October 3, 2008
Sweep over Maryland keeps Tech undefeated in ACC play
Hokies push winning streak to 10 matches
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Virginia Tech (13-2) 2525253
Maryland (5-11) 1919230
  • Comcast Pavilion - 466

COLLEGE PARK, Md.- The Hokie volleyball squad remained undefeated in the ACC and pushed its winning streak to 10 matches with a sweep (25-19, 25-19, 25-23) over Maryland Friday night in the Comcast Center Pavilion in College Park, Md.

The Hokies (13-2, 4-0 ACC) continued their hot start to the season against the Terrapins (5-11, 1-3 ACC) winning their 13th match out of the first 15 contests. The 10-match winning streak ties for the second-longest in school history. Tech also won its first four matches in conference for the first time since joining the ACC.

“I thought we did laymen’s work tonight,” Tech head coach Chris Riley said. “They are a huge blocking team. They are big and against us little kids it can be tough sometimes. Their middles played well tonight, but their outsides didn’t score on us much.”

With set one tied at five apiece, the Hokies began to establish control, going on a 9-3 run, with four of the points coming on freshman Justine Record’s service. Tech kept its distance for the rest of the frame, eventually taking the opening set, 25-19. Senior Kristen Cunningham led Tech with four kills and a .429 hitting percentage in the first stanza.

The Terrapins stuck with Tech for most of the second set, but key errors down the stretch doomed Maryland. With the score 15-13 in the Hokies’ favor, the Terrapins committed three attack, one ball-handling and two service errors in the final 16 points. A tip by freshman setter Erin Leaser sealed the stanza for the Hokies, 25-19.

The Hokies came out of the locker room strong entering the third and final set. Tech took the lead at 3-2, and pushed the advantage out to seven, its largest of the match, at 14-7. The Terrapins rallied though to cut the lead to two at 16-14. After the Hokies gained some breathing room at 23-19, the Terrapins won three consecutive points to slice the advantage to one. The two squads exchanged the next two points, and a kill by sophomore Felicia Willoughby put Maryland away in the final set, 25-23.

“We have done it all year, every match, when it is close, we make the play,” Riley said. “It is always somebody, it doesn’t matter who it is. Tonight Felicia [Willoughby] had two big kills even though they knew she was getting the ball.”

The Hokies hit .198 as a team and held Maryland to a .104 hitting clip. Willoughby was the only Hokie with double figure kills, tallying 10 on the night. Leaser earned 37 assists and junior Jill Gergen dug 11 attacks in the effort.

Tech continues its four-match road trip on Sunday with a match-up against Boston College at Power Gym in Chestnut Hill, Mass. Opening serve is scheduled for noon. Results will be posted on hokiesports.com following the match.

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

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