Virginia Falls in Four to Wake Forest


WINSON SALEM, N.C. - The Virginia volleyball team saw its win streak come to an end Friday evening, as the Cavaliers fell to Wake Forest, 3-1 (18-25, 25-20, 25-27, 25-19), in Reynolds Gymnasium. Virginia falls to 16-14 on the season and 8-10 in the Atlantic Coast Conference, while Wake Forest improves to 19-12, 10-9 in the league.

Fifth-year Beth Shelton (Cincinnati, Ohio) led the Cavaliers in kills for the fourth match in a row, landing 19 and collecting 13 digs for her sixth double-double this year. Third-year Lauren Dickson (Austin, Texas) aided in the attack attempts, knocking down 16 kills, while fourth-year Shannon Davis (Austin, Texas) tallied 11 on a .320 attack percentage.

Second-year Kelly Irvin (Pacific Palisades, Calif.) distributed 26 assists and fourth-year Marlow Bruneau (Lakeville, Minn.) dished out 22.

Third-year Brittani Rendina (Lisle, Ill.) dug 19 attacks and second-year A.J. Cushman (Richmond, Va.) collected 15.

For Wake Forest, Natalie Mullikin hit a match-high .429, while leading all players with 21 kills and five blocks. Kelsey Jones handed out 53 helpers and Abby Miller and Megan Thornberry dug 23 and 22 attacks, respectively.

A 5-1 run in favor of the Demon Deacons broke open an even 9-9 first set, pushing Wake Forest ahead 14-10. The Cavaliers fought to hold on, but the Deacons managed to maintain their advantage for a 23-17 score before landing the final two points for a 25-18 win.

Wake Forest carried the momentum into the second frame, winning the first five points before Virginia called a timeout. Second-year Kendahl Voelker (Fort Myers, Fla.) landed a kill to put the Cavaliers on the board, but the Demon Deacons won the next three points to pull ahead 8-1. Virginia responded with four straight points, to cut the deficit to three, at 5-8, before eventually knotting the score at 13 all. The frame remained even until Virginia cut open an even 19-19 score with a 5-0 run to make it 24-19. A service error halted the run, but the Cavaliers held on for the 25-20 victory.

Set three was neck-in-neck, featuring 11 tie scores and six lead changes, including an even 25-25 score. At 24-24, a Demon Deacon block forced Cavalier head coach Lee Maes to call a timeout. Virginia regrouped and Dickson landed a kill out of the intermission to make it 25-25, but Mullikin responded with back-to-back kills for Wake, to put the stanza away for the Demon Deacons, 27-25.

With a 13-13 score in the fourth frame, Wake Forest put together a 6-2 run to pull ahead 19-15 and never looked back. The Demon Deacons held on for a 20-17 advantage before scoring five of the final seven points for a 25-19 match win.

The Cavaliers will look to rebound tomorrow evening with a 7 p.m. match in Durham, N.C., against the Duke Blue Devils.