October 21, 2011
Hokies knock off Georgia Tech, 3-2
Baarendse leads offense with 17 kills
Georgia Tech (11-9) 2520172582
Virginia Tech (12-9) 23252511153
  • Cassell Coliseum - 617

BLACKSBURG, Va. – In a very evenly matched outing, the Virginia Tech volleyball team claimed its fourth five-set victory in the last six matches as it topped the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets 3-2 (23-25, 25-20, 25-17, 11-25, 15-8) at Cassel Coliseum on Friday evening. Entering the match with nearly identical records, both teams tallied 56 kills, while also notching nine total blocks.

Cara Baarendse led the Virginia Tech offense as she set a new season high with 17 kills, while Jennifer Wiker and Justine Record also threw down double-digit kills with 10 apiece. Monique Mead, who tallied less than five kills in only the final set, threw down a match-best 24 kills to lead the Yellow Jackets’ offense.

The tone for the match was set in the opening game, which saw 11 ties and six lead changes. Neither team ever led by more than three points in the set as each squad took its turn at leading by three. Virginia Tech (12-9, 5-5 ACC) took its lead early at 7-4 with a kill from Samantha Gostling, while the Yellow Jackets (11-9, 4-6 ACC) went up 21-18 later in the set and never let the Hokies regain control, claiming the first set 25-23. Baarendse tallied five of Virginia Tech’s 15 kills in the set, while Mead threw down seven of the Yellow Jackets’ 15.

The second set began similar to the first but the Hokies pulled away early and never looked back, forcing a Georgia Tech timeout at 7-3. Virginia Tech rolled through the set, keeping a comfortable distance and put together a three-point rally to grab a 25-20 second-set win. Mead continued to dominate the Georgia Tech offense with six kills in the set but a true team effort from the Hokies gave them the kills lead at 15-13.

In a nearly identical fashion as the set before it, the third set began with back-and-forth play before the Hokies put together an 8-1 run to jump out to a 13-8 lead. The Hokies momentum would never fade as they kept their distance from Georgia Tech and closed out with a 25-17 victory. Virginia Tech hit a .310 clip in the set but it was the Yellow Jackets that saw the slight kills advantage at 12-11.

Georgia Tech entered the fourth set with a vengeance as it stole the energy and eventually forced a deciding set. Early kills from Baarendse and Victoria Hamsher kept the Hokies in the picture to start things off, but Georgia Tech quickly took off. It used a 6-1 run to propel itself in front near the beginning and eventually took an impressive 25-11 win. Hitting at a .556 clip, the Yellow Jackets entered the set with just one ace through three sets and used four aces in the fourth to help earn the win. The Hokies were held to an. 038 hitting percentage while notching just nine kills.

In an effort to not allow the Yellow Jackets to carry any momentum into the final set, Virginia Tech used an 8-1 run early on to distance itself and build up some energy for itself. The Hokies never looked back as they took the final set 15-8 and claimed the match 3-2. Baarnedse threw down three of Virginia Tech’s six kills while Mead recorded just one of Georgia Tech’s five. The Hokies hit at a .235 clip and held the Yellow Jackets to a -.095 hitting percentage.

Record added 14 digs to her 10 kills for her eighth double-double of the season, while Morgan O’Neill also scooped up double-digit digs with 16 in the match. Erin Leaser and Jordan Fish shared the setting duties, tossing up 26 and 20 assists, respectively. Hamsher led the Hokies at the net with sic blocks.

Mead added 15 digs to her double-digit kills total for a double-double, while Kaleigh Colson also earned a double-double with 41 assists and 10 digs. Nicki Meyer led the defense with 20 digs as she was one of four Georgia Tech players to record double-digit digs.

The Hokies will take Saturday off before returning to Cassell to wrap up the weekend by hosting Clemson on Sunday. The match is set to begin at 1 p.m.

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

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