October 6, 2011
Hokies rally to take down Wake Forest, 3-2
Record, Leaser tally double-doubles
Wake Forest (4-11) 2525261772
Virginia Tech (10-7) 27202425153
  • Cassell Coliseum - 303

BLACKSBURG, Va. – Returning home in dramatic fashion, the Virginia Tech volleyball team rallied for its second straight five-set victory as it knocked off the Wake Forest Demon Deacons 3-2 (27-25, 20-25, 24-26, 25-17, 15-7) Thursday evening at Cassell Coliseum. Three Hokies threw down double-digit kills as senior Justine Record led the way with her seventh double-double of the year after tallying a season-high 19 kills and 21 digs.

Tech (10-7, 3-3 ACC) opened the match on a 5-0 run, but the Deacons (4-11, 1-5 ACC) slowly battled back and eventually tied it at 13 apiece. Close play would ensue as Wake went on to tie the set on nine different occasions, including late in the match at 24 and 25 all. Two consecutive kills from Record and freshman Kathryn Caine sealed the set for the Hokies as they took the opener 27-25. Neither team hit particularly well in the set, but Tech walked away with the slight, 16-15 kills edge. The Deacons saw the advantage at the net with five total blocks, compared to just one for Tech.

The Deacons stole the momentum to open the second set, jumping out to a 7-3 lead early on, but Tech put together a 6-1 run to tie things up at 10-10. The Hokies were never able to regain their early lead but didn’t let Wake extend its lead beyond three points until it took a 22-18 lead late. The Deacons put together a 5-2 run to close out the second set and tie the match a 1-1 before the break. Wake hit at a much-improved .237 clip and held Tech to just nine kills in the set.

In the third set, The Hokies put together a pair of 5-1 runs set to notch comfortable leads on two different occasions. They went ahead by as many as seven points but allowed Wake to hang around and eventually threaten. Slowly chipping away at the large Tech lead, the Deacons tied the set up at 22, 23 and 24 before claiming the set 26-24. Tech held the advantage in nearly every statistical category as it tallied 16 kills and hit at a .213 clip, compared to Wake’s .182 hitting percentage and 13 kills.

Refusing to accept defeat, the Hokies stole back the momentum to open the fourth set and never looked back. Though the Deacons were able to linger, Tech eventually extended its lead to as many as nine points. The Hokies went on to even the match at two games apiece as they took the fourth set 25-17.

Tech began the deciding set with a commanding 9-1 run after breaking an early 2-2 tie. The Hokies never allowed Wake to get anything going as Record put together a 4-0 run of her own to extend Tech’s lead to 10-3 and force a Wake timeout. Record finished the set with six kills on six attempts; nearly matching the Deacons’ team total as Tech claimed a 15-7 win in the fifth set. Tech hit at an impressive .857 clip in the final set, while Wake recorded a .167 hitting percentage.

For the second straight match, junior Cara Baarendse set a new season high in kills, this time tallying 15. Junior Morgan O’Neill, along with Record, scooped up 20-plus digs for the second consecutive match as she tallied 25 against Wake.

Redshirt junior Jennifer Wiker rounded out Tech’s double-digit kills crew as she threw down 14, six of which came in the third set, while senior Erin Leaser racked up 11 digs and 34 assists for her second double-double of the season.

Kadija Fornah led the way for the Deacons as she tallied 17 kills and 17 digs. Dani Thompson scooped up a team-best 29 digs in the match, while Kristin Grissom and Calrin Salmon led Wake at the net with seven blocks each.

Tech returns to action tomorrow evening as it hosts Duke at 7 p.m. at Cassell Coliseum.

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

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