October 10, 2008
Hokies capture a win in a five-set battle with Wolfpack
Willoughby shatters career best with 25 kills
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Virginia Tech (15-3 (6-1 ACC)) 22252525153
NC State (8-12 (2-3 ACC)) 25131927112
  • Reynolds Coliseum - 184

RALEIGH, N.C.- The Virginia Tech volleyball squad shook off Thursday’s tough five-set loss to North Carolina, defeating NC State, 3-2 (22-25, 25-13, 25-19, 25-27, 15-11) Friday night in Reynolds Coliseum in Raleigh, N.C.

“I think we played well, but we still have some things to do,” Tech head coach Chris Riley said. “I don’t think the match should have ever gone to a fifth set. Give NC State credit, they are so much better this year from where they used to be.”

The Hokies (15-3, 6-1 ACC) started out sluggish in set one, allowing the Wolfpack (8-12, 2-3 ACC) to hit .500 and falling behind 7-10 in the first 17 points. NC State maintained the three-point advantage for the rest of the first set, winning 25-22. Tech hit .200 in the stanza, while the Wolfpack struck at a .302 clip. Sophomore Felicia Willoughby racked up eight kills in the frame.

Tech regrouped in the second set hitting .500 and tallying 17 kills, while holding the Wolfpack to a .125 hitting percentage with only seven kills in the frame. The Hokies won five of the first six points, and then extended the lead 10-4. Tech rode the big lead to a 25-13 victory in set two.

Coming out of the locker room for the third set, Tech did not slow down, pulling ahead early 6-1. The Hokies pushed the advantage to 20-13, but NC State closed the gap with a 4-0 run. Tech responded with two straight kills from senior Kristen Cunningham and held the Wolfpack off, taking set three 25-19.

The Hokies jumped out to an early lead once again, in the fourth set, but NC State battled back to tie the match at six all. The two squads fought back-and-forth, until the Hokies swatted three NC State attacks in a row to regain the lead 12-9. Tech could not shake the Wolfpack, as NC State hung around to knot the period at 17-17. The Hokies won six of the next seven points, but NC State came back to retake the lead 24-23. Despite two powerful kills by Willoughby to keep Tech alive in the frame, NC State blocked an attack on their third set point to put the Hokies away in set four, 27-25.

Tech used three blocks, a service error and an attack error to race out to a 5-2 lead in the final set. The Wolfpack stayed with the Hokies, pulling within two points at 11-9. Tech won three of the next four points though, capturing the set 15-11, and the match 3-2, to ensuring it did not lose a second consecutive five-set match from a team from North Carolina.

The Hokies hit at a .207 clip, and held NC State to a .110 hitting percentage. Willoughby shattered her career best with 25 kills on a .525 hitting percentage in the match and added 10 blocks, for a double-double effort. Junior Taylor Parrish and Cunningham recorded 16 and 10 kills, respectively, while classmate Jill Gergen dug 24 attacks and freshman Erin Leaser dished out 52 assists.

The Hokies next return to Cassell Coliseum where they will take on Wake Forest on Oct. 17 at 7 p.m., and Duke on Oct. 18 at 6 p.m. Results will be posted on hokiesports.com.

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

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