November 5, 2011
Hokies fall at Duke, 3-1
Leaser earns third double-double
Virginia Tech (13-13) 232516191
Duke (17-7) 251925253
  • Cameron Indoor Stdm - 1,248

DURHAM, N.C. – The Virginia Tech volleyball team fell to the Duke Blue Devils 3-1 (23-25, 25-19, 16-25, 19-25) at Cameron Indoor Stadium on the Duke campus Saturday evening. Jennifer Wiker led the Tech offense for the second straight night with 17 kills, while Erin Leaser earned her third double-double of the year with 42 assists and a career high 17 digs. Christiana Gray led the way for the Blue Devils with 13 kills and six blocks.

Play opened with each team holding a comfortable early lead but things got very close towards the end of the set. After tying things at 20, 21, 22 and 23, back-to-back kills from Duke’s Gray closed out the set and gave the Blue Devils (17-7, 11-4 ACC) a 25-23 win to begin the match. Tech took the kills edge in the set, 17-15, as Wiker threw down five and Gray tallied six.

Tech (13-13, 6-9 ACC) responded in the second set after breaking an early 4-4 tie, as Victoria Hamsher strung together two aces and the Hokies forced two attacking errors by Duke to pull away. A 7-1 run later in the set gave Tech a 17-9 lead and they never looked back from there. A kill from Cara Baarendse ended the set at 25-19. Tech again held the offensive advantage with 13 kills compared to Duke’s nine.

The Blue Devils regained their momentum in the third set, not allowing Tech to get anything going. Duke extended its lead to as many as 11 at one point in the third set and went on to take the game, 25-16. True to form, the kills lead went to Duke, 12-9.

With their back against the wall, the Hokies began the fourth set ready to battle and Duke refused to back down. Close, back-and-forth play dominated the entire set until the Blue Devils put together three straight points after a Tech timeout. The momentum shifted as the Hokies we unable to make up the difference after that point. Two kills from Sophia Dunworth and another from Chelsea Cook sealed the match for the Blue Devils with a 25-19 fourth-set win. Wiker led all players with eight kills in the set, but Duke held the kills lead, 19-16.

Baarendse was the only other Hokie to tally double-digit kills as she threw down 11 in the match, while both teams notched 55 in the outing. Laura Misiewicz got the nod at libero for the second straight match and tallied 16 digs, helping Tech to the edge, 74-70. Hamsher and Kathryn Caine each got up for four blocks.

Dunworth added 12 kills for Duke in the match, while Ali McCurdy scooped up 25 digs. Setter Kellie Catanach also had a double-double in the match with 45 assists and 14 digs.

Tech returns to action next week while it also returns home for the first time in two weeks. The Hokies will host Maryland on Friday, Nov. 11 at 7 p.m.

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

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