Cavaliers drop hard-fought match at Syracuse in four sets

Courtesy UVA Media Relations

Madison Morey (Photo: UVA Athletics)

In search of its first win of the series since 2003, the Virginia volleyball team came up short at Syracuse Sunday afternoon, falling 19-25, 11-25, 25-20, 22-25 at the Women’s Building.

For the second consecutive match, Grace Turner led the Cavaliers (11-14, 3-11 ACC) with a match-high 16 kills on 45 swings, while adding one ace and four digs. Setter Gabby Easton registered her fourth double-double of the season with a match-high 29 assists and 10 digs.

The Orange (11-13, 7-7) finished with a dozen service aces – second most by a UVA opponent this season – while Virginia had only three. Syracuse also out-blocked the Cavaliers, 9.0 to 1.0, marking the most lopsided performance by UVA this season. For the match, the Orange had just 13 attack errors in contrast to Virginia’s 25.

Set 1: Syracuse 25, Virginia 19
The two teams were tied 15-15 before Syracuse tallied five straight points and later capped the opening set with three unanswered scores. The Cavaliers struggled to come up with kills, registering just 10 in the opening frame while suffering nine attack errors in contrast to just a pair of attack errors by Cuse. Simone Dominique led UVA with four kills on 10 swings at the end of the first.

Set 2: Syracuse 25, Virginia 11
Syracuse capitalized on an 8-1 in the middle of the second to lead it, 14-5.  The Cavaliers broke up the Orange run with four straight points of their own, including three consecutive kills from Turner and a pair from GG Carvacho. However, a Virginia service error halted all momentum as Syracuse closed out the second by scoring 11 of the last 13 points, including three of its 12 total aces in the final four plays.

Set 3: Virginia 25, Syracuse 20
After losing the previous 15 sets against Syracuse, Virginia won its first game over the Orange since 2016 and first on the road since 2015 with its 20-15 win in the third. The Cavaliers never trailed throughout set No. 3, using an early 4-0 run to grasp a 7-3 lead. Another four unanswered scores by UVA gave itself some wiggle room to sustain a 6-1 run by the Orange later in the frame. Virginia led 23-20 before Brooklyn Borum broke the Syracuse run with her kill of the frame to gain set point, 24-20, after which a Cuse setting error delivered the set win in Virginia’s favor.

Set 4: Syracuse 25, Virginia 22
The Orange leaped out to a 7-1 lead to open the fourth, but UVA quickly responded with a 5-0 run of its own to shrink the Cuse lead to 8-7. Later in the set, the Cavaliers tied the game, 16-16, to ignite a 5-1 run and eventually obtain a 20-17 lead before the Orange signaled for time. Coming out of the break, Syracuse claimed eight of the final 10 points of the match to solidify the victory and snap a four-match losing skid. Libero Madison Morey recorded six of her 13 total digs in the fourth. Turner had seven kills in game No. 4, but also five attack errors on 14 swings. 


  • With its 25-20 win in set No. 3, the Cavaliers won their first set over Syracuse since Nov. 4, 2016. The Orange had won the last 15 sets over UVA, including the first two sets of Sunday’s contest.
  • With her fourth kill of the match in set No. 2, Grace Turner registered her 900th career kill. Turner now sits at 912 career kills.
  • Setter Gabby Easton registered her fourth double-double of the season with a match-high 29 assists and 10 digs.
  • With the win, Syracuse improved to 11-3 in the all-time series, which began in 1990, and has won its previous nine matchups against the Cavaliers.

The Cavaliers host Virginia Tech on Friday in the second volleyball matchup of this year’s Commonwealth Clash, presented by Smithfield. First serve from Memorial Gymnasium is set for 7 p.m. on ACC Network Extra (ACCNX). Virginia currently leads the Hokies in the Commonwealth Clash standings, 4.0 to 0.5. Admission to all 2022 Virginia volleyball home matches is free to the public (no ticket necessary).