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Volleyball Falls at Virginia in Three Sets

Matt Riley/UVA Media Relations

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. – The Old Dominion volleyball team was defeated by Virginia (25-14, 25-18, 25-22) on Friday evening on the road. 
Friday marked the Monarch's first non-conference action since it took down Delaware State on Jan. 24. 
Standout graduate Alessia Sgherza led ODU with eight kills on 33 total attacks (.030). Teresa Atilano finished with 18 assists, three digs and two service aces. 
"It's tough to earn a positive outcome when we're making errors," said head coach Fred Chao. "But being able to improve as the match went on is certainly a positive. We have to work at being more effective at the pins, particularly in tough first touch situations."
In the opening frame, Virginia shot out to an aggressive start, compiling a 13-4 scoring run. An Olivia De Jesus and Atilano block put ODU back on the board following five consecutive Cavalier points. The Monarchs went on to pick up momentum, recording back-to-back points for the first time in the set to get within nine points of the Cavaliers. Virginia went on to control the remainder of the match, holding ODU to just 14 first-set points. The Cavaliers won the first set, 25-14, compiling 10 kills to the Monarchs seven. 
The Monarchs responded in the second set, taking a 4-3 lead after trailing 3-0 to begin the game. ODU held onto a 5-4 lead until Virginia used a 7-2 scoring run to grab a 12-7 advantage. A trio of Cavalier attack errors helped swing momentum back in favor of the Monarchs. Hailey Duncan swatted down a kill to put ODU within four, but five unanswered points gave the Cavaliers a 20-11 lead heading into the final stretch. ODU responded with five consecutive points, shaving the deficit to four. The Cavaliers closed out the second set with a 6-2 scoring run, winning it, 25-18. 
UVA staked claim to an 8-2 lead to start the final set, but the Monarchs clawed back to cut the deficit to two at 10-8. ODU took four-straight points behind a pair of blocks from Madelyn Grunza and De Jesus before Sgherza capped the run with her first kill of the set. Trailing 15-11, the Monarchs claimed six of the next seven points for their first lead of the set at 17-16. Hailey Duncan got ODU going with a kill then combined with Grunza for a key block to make the score 15-13. The Cavaliers took the next point, but Old Dominion scored the next four on a UVA service error, a Madeline Rudd kill, a Jordan Daniel ace and an attack error from the Cavaliers. The sides then went back and forth until the score was knotted at 20-all. Virginia closed out the set on a 6-2 run to win the match.
Up Next
Old Dominion will host a pair of C-USA contests when it welcomes Florida Atlantic to the ODU Volleyball Center on Sunday, Feb. 28 and Monday, March 28.