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Rutgers volleyball defeats Virginia for 2-0 start on the season



Photo credit Rutgers Athletics/Keith Lucas

Rutgers volleyball is off to a strong start to the 2023 season after defeating Virginia in five sets to claim the Cavalier Classic this past weekend. The Scarlet Knights showed resiliency by coming back down two sets to one to win in Charlottesville. RU won 24-26, 25-22, 17-25, 25-20, 16-14. As a result, they opened the season with a 2-0 record.

In the first game of the tournament, Rutgers defeated North Carolina A&T in three sets 25-16, 25-16, 26-24. It was the first time RU has opened three straight seasons with a victory since the 1995, 1996, and 1997 campaigns. 

Alyssa Nayar was named the MVP of the Cavalier Classic. The redshirt senior had her first double-double of 2023 with 35 assists and 14 digs along with two aces against UVA. She had 28 assists in the season opening win over North Carolina A&T.

Alissa Kinkela and Bekah Williams were named to the all-tournament team. Kinkela led Rutgers with 26 kills combined in the two victories along with 8 digs. Williams had 17 kills and 9 digs combined over the two wins.

Kristina Grkovic moved up the record books for Rutgers over the weekend. She moved into a tie for fourth place all-time with 26 rally-era career solo blocks after producing three in the win over UVA. She tied former teammate Inna Balyko and is just five away from moving into third place in program history. Grkovic is also now tenth in program history with 175 career block assists. In the win over Virginia, Grkovic set a new career high with 11 blocks.

Madyson Chitty led Rutgers with a team high 31 digs combined, including 16 in the win over Virginia. She became just the ninth player in program history to surpass the 900 dig mark.

Rutgers (2-0) will play in the Summit Hospitality Group Open hosted by NC State. They’ll face Winthrop in Raleigh, North Carolina on Thursday, August 31 at 2 p.m. ET. They’ll play the tournament host, the Wolfpack, on Friday, September 1 at 6 p.m. RU will finish the event against Howard on Saturday, September 2 at 1 p.m.

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