Just like the Cavaliers’ lead in the first two sets, those chances slipped away and Coker took a 25-22, 25-19, 21-25, 25-14 win at the Prior Convocation Center.
The Cavs (1-14, 0-11) had strong leads in each of the first two sets but couldn’t hold on to either, allowing Coker (5-10, 2-9) to take a 2-0 lead over the home team.
“The first and the second sets I thought we started off pretty strong,” said UVa-Wise coach Kristen Salyer. “I don’t know if we lack the confidence to get out of some of those situations, but it’s like we go up and we put ourselves in a good position. Then we lose a couple of points and we lose a couple of more and couple of more and then we’re down.
“We’ve just got to have some leadership on the floor that’s going to step up and stop that momentum run that other teams keep going on.”
Being young is a factor for the Cavs, Salyer said, but she noted that the squad does have three seniors on the floor.
“I don’t think anybody wants to lose. I don’t think they’re happy with just being on the floor or anything like that. But I do think that we’re not sure how to get over that hump more than anything right now,” Salyer said. “And they’ve got to keep working and figure out how to get past it.”
TAKING THE THIRD
A kill by Abigail Byington — a Dobyns-Bennett grad — gave the Cavs a 19-18 lead in the third set, and they kept this one to trim Coker’s match advantage to 2-1.
The Cobras jumped ahead early in the fourth set, however, and never lost the lead on the way to the victory.
BY THE NUMBERS
Emily Everton finished with 20 kills for Coker, and Taylor du Bray added 12 — eclipsing 900 for her college career.
Coker also got 25 assists from Ashley Carson and 17 from Rami Mullen. Chelsey Blume added seven blocks, Gabrielle Milo had 19 digs and Olivia Cerick totaled 10 digs.
Ciara Kain finished with 14 kills and 13 digs for UVa-Wise. Kelsey Green added 13 kills and 10 digs. Morgan Milligan contributed 38 assists for the Cavs, Briana Kerr had 13 digs and Matelyn Gibson chipped in 12 digs.
The challenges continue for UVa-Wise with SAC games on the road next weekend. The Cavaliers play at Catawba on Oct. 18 and at Queens on Oct. 19.