September 26, 2008
Tech swipes 3-1 decision from Tigers
10-point rally helps Hokies push winning streak to eight
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Clemson (8-5) 252317231
Virginia Tech (11-2) 182525253
  • Cassell Coliseum - 467

BLACKSBURG, Va.- A 10-point rally, nine of them coming on freshman Alison Blasingame’s service in the second set, swung the momentum, and eventually the match, in Virginia Tech’s favor, as the Hokies knocked off Clemson 3-1 (18-25, 25-23, 25-17, 25-23) at Blacksburg, Va. in Cassell Coliseum Friday night.

The Hokies (11-2, 2-0 ACC) started off slow, quickly falling behind in the first set 5-0. Six attack, four service, two ball handling and one receiving error doomed Tech in the frame, as the Tigers (8-5, 0-2 ACC) rode the early advantage to a 25-18 victory in set one.

Tech did not start any better in set two, as the Hokies found themselves behind again 10-6. Clemson pushed the lead out to 23-15, when Virginia Tech head coach Chris Riley subbed Blasingame into the match. The Hokies won the next point, and Blasingame stepped to the line to serve. The Yorktown, Va., native would not stop serving until the Hokies had captured the match, as Tech reeled off nine consecutive points on the Grafton alum’s service to steal the frame 25-23.

“That changed the whole aspect of the match,” Riley said. “It put us in a set that we really were out of, and the team started believing. In this game it is all kids stuff, it is all about believing. She gave us everything we needed.”

The squad went into the locker room and came back out energized. After a see-saw battle in the beginning of set three, the Hokies went on a 4-0 run on sophomore Amy Wengrenovich’s service to make the score 11-9, and extended the lead out to 16-11. The Tigers tried to muster a comeback in the stanza, but could not, falling 25-17 in the set.

Clemson would not go away easily though, as they proved in set four. Neither team could build a significant advantage, until Tech jumped out to a 13-9 lead. The Hokies led the rest of the way, but the Tigers cut the advantage to one at 21-20. The two teams exchanged the next eight points, and Blasingame sealed the outcome with a kill, winning the set 25-23, and the match 3-1.

Sophomore Felicia Willoughby recorded 14 kills and a .375 hitting percentage in the affair, while senior Kristen Cunningham and junior Betsy Horowitz both added 10. Horowitz also tallied 3 blocks. Senior Sarah Munoz led the team with 18 digs, and junior Jill Gergen dug 16 attacks. Freshman Erin Leaser collected 46 assists. The Hokies hit .171 as a squad to Clemson’s .170 team hitting percentage.

Tech continues their best start in program history with the victory over the preseason ACC favorite Clemson. The schedule does not get easier, as the Hokies host Georgia Tech, the preseason ACC runner-up pick, tomorrow at 6 p.m. in Cassell Coliseum. Results will be posted on hokiesports.com

“[Moving to 2-0 in the ACC] is a big achievement for us, but it is a long season and there are 20 matches in the ACC, and you have to play them all,” Riley said. “It is a tough conference, and every match is a tough one. It is good to hold court at home and we have another difficult match tomorrow.”

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

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