28 kills and four blocks, while Tippins dished out 65 assists and collected 17 digs.

Murphy led Clemson’s effort, dishing out 48 assists with 11 digs and eight blocks. The loss marks just the second for Clemson in ACC contests since 2006, as the Cavaliers were the only league-foe to defeat the Tigers last season.

In the all-time series with Clemson, the Tigers hold the definitive edge, as the Cavaliers are 14-32 against them. Virginia has played against Clemson 25 times on the Tigers' home court, winning only four of those contests. Clemson has come to Charlottesville 22 times, holding a 12-10 record over the Cavaliers.

Last season, Virginia lost in its first meeting but blanked the Tigers later, winning the second contest 3-0.

Dating back to 1983, Virginia has played Georgia Tech a total of 42 times, holding a 17-25 record. The Yellow Jackets have historically held an edge on their home court, winning 10 of the 18 contests, but of the 15 times the teams have met in Charlottesville, the Cavaliers have won eight of those matches.

Last season, both contests went to five sets, with Virginia emerging victorious in the first match, but falling to Georgia Tech in the second. In the past two seasons, the Cavaliers hold a 3-1 record against the Jackets, sweeping the 2006 series.

Following the weekend, the Cavaliers will hit the road for four-consecutive matches, beginning with Boston College on Fri., Oct. 3 and Maryland on Sat., Oct. 4. Both contests are slated for 7 p.m.