October 14, 2010
Dominant Hokies down Blue Devils
Tech defeats 26th-ranked Duke for just the second time in history
Duke (15-3 (7-1 ACC)) 182520171
Virginia Tech (12-6 (3-5 ACC)) 252125253
  • Cassell Coliseum - 357

BLACKSBURG, Va. – Justine Record, Cara Baarendse and Felicia Willoughby combined for 46 kills to lead the Virginia Tech volleyball squad past the Duke Blue Devils, 3-1 (25-18, 21-25, 25-20, 25-17), for just the second time in 23 all-time matchups. The win snaps the Blue Devils’ 13-match ACC win-streak dating back to November of last season and hands a loss to the last undefeated team in the ACC standings. The Blue Devils, who were ranked ninth in the nation in this week’s RPI, took their first loss from an unranked opponent since falling to North Carolina on Oct. 16, 2009. The win lifts the Hokies to 12-6 (3-5 ACC), while the Blue Devils drop to 15-3 (7-1 ACC).

The Hokies started the first set with a kill by Cara Baarendse, and after her ball-handling error evened the score at one, Baarendse followed with a second kill and a service ace to put the Hokies up 3-1, a lead they never surrendered through the whole set. They soon ran out to a 17-12 lead, forcing the flustered Blue Devils to call their first timeout. The stoppage of play did not help Duke as the Hokies soon made it 20-15, and a block assist by Jennifer Wiker and Felicia Willoughby closed out the first frame with a 25-18 Hokie victory.

After the two teams traded points in the first five plays of the second set, Duke took its first significant lead of the match, going up 11-7. The Hokies rallied to tie the score at 12, but Duke pushed back out in front 17-13, and soon they led 22-16. Tech was not willing to surrender and three kills and a block solo by Felicia Willoughby brought the Hokies within three, down 24-21, but Amanda Robertson shut the door on the frame with a kill from Kellie Catanach to even the match at one with a 25-21 win.

Tech opened the third frame with three straight points, but after the Hokies went up 9-6, the Blue Devils scored four in a row to take a 10-9 lead, the first lead change in the match. The Hokies responded with a kill by Victoria Hamsher, but Amanda Robertson put the Blue Devils back up 11-10. Back-to-back kills by Justine Record put the Hokies back in control for the second and final lead change of the entire match. After a Sophia Dunworth kill tied the set at 12, the Hokies won four straight points to go up 16-12, and the Blue Devils never recovered. Thanks to a combined 11 kills from Justine Record and Felicia Willoughby, the Hokies won their second set against Duke for just the third time in school history, taking the third frame, 25-20.

The Hokies rode their momentum into the fourth set, quickly jumping out to a 5-1 lead and never looking back. The Blue Devils soon found themselves behind 17-9, and though they would not go quietly, Duke dropped the fourth set, 25-17, losing their first ACC match in 14 outings by a score of 3-1.

Felicia Willoughby led the match with a season-high 19 kills and an impressive .731 hitting percentage, jumping her season percentage 26 points to .401, and she added five block assists and a block solo. Justine Record was one dig away from her third double-double of the season, notching 13 kills, nine digs, and five blocks, one solo, and hitting .321. Cara Baarendse registered 14 kills, four assists, three digs, two aces and three blocks, and struck at a .424 clip. Victoria Hamsher added seven more kills, six digs, and a match-high seven blocks, two solo. Erin Leaser had a solid 49 assists and eight digs, while Morgan O’Neill led the defense with 17 digs. Kirsten Higareda and Amy Wengrenovich rounded out the backcourt, notching nine and eight digs, respectively.

As a team, the Hokies hit an impressive .322 against the Blue Devils who had led the ACC in opponent hitting percentage heading into tonight’s match, holding their foes to an average of .144. Meanwhile, the Blue Devils hit just .209 in the match. The Hokies tied their season high with 15 blocks, holding the Blue Devils to just four.

The Hokies return to action tomorrow night when they host the Demon Deacons of Wake Forest in an ACC match beginning at 7 p.m.

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

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