September 23, 2008
Willoughby's nine blocks lead Tech in sweep of Cavaliers
Hokies off to best start in program history
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Virginia (8-5) 2511240
Virginia Tech (10-2) 2725263
  • Cassell Coliseum - 750

BLACKSBURG, Va. - The Virginia Tech volleyball squad opened up ACC play in dominating fashion against in-state rival Virginia on Tuesday night at Cassell Coliseum in front of a raucous home crowd, defeating the Cavaliers 3-0 (27-25, 25-11, 26-24).

With the win, Tech (10-2, 1-0 ACC) is off to its best start in school history. Tuesday’s match was also the third consecutive victory over the Cavaliers (8-5, 0-1 ACC) at home. The Hokies are now 3-5 against Virginia since joining the ACC in 2004.

As a team, the Hokies blocked 14 shots, including a season-high nine blocks from sophomore Felicia Willoughby, to the Cavaliers five. The Hokies held their opponent’s hitting percentage under .100 for the fourth straight match, as the Cavaliers’ hit .038 in the contest. Tech hit .238 in the match.

The Hokies established control early in the first set on their home court, jumping out to a 5-1 lead. Virginia eventually evened the match at 10 apiece, one of 10 ties in the frame, and later pulled ahead 18-14 with a 5-0 run. Tech responded though, tying the match at 19 all. Down 24-25, Tech went on a 3-0 run, capped off by a block from Willoughby and freshman Erin Leaser to capture the set 27-25.

Tech carried the momentum into the second set pulling out to a 9-4 advantage early. Everything seemed to go the Hokies’ way in the stanza, exemplified by a tremendous diving dig by freshman Justine Record on a Virginia attack, followed by a solo block from Erin Leaser to make the score 23-11. The Hokies eventually took the frame 25-11.

The third set followed the same pattern as the first, with 13 ties and eight lead changes. The Hokies began to pull away with junior Jill Gergen’s service ace to push the score to 20-14 in Tech’s favor. The Cavaliers battled back though, tying the match at 24. Willoughby would not let the stanza slip away, blasting a spike for a kill, and assisting on a block, along with Record, to seize the set 26-24, and the match.

Willoughby added seven kills to her nine denials, and junior Taylor Parrish and Record both registered double-digit kills with 12 and 11 respectively. Gergen tallied 13 digs, while Leaser collected 37 assists.

Tech now hosts 2007 ACC champion Clemson on Friday, followed by another strong opponent in Georgia Tech on Saturday. Friday’s match will start at 7 p.m., while Saturday’s opening serve is scheduled for 6 p.m.

For updates on Virginia Tech volleyball, follow the Hokies on Twitter (@VT_VBall).

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