October 7, 2011
Tech comes up just short against Duke, 3-2
Baarendse leads Tech with a season-high 16 kills
Duke (9-6) 16252325153
Virginia Tech (10-8) 25172517102
  • Cassel Coliseum - 723

BLACKSBURG, Va. – The Virginia Tech volleyball team came up just short against the Duke Blue Devils, falling 3-2 (16-25, 25-17, 23-25, 25-17, 15-10) at Cassel Coliseum Friday night. Junior Cara Baarendse was the only Hokie to tally double-digit kills as she set a new season high for the third time this week, leading the way with 16 on the night. Three Duke players notched double-figure kills as Christiana Gray paced the squad with 17.

Tech (10-8, 3-4 ACC) got out to an impressive start as it went up 7-3 early and continued to run away from there. A kill from Baarendse midway through the opener that made it 14-9 forced Duke (9-6, 3-3 ACC) to call a timeout, and a kill from freshman Kathryn Caine followed by a Duke error helped push the Hokies closer to victory. Caine eventually closed out the set at 25-16 and gave Tech the early lead. The Hokies held Duke to a -.088 hitting percentage while hitting at a .379 clip. Tech nearly doubled the Blue Devils’ kills total as it took the 13-7 edge.

Close play began the second set, but the Blue Devils quickly turned the tables on Tech. Duke took off after breaking a 4-4 tie and never looked back. Despite short rallies and a late 4-0 run at match point from Tech, the Blue Devils tied the match at 1-1 as they took a 25-17 victory. Duke tallied 13 kills in the set, hitting at a .360 clip, while the Hokies just barely trailed with 12 kills on a .241 hitting percentage.

The third set opened much like the second, but neither team was able to pull away at any point. The set saw 10 ties and seven lead changes throughout, but Tech rallied late and put together a 5-1 run after being down 20-22 to take the set, 25-23. The Blue Devils again boasted the kills advantage as they tallied 13, six of which came from Sophia Dunworth.

In an attempt to regain the momentum the Blue Devils jumped out to an early lead, but Tech battled back to tie the set five different times. Duke put together a 5-1 run to disrupt the back-and-forth game and jumped out to a lead that Tech was unable to overcome. The Blue Devils eventually evened the match at 2-2 as they took the fourth set 25-17. Duke again took the kills edge, this time tallying a match-high 18. Gray was big for the Blue Devils as she threw down six kills in the set on six attempts.

Entering a fifth set for the third consecutive match, the Hokies jumped out to a quick 3-0 lead but allowed Duke to work its way back into it. After the Blue Devils broke a four-all tie, they never looked back. Tech came as close as two but was unable to fully overcome the difference, falling 15-10.

Senior Justine Record notched double-digit digs for the third straight match as she scooped up 13 against Duke, while Victoria Hamsher led Tech at the net with six blocks. The Hokies walked away with the blocks advantage, 13-8.

Dunworth, along with Jeme Obeime, rounded out the double-digit kills crew for Duke with 15 and 10, respectively, while the ACC’s digs leader Ali McCurdy tallied a match-high 32 digs.

Tech hits the road again next week as it travels to North Carolina for a match against the Tar Heels on Thursday, Oct. 13 at 7 p.m., moving to nearby NC State the following evening for another 7 p.m. match.

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

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