September 17, 2011
Hokies outlast Huskies, 3-1
Hamsher sets blocks season high in second straight match
Connecticut (8-4) 142519241
Virginia Tech (8-5) 252125263
  • Cassell Coliseum - 534

BLACKSBURG, Va. – The Virginia Tech volleyball team went 3-0 in a home tournament for the second time this season as it rounded out the Hilton Garden Hokie Invitational with a 3-1 (24-14, 21-25, 25-19, 26-24) victory over the Connecticut Huskies at Cassel Coliseum Saturday evening. Sophomore Victoria Hamsher set another season high in block assists with eight, erasing the previous season-best she tallied earlier in the day.

Three Tech (8-5) players tallied double-digit kills in the match as junior Cara Baarendse led the way with 13 and Jennifer Wiker and Samantha Gostling threw down 11 apiece.

Connecticut’s Mattison Quayle led the way with a match-high 18 kills, while Jordan Kirk also tallied 12 kills for the Huskies (8-4).

Tech came out slow and eventually taking an early lead, but allowed the Huskies to keep things close. A big kill from Gostling propelled the Hokies as they took off from an 8-7 score and never looked back, eventually taking the opener 25-14. The Hokies held UConn to a .094 hitting percentage while hitting at a .500 clip themselves. Tech also took the advantage on blocks, tallying four total, while the Huskies were not present on the net.

Beginning the second set on top, Tech got out to a 6-2 lead but quickly let the Huskies back into the game as they tied it at seven and continued to linger. Despite a late effort from the Hokies, UConn would never lose command of the set and eventually took the game 25-21. Quayle was the difference-maker in the second set as she threw down six of UConn’s 15 kills.

Allowing the Huskies to carry the momentum into the third set, Tech went down early but continued to battle back. After numerous ties, the Hokies broke an 8-8 lock and took off with a 10-0 run, forcing a UConn timeout at 18-8. Tech would never allow the Huskies back in the game, earning the 25-19 win as well as the 13-11 kills edge. The Hokies held UConn to a .182 hitting percentage in the third set, while hitting at a .414 clip.

Back-and-forth play would theme the final set as neither team extended past a three-point lead. There were 18 ties and 10 lead changes in the set that saw Tech often battling from behind.

A kill from senior Justine Record tied things up at 20 coming out of a UConn timeout and another from Gostling gave Tech a late lead. After tying the game at 22, 23 and 24, the Hokies eventually claimed the 26-24 victory with three straight points to close out the 3-1 match win.

Tech dominated the Huskies on the net as it racked up a near season-high 14 blocks, while UConn had just four total.

The Hokies will get back to conference play next weekend after opening their ACC slate on Friday. Tech will host Miami at 7 p.m. on Friday, Sept. 23 at Cassell Coliseum before facing Florida State on Saturday at 6 p.m.

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

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