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UVa Volleyball Falls 3-1 against Howard in Jefferson Cup

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Freshman setter Megan Wilson Freshman setter Megan Wilson
The UVa volleyball team dropped to 3-5 with the loss against Howard The UVa volleyball team dropped to 3-5 with the loss against Howard

Virginia Athletics Media Release

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. – The Virginia volleyball team (3-5) fell 3-1 (26-24, 16-25, 25-19, 25-12) to Howard (2-7) on Saturday morning at Memorial Gymnasium in the Jefferson Cup.

Freshmen Alex Spencer (Canton, Ohio) and Sarah Billiard (Matthews, N.C.) led the Cavaliers in kills. Spencer recorded a double-double to lead the team in kills (12) and digs (17), while Billiard finished with 10 kills.

Freshman setter Megan Wilson (Brookeville, Md.) dished out 38 assists and had a career-high five blocks. Sophomores Chino Anukwuem (East Hanover, N.J.) and Kat Young (Chantilly, Va.) each had four blocks. Sophomore Jane Horner (Mission Viejo, Calif.) had 16 digs.

The Cavaliers opened the match with a block by Wilson and Anukwuem then continued their run to take a 5-1 lead over Howard. UVA stayed in front and stretched its lead out to 14-10 with an ace by Horner and a kill from sophomore Jelena Novakovic (Belgrade, Serbia). Virginia had a 3-0 run with a kill by Novakovic, who then served an ace, to take a 17-12 lead over Howard. The Bison came back to tie the set 17-17 on a 5-0 run as UVA called timeout. The teams began trading points and the lead until Howard edged ahead 23-21. Virginia tied it 24-24 on a kill by Billiard, but Howard scored the next two points to win the set 26-24.

After several ties to begin the second set, Virginia started to pull away after a kill by Wilson and an ace from Spencer to lead 7-5. The Cavaliers continued to lead and a 5-0 run with a block by Young and Wilson made it a 16-10 advantage. UVA kept its momentum and closed out the set on a 4-0 run, capped off by a block from Anukwuem and Spencer, to win 25-16 and tie the match one set apiece.

The Cavaliers stayed hot in the third set, jumping out to a 6-1 lead. Howard closed the gap with a 4-0 run to make it 6-5. UVA responded right back, scoring four of the next five points to lead 10-6. Virginia was up 14-10, but Howard went on a 12-2 run to lead 22-16 and won the third set 25-19.

Howard took the early lead into the fourth set. UVA kept the set close, trailing 10-8, but an 11-2 run gave the Bison a 21-10 lead. Howard clinched the match with a 25-12 win the fourth set.

Virginia was out-hit by Howard, .267-.194. The Bison also led in aces (9-4). Both teams finished with 8.0 blocks, while UVA had a 63-54 edge in digs.

UVA will close out the Jefferson Cup tonight against Ohio at 7 p.m. or 30 minutes following the prior match between VCU and Howard set for a 5 p.m. start.