September 19, 2009
Tech closes out Cavalier Invite with 3-2 loss to Villanova
Wiker earns all-tournament team honors
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Villanova (10-4) 17252521153
Virginia Tech (10-2) 2518222592
  • Charlottesville, VA

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va.Tech dropped a five-set heartbreaker, 3-2 (25-17, 18-25, 22-25, 25-21, 9-15) to Villanova to close out the Marriott Cavalier Invitational on Saturday night.

Tech (10-2, 0-1 ACC) played strong defense, holding the Wildcats (10-4, 0-0 Big East) to a .186 hitting percentage and blocking 11.5 Villanova attacks, but could not overcome a .191 hitting percentage of their own and nine service and 12 receiving errors.

The Hokies started out strong in the opening frame, racing out to a 12-7 lead. Tech only increased the advantage in the set, doubling the Wildcats at 16-8, and eventually captured a 25-17 opening set win. Tech hit .282 in the period.

Tech looked to be rolling in the second set, jumping out to an early 14-7 lead, when the Wildcats showed signs of life. Villanova went on an 18-4 run as the Hokies lost momentum to steal the second set, 25-18, and salvage the match.

Villanova carried the momentum into the third frame, pressing out to a 10-4 advantage. Tech battled back, tying the set at 13 apiece. A 5-0 run helped the Wildcats regain control, but again Tech rallied, cutting the advantage to one, at 19-18, with a 5-1 run of its own. The Hokies would get no closer Villanova maintained the margin and took the third set, 25-22.

The two squads went toe-to-toe again in the fourth frame, as both teams pulled even with each other four times in the stanza. Tied at 15, Tech went on a 4-0 run, and would not give up the lead for the rest of the set. A Felicia Willoughby kill forced a fifth set, as Tech won the fourth period, 25-21.

After winning the first two points of the final frame, Tech gave up nine of the next 10 points to Villanova and the momentum in the match. The Hokies would not recover, falling in the fifth set, 15-9, and the match, 3-2.

Freshman Jennifer Wiker earned all-tournament team honors, as the Charlotte, N.C., native hit .309 with 34 kills, averaging 3.09, in the three matches of the Cavalier Invite. Wiker tallied nine kills in the Villanova contest.

Three Hokies earned double-digit kills against the Wildcats, led by Willoughby’s 16. Freshman Cara Baarendse and sophomore Kirsty Blue recorded 12 and 10, respectively. Willoughby also added nine blocks in the affair. Senior Jill Gergen dug 31 attacks in the contest, the first time a Hokie has eclipsed the 30-dig mark since 2007. Sophomore Erin Leaser dished out 51 assists and registered 11 digs for her third double-double of the season, while junior Amy Wengrenovich totaled 14 digs in the contest.

The Villanova match finishes the Hokies’ non-conference season, as the Hokies wrap-up the early season slate 10-2. Tech travels to Florida State for a showdown next Friday at 7 p.m., and then heads south to Miami for a matchup with the Hurricanes on Sunday at 1:30 p.m. Results will be available at hokiesports.com for both matches.

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

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