COLUMBIA, Mo. –Virginia Tech kicked off the 2012 season strong as the Hokies picked up a 3-0 (25-14, 25-22, 25-18) win over Nicholls State on Friday afternoon at the Tiger Volleyball Invitational in Columbia, Mo.
Tech (1-0) was led by Samantha Gostling and Cara Baarendse with 11 kills each. Gostling also added a pair of blocks on the defensive side. Jordan Fish put up 34 assists while Jennifer Wiker tallied 10 digs for the Hokies.
The Colonels (0-2) were paced by Sarah Terry with seven kills. Nancy Taylor had 11 assists and Jeanne Logarbo notched 11 digs defensively.
In the opening set the Hokies came out strong, taking an early 7-4 lead fueled by attacks from Victoria Hamsher, Gostling and Fish. Hamsher pushed the Hokies to a 12-5 lead with a service ace two possessions later. Nicholls State was unable to rally as Tech took its largest lead of the set, on top by eight (17-9) off the block by Gostling and Hamsher. The Hokies closed out the set with back-to-back kills from Gostling to take the first frame, 25-14.
Tech was strong on the attack in the second set, hitting .364 with 16 kills. The Hokies got out to a 4-0 lead off a trio of kills from Baarendse and a service ace from Wiker. NSU answered to tie the set at five. The two teams were tied again at eight and nine before the Hokies had three straight kills to go up 12-9, forcing the NSU timeout. The Colonels would get no closer than two over the next several rallies as Tech extended its lead to 19-12. NSU again responded to close the gap to 24-22, but a kill from Kathryn Caine secured the set, 25-22 for the Hokies.
The Hokies again took a quick lead in the final set, going on top 11-3. Tech took its largest lead of the match with a 21-11 advantage off an ace from Baarendse. NSU looked to make a late run, cutting into the Hokies advantage to pull within five at 23-18. Tech secured the 24th point off a Colonels’ service error and a kill from Wiker gave the Hokies the point for the 25-18 win.
Today’s match marked the Hokies’ eighth consecutive season opening win. Tech threw down 45 kills to just 22 by the Colonels. The Hokies also notched seven aces to three from NSU.
The Hokies will be back on the court later today as they take on host team Missouri in an 8 p.m. ET match.
For updates on Virginia Tech volleyball, follow the Hokies on Twitter (@VT_VBall).