November 15, 2008
Seniors wave goodbye to Cassell with a sweep of Maryland
Munoz and Cunningham tallied 12 digs and 10 kills, respectively, in their home finale
123F
Maryland (6-23) 1719190
Virginia Tech (20-8) 2525253
  • Cassell Coliseum - 907

BLACKSBURG, Va.- The Virginia Tech volleyball squad sent its two seniors out on a high note in the team’s final home match of the season, with a sweep of Maryland (25-17, 25-19, 25-19) on Saturday night at Cassell Coliseum in Blacksburg, Va.

Tech’s two seniors, Kristen Cunningham and Sarah Munoz, were honored before the match with a video presentation, and the Hokies (20-8, 11-6 ACC) rode the pre-game emotion to victory. Cunningham registered 10 kills and hit at a .500 clip, while Munoz tallied 12 digs in the contest.

“I think it’s great for our seniors to finish on such a strong note and have such a big influence on the program heading in the right direction,” Tech head coach Chris Riley said. “I am glad they take some ownership on the way this season has gone and they are a big part of it.”

In the first set, Maryland (6-23, 2-15 ACC) jumped out to a quick 8-5 lead, but the Hokies regrouped to grab the lead at 12-11 on Munoz’s service. The Terrapins stayed within four points of the Hokies until Tech went on a 5-1 run to close out the frame 25-17. Cunningham led the team in the set with five kills.

The Hokies came out with intensity in the second stanza, pulling out to a 10-6 advantage early. Tech would keep their distance, until the Terrapins reeled off a 6-2 run with the score 17-12, to pull within one point of the lead. Tech responded with a run of its own though, winning six of the last seven points to win the set 25-19.

Maryland again extended out to a fast lead in set three. Down 10-5 the Hokies maintained their composure and eventually evened up the period at 14 all in the midst of a 5-0 run, eventually pulling out to a 17-14 lead. The Terrapins proved tenacious sticking with the Hokies for much of the rest of the set, but another late run sealed the Terrapins’ fate. Fittingly, a kill by Cunningham ended the match, with Tech winning the frame 25-19, and the match 3-0.

Sophomore Felicia Willoughby racked up 13 kills on a .318 hitting percentage, and blocked four attacks as well. Junior Jill Gergen recorded 17 digs and freshman Erin Leaser dished out 37 assists. As a team, Tech hit .217 in the match and held Maryland to a .046 clip.

With the win tonight Cunnigham went 20-8 in her career in Cassell Coliseum, after transferring from Kentucky after her sophomore season, and Munoz went 38-20 at home in her four-year career.

“Their stability and their energy has helped transform the program into what it is now,” Riley said. “Their contribution isn’t measured by wins or losses, their contribution is the kind of thing that will last for three or four years with this team, not just this year.”

The Hokies end their 2008 regular season campaign with a three-match road trip. The Tech will travel to Winston-Salem, N.C., for a bout with Wake Forest on Thursday, and then to Durham, N.C., for a contest against Duke on Friday. 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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