Defensively, Tech was led by senior Amanda Cloyd's season-high 30 digs, marking the fifth 30-dig match of her career. Sophomore Betsy Horowitz also had a career night defensively, digging 11 Cavalier attacks and posting six blocks.
Sophomore Michelle Lang recorded her fifth double-double this season, dishing out 54 assists with a season-high 15 digs. Sophomore Jill Gergen was the fifth Hokie to reach double-digit digs, with 15.
For the Cavaliers, Sarah Kirkwood collected a double-double of 18 kills and 30 digs. Tara Hester also collected 21 digs and landed 12 kills, while Kendahl Voelker had 11 kills. Kelly Irvin dished out 44 assists and had 10 digs. Shannon Davis had a game-high 10 blocks.
The Hokies, winning their second straight match despite dropping the first game, jumped out to a quick 5-1 lead in the opening frame, and led by six at 18-12. But, the Cavaliers fought for a five-point run late in the game, to close the gap to two, at 25-23.
Tech held on to its lead until three straight points from Virginia knotted the game at 28 all. A Cavalier block gave Virginia its first lead of the game at 29-28, before a Cavalier attack error forced extra points. The game was again tied at 30, but a Virginia kill and Hokie attack error put the Cavaliers on top 32-30.
Despite jumping out to another big lead in game two, this time an 11-point margin at 13-2 in favor of the Hokies, Tech couldn't stop the Cavaliers from coming within two at 22-20. However, the Hokies wouldn't give up the lead, and went on to even the match at 1-1 with a 30-26 win.
Game three was another frame that required extra points. Featuring 13 tie scores and eight lead changes, the game was neck-in-neck from 20-20 on. A Cavalier service ace gave Virginia the first game-point opportunity, but saw it pass as Wengrenovich landed a kill for Tech.
The Hokies had the next game-point opportunity when Willoughby knocked down a kill for a 30-29 score, but a Cavalier attack knotted the score at 30 again. Voelker and Willoughby traded kills for another even 31-31 score, before back-to-back attack errors for Virginia put Tech on top 33-31.
The Cavaliers fought to even the match and force a deciding for only the fifth time in the 29-year series between the two programs by breaking open a tie 10-10 game four with a 9-3 run, putting Virginia up 19-13. The gap was too much for the Hokies to overcome as the Cavaliers knotted the match at 2-2 with a 30-21 win.
Despite holding a 1-3 record in fifth games against the Cavaliers, the Hokies fought back from a 3-6 deficit to even the score at six apiece. Tech eventually pulled ahead 13-11, the largest advantage either team held since the beginning of the game, and extended it to three before the Cavaliers broke the three-point run. A block from Willoughby and Albrecht spoiled Virginia's comeback attempts, putting the Hokies on top for just the second time since joining the ACC, at 15-12.
The five games marks just the fifth time that the series has come down to a deciding game, and is the first contest since 1990 that has required the fifth game, a first since the change to rally scoring. This win for the Hokies is the first time since 1981 that Tech has come away with a 3-2 victory.
The Hokies (10-8, 4-4 ACC), currently 7-1 at home, play host to North Carolina and NC State this weekend. Tech will face the Tar Heels on Fri., Oct. 12 at 7 p.m., before taking on the Wolfpack on Sat., at 6 p.m.