BLACKSBURG, Va. – The Virginia Tech volleyball squad closed out its four-match homestand this evening with a visit by the Terrapins of the University of Maryland. After dropping a 3-set match in College Park earlier this season, the Hokies came out looking for revenge, and an outstanding performance gave the Tech team its 10th 3-0 victory of the season, defeating the Terps 25-16, 27-25, and 25-23. The win jumps the Hokies up into a tie for either fourth or fifth in the ACC depending on the outcomes of the rest of tonight’s matches with a record of 17-8 (8-7 ACC), while the Terps fall to 17-10 (8-7 ACC).
The first set started extremely close, neither team taking a lead larger than two. After the Hokies pulled ahead 9-7, the Terrapins pushed out in front, 11-9. However, the Hokies then won the next five straight to take a 14-11 lead. After an attack error by Jennifer Wiker gave the Terps their 12th point, the Hokies won eight of the next nine plays, taking a 22-13 lead, and a service ace by Justine Record finished off Maryland with a 25-16 Tech win in set one.
Set two was close throughout, with the Hokies maintaining a steady lead during the majority of the frame. Maryland tied the score, 17-17, but after a Tech timeout, the Hokies won the next three straight off back-to-back kills by Cara Baarendse and a service ace by Victoria Hamsher to make it 20-17. The Terps came back fighting, winning four of the next five points to tie it at 21. The two teams alternated points over the next eight plays, and soon it was tied 25-25. Justine Record then finished off the Terps for the second straight set, winning the last two points with a kill and a service ace.
The Terps opened the third set out in front 9-5, but the Hokies came right back to tie the score at 10. The score remained close for the remainder of the frame, neither team taking a lead larger than two, and soon it was tied at 22. A service error by Taylor Jones made it 23-22 in favor of Tech, but Lisa Scott smashed a kill to tie it at 23. A subsequent service error by Kara Bates gave the Hokies a match-point opportunity, and Justine Record made the final play of the set once again, dunking in her 12th kill of the night and giving Tech a 25-23 win and a 3-0 sweep of the Terps.
Justine Record had a strong night on the court, hitting a team-best .300 with 12 kills, four service aces and nine digs. Cara Baarendse also hit .300, earning seven kills and two digs, and Felicia Willoughby added another seven kills and five blocks, two solo. Erin Leaser put up 30 assists, eight digs and three kills, and Kirsten Higareda and Morgan O’Neill rounded out the defense with 11 and 18 digs, respectively. As a team, the Hokies put up seven service aces and just four errors, while the Terps handed Tech 15 free points on service errors, registering just four aces.
The Hokies hit the road next weekend to kick off a four-match road trip, beginning with a visit to Georgia Tech on Friday, Nov. 12. The ACC competition is scheduled to begin at 7 p.m.
For updates on Virginia Tech volleyball, follow the Hokies on Twitter (@VT_VBall).