November 26, 2010
Hokies close regular season with 5-set comeback victory over rival 'Hoos
Justine Record registered a double-double with 14 kills, 18 digs and three blocks
Virginia (14-16) 25172623112
Virginia Tech (19-11) 17252425153
  • Cassell Coliseum - 1,186

BLACKSBURG, Va. – The Virginia Tech volleyball team hosted in-state rival University of Virginia this evening in the final match of the 2010 regular season. After dropping the first set, which had decided the winner in 27 of the 29 matches prior to tonight, Tech rallied to defeat the rival Cavaliers, 3-2, to end its regular season on a high note, earning the Hokies’ 10th ACC win. The win earns Tech a 19-11 (10-10 ACC) regular-season record, while Virginia finishes 14-16 (8-12 ACC).

The Hokies got off to a strong start in the first set, jumping out to a 9-4 lead, capped off by a service ace by Amy Wengrenovich. However, the Cavaliers rallied to tie the score at 11, then pushed ahead 14-11, going on a 10-3 run early in the first frame. The ‘Hoos’ mid-set lead was enough to win the first game, as they finished off the set on an 11-6 run, taking the frame, 25-17.

The second set began similarly to the first, as the Hokies once again opened the frame up 9-4. However, Tech was able to hold onto its lead this time around, never surrendering its advantage, and winning the second set by a score of 25-17, tying the match at one set apiece.

The third frame was close throughout, as neither team had a lead larger than two during the entire set. After the score was tied 4-4, the Cavaliers went up 6-4 and maintained a small lead until the Hokies tied the score at 12. The two teams traded points over the next six plays, but Virginia then went back up 17-15. However, the Hokies came right back to tie the score at 18. The Hokies and ‘Hoos continued to battle, and soon the score was tied at 21. This time the Hokies took the next two-point lead, going up 23-21, but an attack error by Felicia Willoughby made it 23-22, and a service ace by Simone Asque, which unexpectedly rolled off Willoughby’s arm, tied the score at 23. An attack error by Justine Record followed by a service error by Asque made it 24-24, when McKenzie Adams notched back-to-back kills for the Cavs, handing them a 26-24 victory and a 2-1 lead in the match.

Virginia opened the fourth frame with a 10-5 lead, but the Hokies were not willing to let their season end with a loss, as they battled back to tie the score 14-14 on a 9-4 run. The two teams traded points over the next 12 plays, Tech always taking a one-point lead, followed by Virginia re-tying the score. However, a kill by Tobi Farrar and an attack error by Jennifer Wiker gave the Cavaliers their first lead since Tech tied it at 14. Nevertheless, Justine Record stepped up, notching three consecutive kills to win the fourth set for Tech, 25-23, and force the Hokies into their ninth 5-set match of the season.

Tech opened the tiebreaking fifth set with four straight points, before Virginia finally got on the board with a kill by McKenzie Adams, after Erin Leaser and Victoria Hamsher’s block attempt landed just inches out of play. The Cavaliers did not give up, and fought to within two, down 7-5, but they were never able to overcome the early deficit, as Tech won the fifth set, 15-11, completing its first season sweep of the rival Cavaliers since 1992.

Tech entered tonight’s match 17-1 when winning the first set, but 1-10 when trailing 1-0, having only come back to defeat Xavier on Aug. 28. It was also just the second time this season that the Hokies overcame a 2-1 deficit, as they also found themselves behind 2-1 on Sept. 17 at Virginia, before beating the Cavaliers the first time around.

Justine Record had a strong day on both sides of the ball, earning 18 digs and a team-high 14 kills, notching her seventh double-double of the season. Additionally, she registered three blocks, an assist and a service ace. Cara Baarendse followed closely with 13 kills, adding an assist, a block and four digs. Felicia Willoughby notched 10 kills in her final match at Cassell Coliseum, moving her into seventh place all-time at Virginia Tech with 1,273 career kills, and added four block assists and a block solo. Jennifer Wiker added 11 kills and four digs, and Victoria Hamsher pitched in an additional seven kills, four digs and five blocks. Her team-leading five blocks elevated her season total to 104, which moves her into fourth place all-time in the Tech freshman record books for total blocks, passing Michelle Lang’s 101 from 2006.

Erin Leaser had a solid all-around night, notching 50 assists, nine digs, four block assists, and three kills, hitting .300 in the match. Morgan O’Neill led the Hokies’ defense with 21 digs, and Amy Wengrenovich notched 17 in her final career match in Cassell Coliseum.

Tonight’s match concluded the 2010 regular season. The Hokies, who are still a prime candidate for the postseason, will find out this Sunday if their hard work will result in Tech’s first ever bid to the NCAA Tournament. The selection show will air as a segment on ESPNEWS between 3:00 and 3:30 p.m. this Sunday, Nov. 28. Be sure to visit for complete coverage, should the Hokies achieve their postseason goal.

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

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