Boston College volleyball entered the Power Gym on Friday night to face off against the University of Virginia, hoping to end its four-game losing skid. The vivacious crowd in attendance made spectators all but forget about the concurrent men’s hockey home opener happening just next door. Despite the energetic atmosphere, the Eagles left frustrated after they were dealt their fifth consecutive straight set loss.
The 3-0 final does not do justice to contest that occurred. Both teams traded blows all night long, refusing to go quietly. In the end, Virginia simply had a response to every BC run and executed well down the stretch. After a comfortable six-point victory in the first set, Virginia went on to win each of the final two sets in a thrilling 27-25 fashion.
The contentious tone of the match was established from the beginning of the first set. The lead alternated back and forth—neither team gained an advantage of more than two points until Virginia rallied off five straight points to make the score 15-10. The Eagles refused to go quietly, as they continued to stay hungry and play with heart. Virginia proved it was up to the challenge and quashed each BC scoring run en route to a 25-19 first set win. This would be the most lopsided set of the match.
The Eagles were not disheartened, and showed that they came out ready to play in the second set behind two kills from senior Katty Workman. The Cavaliers rebounded and constructed an 8-1 run of their own to earn an 8-4 lead. BC would not give up, as it continued to chip away and keep Virginia within striking distance. The Cavaliers maintained their lead and kept the Eagles at a distance until a well-executed kill from junior Julia Topor notched the Eagles even at 20 apiece.
BC took its first lead since 3-2 after a Virginia error made the score 22-21. The two teams swapped thunderous kills and stifling blocks until the game reached 25-all. Virginia finally broke through after a double-hit for BC and a kill off the fingers of the BC block cemented a 27-25 second set win.
Despite losing the second set in heartbreaking fashion and being down two sets to none, the Eagles refused to become deflated. After back and forth battling, the Eagles opened up a four-point lead at 15-11, but the Cavaliers rattled off four straight points to pull even, setting the stage for another dramatic finish. The set reached a climax as the teams stood even at 23, establishing another win-by-two situation.
An amazing display from Topor and Virginia senior Kayla Sears followed—they alternated points and pushed the score to 26-25 in favor of Virginia. Just as in the second set, the Eagles saw their hopes of winning the set and prolonging the match dashed. A Virginia kill skittered off the hands of the BC block out of bounds, sealing the victory.
“It was good to see them fight,” said head coach Chris Campbell. “That’s who this team has been all year.”
Campbell said he regretted not being able to convert on the “easy points” earlier in the game.
“We got to make sure we spend less time thinking about the last two points and more time thinking about the first 20,” he said. “We’ve been right in every set, it’s right there. We just gotta stay patient and continue to get a couple points better every time we play.”
This loss marks the Eagles’ fifth in a row, in which time they’ve lost all 15 sets they’ve played.
With the loss, the Eagles fall to 9-11 overall with a 1-7 record in the ACC. If the Eagles are looking to make an impact the rest of the regular season, they will need to learn quickly how to convert these hard fought losses into wins.
Featured Image by Drew Hoo / Heights Editor