By Mike Ashcraft
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. -- The Ohio volleyball team (6-5) fell to tournament host Virginia (4-5), 3-0 (27-25, 25-21, 25-17), on Saturday (Sept. 9) at Memorial Gymnasium in final match of the Jefferson Cup presented by Fairfield Inn & Suites.
The Bobcats opened the weekend tournament with a 3-1 (25-19, 17-25, 25-21, 25-23) victory over Howard on Friday (Sept. 8) evening. Ohio suffered a 3-0 (25-11, 25-12, 25-22) sweep at the hands of VCU on Saturday morning.
"Tough loss tonight," said fourth-year head coach Deane Webb. "Our serve receive and defense need to take major steps forward this week, and we'll start that work Monday."
The Cavaliers hit .237 (45 kills-18 errors-114 total attacks) en route to the win. Virginia held the Bobcats to a .118 (32 kills-19 errors-110 total attacks) hitting percentage.
Sophomore outside hitter Lizzie Stephens (Dallas, Texas) led Ohio with 12 kills and a team-high three servie aces. She also tallied seven digs. Stephens represented the Bobcats on the All-Jefferson Cup Team. Freshman middle blocker Tia Jimerson (Sugar Hill, Ga.) added seven kills, an assisted block and four digs. Freshman setter Vera Giacomazzi (San Vendemiano, Italy) dished out a team-high 30 assists and also posted an assisted block and five digs. Freshman libero Macy Reihing (Lexington, Ky.) led the Bobcats with 10 digs and also logged a service ace and an assist.
Freshman outside hitter Sarah Billiard led the match with 18 kills for Virginia. She also had an assisted block and three digs. Sophomore right side hitter Jelena Novakovic hit .556 with 10 kills and also chipped in a service ace, an assisted block and four digs. Freshman outside hitter Alex Spencer contributed seven kills, two service aces, two total blocks (one solo, one assisted) and eight digs. Redshirt sophomore middle blocker Kat Young posted a match-high four total blocks (two solo, two assisted) as well as five kills. Sophomore libero/defensive specialist Jane Horner led the match with 14 digs and totaled a team-high three service aces for the Cavaliers. Junior libero/defensive specialist Olivia Wolodkewitsch added 12 digs.
Virginia pulled out a 27-25 win in the first set, hitting .250 with 18 kills. Stephens and Jimerson each gave the Bobcats four kills in a close loss in the opening set. The Cavaliers closed out the victory with a four-point win in the second set and an eight-point victory in the third.
Ohio will head to University Park, Pa., for the Penn State Classic next weekend. The Bobcats will take on Wake Forest next Friday (Sept. 15) and Yale and host Penn State next Saturday (Sept. 16).