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Virginia opens spring with 3-0 sweep of Old Dominion

Courtesy UVA Media Relations

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Photo courtesy Matt Riley/UVA Media Relations.

Sarah Billiard recorded 14 kills as Virginia (2-8) started its spring season with a 3-0 (25-14, 25-19, 25-22) win over the Old Dominion Monarchs (4-4) on Friday evening, inside Memorial Gymnasium.

Old Dominion was led by Alessia Sgherza, who had eight kills. Virginia forced the Monarchs to make 21 errors over the three sets. Czhen Beneby and Christine Jarman added nine kills each in the winning effort, while Megan Wilson notched 33 assists in the winning cause.

SET 1: Virginia 25-14

Up 3-2, the Cavaliers went on a 10-2 run to take a strong hold on the first set, forcing ODU into eight errors via the UVA attack. Up 13-4, UVA traded points with Old Dominion back and forth until it was an 18-7 Cavalier lead on a kill by Beneby, forcing an ODU timeout.

ODU narrowed the difference near the end of the set, but the errors continued and Billiard’s kill on a Wilson helper sealed the set in favor of UVA.

SET 2: Virginia 25-19

UVA opened on a 3-0 run in the set, but ODU came back and took a 6-4 lead. A 6-1 Cavalier run included back-to-back kills by Beneby and one by Alessia Sgherza, while a service ace by Billiard put UVA back in the lead for good, 10-7.

ODU did creep back, 19-17, after a ball handling error by Wilson, but UVA went on a 6-2 spurt to close the set. Beneby capped the set’s scoring on a kill assisted by Wilson. Beneby had five kills in the set to pace UVA.

SET 3: Virginia 25-22

The third frame was the closest of sets as ODU battled with UVA on each point. After trailing 12-8, ODU went on to force five ties at 16-16, 17-17, 18-18, 19-19 and 20-20. The Monarchs took their first lead of the set, 20-19, via a kill from Olivia De Jesus.

After being tied at 20-20, UVA closed out the set and the match on a 5-2 run as Billiard put the cap on the game with her kill via Wilson.

Postgame: UVA coach Aaron Smith

“We don’t take any match for granted. We said it in fall and we’ll say it here the spring, our team has been through a lot, as everybody has in terms of games being canceled left and right across the country. To be able to come out here to compete and do what we love, it just adds another level of excitement to the day to day. You get in the practice gym and you grind and then when you have an opportunity to come out here and compete. It makes you want to get in the gym even more. I heard that for my players here after the match tonight. We want to get back in the gym, get better and get ready for ACC play.”

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