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Liberty Falls To Virginia

September 17, 2005
|  Charlottesville, Va.
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The University of Virginia volleyball team used a balanced offensive attack to register a 3-1 (24-30, 30-10, 30-22, 30-21) victory over Liberty in the Fairfield Inn Jefferson Cup Volleyball Tournament Saturday afternoon (September 17) at Memorial Gym.

Second-year outside hitter Sarah Kirkwood (Tampa, Fla./Plant) led four Cavaliers in double figures in kills with a season-high 18 while hitting .533. She also tallied seven digs, two service aces and two blocks. Second-year middle Katie Oakes (Lorton, Va./Evangel Christian School) hit .609 with a career-high 14 kills, while first-year middle Shannon Davis (Austin, Texas/Westlake) totaled 13 kills and a match-best four blocks. Third-year outside hitter Lindsay Osco (Houston, Texas/Elkins) recorded her first double-double of the season with 11 kills and 10 digs and also had two service aces.

Third-year setter Emily Kirkwood (Tampa, Fla./Plant) handed out 41 assists over the final three games. Second-year outside hitter Emily Perilli (Thompson's Station, Tenn./Page) led all players with 14 digs, while second-year libero Melissa Caldwell (Houston, Texas/Stratford) chipped in with 13. Second-year outside hitter Beth Shelton (Cincinnati, Ohio/Ursula Academy) led all players with four service aces and also totaled seven digs and four kills.

The Cavaliers led 12-1 in the first game, but Liberty rallied for a 30-24 win. UVa posted wins in the next three games for the 3-1 victory. Virginia hit .625 in winning the second game 30-10. In game three, the Cavaliers won 30-22 while hitting .390 and wrapped up the win with a 30-21 triumph in game four while hitting .344.

Jessica Nelson (So., Tokyo, Japan) led Liberty with 13 kills and 12 digs, while Kendall Nichols (Fr., Hoover, Ala.) added 10 kills and 12 digs. Setter Lara Bartolomeo (So., Huntington Beach, Calif.) recorded 37 assists, seven digs and five kills for the Flames.

The Cavaliers tallied an impressive .362 hitting percentage with 64 kills and only 14 errors in the match. Liberty hit only .183 with 50 kills and 24 errors. UVa held a 58-45 edge in digs and an 11-4 advantage in service aces. The Flames won the blocking battle 7-6.

"We had an unbelievable win in the first game, coming back from 10 down, and we had them on their heels," explained head coach Shane Pinder. "We had them right were we wanted them, but we let them get back into it. We had a chance to put them against the ropes and we just didn't do it."

With the victory, UVa improves to 5-3 on the season while Liberty falls to 3-7. The tourney concludes with a pair of matches Saturday evening. Liberty plays Appalachian State at 5:00 p.m. and UVa hosts Albany at 7:00 p.m. in a match that will decide tournament title.