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Courtesy: Columbia University Athletics/Gene Boyars

Volleyball Heads to Charlottesville for Jefferson Cup

Courtesy: Columbia University Athletics
          Release: 09/19/2013
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NEW YORK – Looking to build momentum off a strong home-opening weekend, the Columbia volleyball team will hit the road for the University of Virginia Cavalier Classic in Charlottesville, Va. from Sept. 20-21.

The Lions (1-5) will face William & Mary in a 4:30 p.m. tilt on Friday, followed by a noon matinee versus host Virginia and a 4:30 p.m. showdown with Seton Hall on Saturday in Memorial Gymnasium.

Despite picking up only one win this season, the Lions have proven that they are up for the challenge by pushing three matches into five-set battles.

After dropping a trio of matches in a tough season-opening weekend on the road at Northwestern’s Wildcat Classic in early September, Columbia returned to the Big Apple to kick off a promising start to the home season in Levien Gym. The Lions rallied from a 2-0 deficit in their first match of the tournament against Boston College, forcing a fifth set in front of an enthusiastic home crowd, before ultimately falling short of the comeback.

The Lions came back roaring on the second day of the tournament with a 3-1 downing of New York rival Fordham before dropping the nightcap to Binghamton, 3-2.

Pacing the Lions offensively is sophomore Atlanta Moye-McLaren, who leads the Ivy League in kills at 3.38 per set. The outside hitter was named to the All-Tournament team in back-to-back weekends and has posted double-doubles in the last three games.

First-year Jennifer Petrovich has been an essential key in running the offensive unit for the Lions, ranking second in the league with 8.50 assists per set.

Defensively, first-year Kesi Neblett has been a force at the net, averaging 1.04 blocks per set, while senior Savannah Fletcher is not far behind, averaging just under one block per set.

Scouting the Cavaliers: Virginia (4-5) dropped three matches last weekend at the Western Kentucky Invitational. The Cavaliers fell to the host Hilltoppers 3-1 on day one, followed by a another 301 loss to UNLV before dropping a five-set match to Ohio. Tori Janowski leads the way offensively for the Cavaliers with 4.17 kills per set, while Mallory Woolridge has been strong at the net averaging 1.03 blocks per set.

The Lions and Cavaliers will be meeting for just the second time in program history, with Virginia owning a 3-0 win back in 2001 in Memorial Gym.

Scouting the Tribe: William & Mary improved to 4-7 on the season following a recent sweep over Norfolk State at home. Liz Brown has recorded a team-best 3.23 kills per set, while Carolyn Albright holds a team-high 1.14 blocks at the net.

The Lions and the Tribe met just once back in 2001, with William & Mary defeating Columbia, 3-0.

Scouting the Pirates: Seton Hall comes into the weekend with a 3-5 record after back-to-back wins over Rutgers and Princeton in its last two matches.  Amanda Hansen has been the top offensive weapon for the Pirates with 2.49 kills per set, while the defense has been led by Alyssa Warren (4.26 digs per set) and Ashani Rubin (1.03 blocks per set).

The Lions and Pirates will be meeting for the first time in over 15 years. The last match between the two was back in 1997, with the Pirates taking a 3-0 victory. Seton Hall holds a 1-6 all-time series advantage over Columbia.

Single-match general admission tickets are $5. Youth, senior and faculty/staff general admission tickets are $4 and group tickets (20 or more) are $3 per ticket. Fans can order tickets online at VirginiaSports.com and by phone through the Virginia Athletics Ticket Office at 800-542-UVA1 (8821) or 434-924-UVA1 (8821). Tickets are also available at the gate beginning one hour prior to the start of each match.

Game-day parking for volleyball matches is available free of charge at the Culbreth Road Garage, located behind Carr's Hill Field. Limited parking is available at the Central Grounds Garage (hourly rates apply).

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