October 2, 2010
Yellow Jackets sting Hokies in 5-set zinger
Willoughby and Hamsher combined for 28 kills and 10 blocks
Georgia Tech (9-7 (2-3 ACC)) 21252425153
Virginia Tech (10-5 (1-4 ACC)) 2517261992
  • Cassell Coliseum - 419

BLACKSBURG, Va. – The Virginia Tech volleyball team hosted the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets this evening in the second match of the Hokies’ ACC home-opening weekend. After the Hokies won two of the first three sets, the Yellow Jackets rallied to overtake Tech, handing the Hokies their fourth consecutive loss, 3-2 (21-25, 25-17, 24-26, 25-19, 15-9). While the Hokies opened the season 3-0 in 5-set matches, the team has now dropped its last three competitions, 3-2. The win lifts the Yellow Jackets to 9-7 (2-3 ACC), while the Hokies slip to 10-5 (1-4 ACC).

The Hokies dominated in the first set, quickly taking a 6-1 lead and never looking back. Propelled by seven kills from senior Felicia Willoughby, the Hokies soon had a 20-12 lead. The Yellow Jackets battled back, outscoring the Hokies 9-3 over the next 12 plays and narrowing the gap to four, down 23-19, but back-to-back kills by Willoughby and Samantha Gostling put the Hokies up 1-0.

Georgia Tech meant business in the second set, soon jumping out in front 12-4. The Hokies then won six of the next seven points to make it 13-10, but the Yellow Jackets stretched their lead back out to five, 16-11. The Hokies continued to fight, narrowing the gap back to three, down 20-17, but the Yellow Jackets then won the final five points, tying the match at one with a 25-17 victory.

The Yellow Jackets had a small lead throughout the majority of the third frame, but the Hokies rallied to tie the score at 18, then went up 20-18. The Yellow Jackets countered with two points of their own, tying the set at 20. The teams traded points over the next eight plays, and the score soon sat in a 24-24 draw as Justine Record subbed in to the back row to serve. Record laid down a strong serve in her first attempt, forcing a ball-handling error by Mary Ashley Tippins to make it set-point. Record followed with an extremely forceful serve, nearly knocking over Nicki Meyer on the reception, and a block assist by Samantha Gostling and Felicia Willoughby closed the door on the third frame with a 26-24 Hokie victory.

The fourth set was extremely close throughout, and soon the score sat tied at 18. However the Yellow Jackets then went on a 7-1 run fueled by four kills by Bailey Hunter, to tie the match at two with a 25-19 win.

The fifth frame was anyone’s game, soon tied at five, but Georgia Tech then pushed ahead 12-6 and put the match away with a 15-9 victory, aided by six more kills from Hunter.

Junior Yellow Jacket Bailey Hunter led the match with 24 kills, averaging 5.75 over the final four sets. Felicia Willoughby led the Hokies with 15 kills and five blocks, two solo, attacking at a .423 clip and adding one dig. Freshman Victoria Hamsher notched 13 kills of her own, striking at a match-leading .450 mark, with five blocks, one solo, and three digs. Cara Baarendse added 10 more kills, six digs and a block assist.

Erin Leaser earned yet another double-double, registering 44 assists and 13 digs, adding three kills and two block assists. Morgan O’Neill led the Hokies with 14 digs, and Laura Misiewicz and Justine Record rounded out the defensive total with 10 and nine, respectively. The pair also combined for five service aces.

The Hokies hit the road next Friday, Oct. 18, to take on the Terrapins of the University of Maryland in an ACC matchup beginning at 7 p.m.

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

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