Cavaliers host Demon Deacons to wrap up home schedule

Courtesy UVA Media Relations

Photo: UVA Athletics

After nine days without competition, Virginia returns to action on Sunday to host Wake Forest in its 2022 home finale. First serve from Memorial Gymnasium is set for 1 p.m.

The two teams met earlier this season in Winston-Salem, N.C. on Oct. 30, when the Demon Deacons won in straight sets, 25-16, 25-20, 25-23.

BROADCAST INFORMATION 

  • Sunday’s contest is set to stream on ACC Network Extra (ACCNX) through the ESPN app, which is available through participating TV providers that carry ACC Network.
  • Live stats will also be available for both matches and can be accessed via the Cavaliers’ schedule page on VirginiaSports.com.

SERIES HISTORY 

  • Virginia leads the all-time series over the Demon Deacons, 28-27, but is 3-7 in the last 10 meetings of the series, including UVA’s current four-match skid.
  • The Cavaliers’ most recent victory over Wake was on Nov. 3, 2019 in a four-set decision at Mem Gym. In the win, middle blocker Mattison Matthews had 10 kills on 18 swings with no errors to hit .556 and Jayna Francis ripped 11 kills and hit .250.

LAST TIME OUT 

  • On its Senior Night and in front of a Memorial Gymnasium record crowd (1,108), Virginia knocked off Virginia Tech in straight sets, 25-15, 25-23, 25-22, to sweep the season series over the Hokies.
  • With the win, the Cavaliers picked up another 0.5 points in the Commonwealth Clash standings, presented by Smithfield, as Virginia remained unbeaten in all head-to-head contests against VT so far this season.
  • Grace Turner posted 19 kills and hit .343. Her 19 kills are the most by a Cavalier in a three-set match since 2013 and stand at No. 5 all-time in program history among three-set contests. Setter Gabby Easton dished out 36 assists and recorded a team-high 11 digs to tally her fifth double-double of the season. Abby Tadder (7 kills, .385 Hit%), Brooklyn Borum (7 kills, 3 aces) and Kate Johnson (4 aces) also chipped in for the Cavaliers.

THE SHANNON WELLS ERA HAS BEEN A BLOCK PARTY 

  • Since Shannon Wells became Virginia volleyball head coach in 2021, there have been six matches in which the Cavaliers have tallied at least 15.0 blocks, including twice in 2022 against then-No. 10 Pittsburgh (17.5) and Notre Dame (16.0).
  • Virginia’s season-high 17.5 blocks against the tenth-ranked Panthers are good for fifth all-time among four-set matches and No. 4 since the implementation of the rally-scoring format (2001).
  • In UVA’s sweep over Notre Dame, the Cavaliers registered 16.0 total blocks, good for second most all-time in program history among three-set matches. UVA’s 16.0 blocks also tied for second most by any NCAA Division-I team in a three-set match this season.
  • In 2021, Wells’ first season at the helm, Virginia posted four matches with at least 15.0 blocks, including a season-best 20.0 blocks at Boston College (Nov. 26, 2021), which tied for sixth all-time. The Cavaliers also had 18.0 blocks against Clemson (Oct. 10, 2021), 16.5 blocks in UVA’s lone ACC win of the season at North Carolina (Sept. 26, 2021), and 15.5 blocks at NC State (Sept. 24, 2021).

AMAZING GRACE (TURNER) 

  • Grace Turner has been a workhorse for the Cavaliers this season. Turner has started in all 26 matches and appeared in all 105 possible sets as a six-rotation outside hitter.
  • She leads the Cavaliers in kills per set (3.51), aces per set (0.38), points per set (4.15) and total receptions (708). Her 3.51 kills per set and 4.15 points per set are good for eighth in the ACC, while her 0.38 aces per set are fifth.
  • With six 20-kill performances in 2022, including a career-high 24 kills at Boston College (Nov. 4), Turner is the first UVA player to accomplish that feat since 2010, when Simone Asque, who is the program’s No. 4 leader in kills per set (3.48), posted seven 20-kill outings.
  • Turner has also registered back-to-back 20-kill matches twice this season: the first against Charlotte (Sept. 9 & 10) and the second against NC State (Sept. 23) and North Carolina (Sept. 25). She is the first UVA player to notch back-to-back 20-kill performances since 2016.
  • Turner also leads the Cavaliers with nine career double-doubles, including four this season.
  • Through 25 matches in 2022, Turner has registered 40 aces, which is 13 more than her total for the 2021 season (27), which was a then-career best in a single season.

WHY DON’T YOU JUST MEET ME IN THE MIDDLE 

  • Middle blockers Abby Tadder and Veresia Yon have been a steady force for Virginia this season.
  • Yon leads the Cavaliers in hitting percentage (.355) and is second on the team in blocks per set (0.85). Her .355 hitting percentage is good for sixth in the ACC.
  • Yon registered seven blocks (1 BS, 6 BA) in UVA’s sweep over Notre Dame, when the Cavaliers posted 16.0 total team blocks.
  • Yon is a graduate transfer from West Florida, a premier Division-II program, where she was named the 2022 AVCA South Region Player of the Year and a First Team All-American. Yon is currently in her first year of graduate school at UVA, but is set to return for the Cavaliers in 2023 to exhaust her final season of eligibility.
  • Tadder leads the Cavaliers in blocks per set (1.04) and is second in hitting percentage (.333). Her .333 hitting percentage is currently good for ninth in the ACC.
  • Tadder had a career day in the Cavaliers’ win over Florida State (Oct. 14), when she posted a career-high 18 kills and hit .517 (18-3-29). Her 18 kills against the Seminoles are the most by a Cavalier middle blocker since Oct. 18, 2015, when Anna Walsh tallied 20 kills at Syracuse.
  • Tadder also led UVA with nine blocks against then-No. 10 Pittsburgh (Sept. 28), which tied for third most by an ACC in a single match this season.

AVCA TOP 50 & TOP 100 TEAMS ANNOUNCED 

  • On Nov. 16, the American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA) announced its Top 50 and Top 100 teams, which includes 11 UVA opponents this season: Duke, Florida, Florida State, Georgia Tech, Louisville, Miami (FL), North Carolina, NC State, Pittsburgh and Wake Forest.
  • Among those Top 100 teams, six fell in the Top 50: Florida, Florida State, Georgia Tech, Louisville, Miami (FL) and Pittsburgh.
  • Virginia knocked off Top 50 foe Florida State at Mem Gym on Oct. 14, which marked UVA’s first win over the Seminoles since 2010 and snapped a 13-match skid in the series between the two teams.

THE ACC: THE NATION’S PREMIER VOLLEYBALL CONFERENCE 

  • Last season, the Atlantic Coast Conference led all conferences in the nation in both RPI and adjusted RPI.
  • For the first time in league history, two ACC teams (Louisville and Pitt) advanced to the NCAA Volleyball Tournament semifinals in 2021.
  • In addition to the Cardinals and Panthers, Georgia Tech was also one of three ACC teams to advance to the Elite 8, also a first in ACC history.
  • A record-tying six ACC schools made the 2021 NCAA Volleyball Tournament, including No. 1 overall seed Louisville, which won 32 consecutive matches last season.

SEASON OVERVIEW 

  • This year marks the 44th season of Virginia Volleyball, which held its inaugural season in 1979.
  • The Hoos are slated to face four AVCA preseason top-25 teams, including three teams ranked in the top 10, in No. 4 Louisville (Oct. 21), No. 6 Pitt (Sept. 28), at No. 9 Georgia Tech (Oct. 7) and at No. 15 Florida (Aug. 27).
  • Virginia’s 2022 schedule consists of seven 2021 NCAA Tournament teams in Florida, Florida State, Georgia Tech, Louisville, Miami, North Carolina and Pittsburgh.
  • With a home-and-home series against Virginia Tech, both matches between UVA and the Hokies will be worth 0.5 points toward the Commonwealth Clash standings, presented by Smithfield.
  • The Cavaliers will host 14 home matches in 2022.
  • For the first time in history, Virginia faced Purdue Fort Wayne (Sept. 3) and Mercer (Sept. 16).
 

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