September 10, 2010
Hokies eke out 3-1 victory over Sugar Bears
Baarendse notched first ever double-double with a career-high 19 kills
Virginia Tech (6-1) 252524253
Central Arkansas (5-4) 232326141
  • Bowling Green, Ky.

BOWLING GREEN, Ky. – The Virginia Tech volleyball team faced the University of Central Arkansas Sugar Bears this morning in the opening match of the Western Kentucky Tournament. In an evenly-matched competition, the Hokies came out on top, 3-1 (25-23, 25-23, 24-26, 25-14), extending their current winning streak to four matches and improving to 6-1 (0-0 ACC) on the season. The loss drops the Sugar Bears to 5-4 (0-0 Southland).

The Hokies got off to a strong start in the first set, running out to a 13-9 lead and eventually extending it to eight, ahead 20-12. However, after Central Arkansas called a timeout, the Sugar Bears mounted a huge comeback to pull within one, 23-22, before Tech put the set away 25-23, thanks to a kill by freshman Samantha Gostling and an attack error by Taylor Hammonds.

The Sugar Bears took the first lead in the second set, opening the frame ahead 10-6, but the Hokies fought back to tie the score, 12-12. Tech battled to keep the Sugar Bears from gaining another large lead, but the Hokies still had yet to take a lead in the set, always down a point or two. However, after trailing 23-21, back-to-back kills by junior Justine Record tied the set at 23, and a block by Erin Leaser and Felicia Willoughby finished off the Sugar Bears, 25-23.

Tech jumped out to an early lead in set three, 7-3, but in similar fashion to the previous two sets, the Sugar Bears tied the score at 13. Neither team achieved a lead larger than two points in the remainder of the set, and once again, the score was tied 23-23 late in the frame. Taylor Hammonds registered a kill for the Sugar Bears, but Felicia Willoughby responded with a kill of her own, tying it 24-24. However, a service error by Willoughby and an attack error by Jennifer Wiker gave Central Arkansas the final two points it needed to win the set, 26-24.

After a slow start in the fourth set where neither team held a lead larger than one in the first 20 plays, the Hokies went on a 13-2 run to win the fourth set 25-14 and claim their fourth consecutive victory, 3-1.

Sophomore middle blocker Cara Baarendse, a national Top Performer last week, led the match with 19 kills and notched her first career double-double, adding 10 digs, two assists, and two service aces. Felicia Willoughby accounted for another 10 Hokie kills and stuffed five blocks, including a season-high three solo, to contribute to the Hokies’ season-high 11 team blocks.

Erin Leaser had a solid match in the front row, recording 39 assists, eight digs, six kills, and three blocks. Amy Wengrenovich notched a match-high 12 digs and Morgan O’Neill added 10 more on defense.

The Hokies return to action this afternoon with a match against host-team Western Kentucky at 3 p.m. EST.

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

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