September 4, 2010
Hokies extend sweep streak, capture fifth Hokie Invite title
Cara Baarendse named tournament MVP
Jacksonville State (4-3 (0-0 OVC)) 2513240
Virginia Tech (5-1 (0-0 ACC)) 2725263
  • Cassell Coliseum - 522

BLACKSBURG, Va. – The Virginia Tech volleyball team closed out the fifth-annual Hilton Garden Hokie Invitational with a 3-0 victory over Jacksonville State, extending their home tournament winning streak to 18 matches, dating back to the first Hokie Invite in 2006. Cara Baarendse, who leads the Hokies with 60 kills on the season, was named the most valuable player of the tournament after notching 31 kills and a .491 hitting percentage with five block assists on the weekend.

The first set was neck-and-neck, with 16 ties and five lead changes. The Gamecocks were in control for the first half, never trailing, though never gaining a lead greater than three. However, the Hokies tied the score at 15 and then went up 16-15 for their first lead of the game, thanks to a service error by Stephanie Koontz. Although Tech never led by more than two points, the small scoring margin was sufficient, as after the set was tied 25-25, a kill by Victoria Hamsher and an attack error by Liza Senenkova gave the Hokies a 27-25 victory and a 1-0 lead in the match.

Tech rode the momentum of the close victory into the second set, quickly jumping out in front, 10-2, and taking the middle set, 25-13. The Gamecocks regained their footing in set three, keeping the score close throughout once again, with 10 ties and six lead changes. After the score was tied at 20, the Gamecocks went on a 4-1 run to get to set point, 24-21. The Hokies then pulled out an impressive comeback, winning five straight points and claiming their third consecutive match sweep, with a final set score of 26-24.

Cara Baarendse led the Hokies with 11 kills in 17 attempts for a .529 hitting percentage, elevating her career clip to .367 and extending her lead over Katie Esbrook’s program-record .324 mark. Jennifer Wiker helped out the offense with eight kills and three block assists, and Felicia Willoughby added another seven kills and eight blocks.

Willoughby’s first kill of the match was the 1,000th of her career, inching her closer the to Hokies’ all-time top-10 career killers. Moreover, Willoughby stuffed seven block assists to set a new all-time record for block assists, with 375 in her career. Her eight total blocks in the match increase her career total to 456, jumping her ahead of Cheryl Stinson and into third place all-time in total blocks.

Willoughby and fellow-senior Amy Wengrenovich, who notched her 700th career dig in the match, joined MVP Cara Baarendse on the all-tournament team. Lauren Harkins and Caitlin Vorbeck represented the Gamecoks, and Long Island’s Chelsey Stanton and Coastal Carolina’s Chelsy Kines rounded out the 2010 Hokie Invitational All-Tournament team.

The Hokies return to action next weekend, when they take on Central Arkansas, Western Kentucky, and Missouri in the Western Kentucky Tournament in Bowling Green, Ky. The first match begins at 9 a.m. EST on Friday, Sept. 10.

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

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