While many of our fans are weeping from the football team's performance, #swooning about the basketball team's upcoming national title or marveling at an undefeated regular season by the women's soccer team, second-year head volleyball coach Dennis Hohenshelt quietly has his program on a four-game ACC winning streak.
After a 3-5 start to ACC play - wins over Wake, Pitt and BC; losses to Duke, Maryland, Syracuse, UNC and N.C. State - the Virginia volleyball team has found itself in a groove. They've rattled off four consecutive wins - three of them on the road - to get above .500 in ACC play for the first time since, I believe, the 2007 season. That was two head coaches ago.
Aside from the obvious positive things about being on a four-game winning streak, there's one thing I'm particularly excited about: the contributions of the young players.
Freshmen Haley Kole and Jasmine Burton, along with sophomores Natalie Bausback and Lauren Fuller have featured prominently in the wins. Kole is second on the team in kills while Burton is third. Fuller has 1066 of Virginia's 1211 assists on the season. That seems absurd, but what do I know...
Of course, it hasn't been just the young players: Veterans like senior Emily Rottman and junior Tori Janowski have played just as large of parts as the aforementioned youngsters. Janowski leads the team in kills while Rottman leads the team in digs.
Junior Mallory Woolridge - who sat out last year due to an injury - is filling up the stat sheet as well. She's fourth on the team in kills, sixth in assists, first in blocks and fourth in kills.
With the wins, Virginia is 14-10 overall and 7-5 in the ACC this season. That's good enough for 6th place currently, just one game behind 4th place.
The Cavaliers next host Florida State (Friday, 7pm) and Miami (Saturday, 7pm). Florida State is currently second in the ACC and ranked #20 in last week's AVCA poll. Miami is tied for fourth in the ACC.