UVA volleyball opens 44th campaign at Gators Invitational this weekend

Courtesy UVA Media Relations

Photo: UVA Athletics

The Virginia Volleyball team will kick off the program’s 44th season at the University of Florida’s Gators Invitational from the O’Connell Center in Gainesville, Florida this weekend. The Cavaliers will compete in their season opener against ETSU on Friday at 4 p.m. before rounding out tournament action against North Florida and No. 15 Florida on Saturday at 10 a.m. and 7:30 p.m., respectively.

Saturday’s match against the Gators is slated to stream on SEC Network+. Live stats for all three matches can be found via the Cavaliers’ schedule page on VirginiaSports.com.


  • This year marks 44th season of Virginia Volleyball, which held its inaugural season in 1979.
  • In 43 complete seasons, UVA is 650-732 (.470).
  • The Cavaliers will host 14 home matches in 2022.
  • For the first time in history, Virginia will face Purdue Fort Wayne (Sept. 3) and Mercer (Sept. 16).


  • UVA will look to fill the void left by 2021 standouts Alana Walker (MB) and Kristen Leland (DS/L). Last season, Walker was the Cavaliers’ top middle blocker, also the nation’s No. 2 finisher in blocks per set, while Leland was UVA’s primary starting libero.
  • This season, Virginia returns five starters from 2021 in Brooklyn Borum (OH), Abby Tadder (MB), Ashley Le (S), Mary Shaffer (RS) and Grace Turner (OH).
  • 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.


  • Virginia opens its 2022 season at the Gators Invitational, which features ETSU, North Florida and No. 15 Florida.
  • UVA is 3-3 all-time against ETSU, 1-0 against UNF and 0-3 against Florida.
  • A complete list of all-time results against UVA’s upcoming opponents can be accessed via the Virginia Volleyball Record Book.
  • UVA is 26-17 (.593) all-time in regular-season openers and have won seven of its last 10 season openers. The Cavaliers have also outmatched their opponents 86-59 in totals sets all-time in season openers.


  • With one season under her belt as UVA head coach, Shannon Wells will return to her former post, the University of Florida, where served as an assistant coach and later an associate head coach for a combined seven seasons under longtime UF head coach Mary Wise.
  • During her tenure at Florida, the Gators went 184-33 (.848) and punched their ticket to seven consecutive NCAA tournaments. Florida won SEC titles in 2014, 2016 and 2017. In 2017, the Gators advanced to the NCAA Championship finals for the first time since the 2003 season.
  • In 2020, Florida posted a 21-4 record and reached the NCAA Regional finals before falling to top-seed Wisconsin in five sets. The Gators were 19-3 in SEC play, finishing second to eventual NCAA champion Kentucky.
  • Wells arrived in Gainesville in the spring of 2014 after serving as the associate head coach and recruiting coordinator for Ole Miss in 2013. She previously spent three years as an assistant coach at Ole Miss prior to her promotion to associate head coach.


  • Out of UVA’s 16 active players, five of them are new to the program.
  • The Cavaliers’ 2022 roster features four transfers: setter Gabby Easton (Ole Miss), outside hitter GG Carvacho (Ole Miss), middle blocker Veresia Yon (West Florida) and right side hitter Chloe Wilson (Wake Forest).
  • The additions of Carvacho (6-3), Yon (6-1) and Wilson (6-5) bolstered the Cavaliers’ height on the front row, while Easton is an athletic left-handed setter.
  • UVA’s lone freshman Kate Johnson is defensive specialist and was a dual-sport athlete in high school where she played soccer.


  • 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.