October 16, 2009
Epic comeback in set two propels Hokies to victory
Hokies sweep first-place Yellow Jackets in Cassell
Georgia Tech (12-6) 2624110
Virginia Tech (14-5) 2826253
  • Cassell Coliseum - 3,112

BLACKSBURG, Va. – The Virginia Tech volleyball squad established itself as a force to be reckoned with in the ACC race on Friday night, knocking off the first-place Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets, 3-0 (28-26, 26-24, 25-11), in front of a season-high crowd of 3,112 in Cassell Coliseum.

The Hokies (14-5, 4-4 ACC) continued its undefeated streak at home, moving to 9-0 on the season in Cassell, taking down the Yellow Jackets (12-6, 6-2 ACC), who sat tied for first place in the conference coming into the match, in the process.

Both teams started the match out evenly, tying each other four times in the first 10 points of set one. The Yellow Jackets gained a 15-11 edge and maintained the distance for much of the set, until a 4-0 run by the Hokies tied the period at 19 all. Seven more ties ensued until a service error by Georgia Tech’s Monique Mead and an attack error by the Yellow Jackets’ Chrissy DeMichelis sealed the frame for the Hokies, 28-26.

Set two proved to be one the most epic stanzas Virginia Tech has played all season long. Georgia Tech dominated the Hokies early, rushing out to a 6-0 lead and pushing the advantage all the way to 11-2. The Hokies did not give up though, and began chipping away at the lead. Down 16-8, Virginia Tech embarked on a 6-2 run to cut the deficit to four. After exchanging points to find themselves down 20-15, the Hokies rallied for a 7-2 streak to battle all the way back and even the period at 22-22.

The two squads tied again at 23-23 and 24-24, in the second set, when Mead of Georgia Tech committed an attack error to give the serve to the Hokies with a 25-24 advantage. After freshman Cara Baarendse’s serve, sophomore Justine Record dug a powerful attack from Mead and a great set from sophomore Erin Leaser allowed a determined freshman Morgan O’Neill to put down the final attack of the frame and complete the Tech comeback in set two, 26-24.

The Hokies would not be denied in the final stanza, using the momentum coming out of the locker room to control the entire period. Virginia Tech doubled the Yellow Jackets up at 8-4 and again at 16-8. Georgia Tech won the next point, but the Hokies then went on a 9-2 run to end the third set, 25-11, and the match, 3-0.

Virginia Tech hit .204 in the contest, and held the Yellow Jackets to a .098 hitting percentage. The Hokies blocked nine attacks, while Georgia Tech tallied eight in the match.

Record led the way for the Hokies with 13 kills on a .321 hitting percentage, while Leaser dished out 34 assists and connected on four of her six attacks on the night. Junior Felicia Willoughby and Baarendse formed a wall up front, registering five and four blocks, respectively. Freshman Morgan O'Neill recorded 15 digs in the match.

The Hokies will return to Cassell Coliseum on Saturday at 4 p.m., to take on the Clemson Tigers, who swept Virginia tonight. Results will be available on hokiesports.com.

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

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