No. 23 Michigan holds off Tech, 3-2
A trio of Hokies lead team with double-digit kills
COLUMBIA, Mo. – The Virginia Tech volleyball team battled No. 23 Michigan to five sets, but the Wolverines held on for the 3-2 (25-23, 16-25, 25-20, 27-29, 12-15) win on Saturday afternoon at the Tiger Volleyball Invitational in Columbia, Mo.
Leading the Wolverines (3-0) was Lexi Erwin with 29 kills. Kelly Murphy added 13 and Jennifer Cross notched 11. Lexi Dannemiller had 57 assists and Tiffany Morales secured 15 digs.
In the opening set the Wolverines got out to a 9-4 lead, forcing the Hokies to take a timeout. Tech responded with a 9-4 run to tie the match at 13. The two teams were tied again at 16 before Tech went on a 4-0 run fueled by a pair of kills from Baarendse. Michigan cut the lead down to one at 24-23, but a Wolverine serving error gave Tech the point needed to secure the set 25-23.
The Wolverines controlled much of the second set, getting out to an 18-8 lead. Michigan claimed the second set 25-16 to knot the match at 1-1.
Tech got out to the lead in the third set, going on top 9-5 early. The Wolverines tied it up at nine. The two teams traded points over the next several rallies and were tied at 16 before the Hokies went on a 4-0 run, taking a 20-16 lead off a block by Wiker and Baarendse. Tech controlled the rest of the match, taking the 25-20 win and a 2-1 advantage in the match.
Michigan took the early lead in the fourth frame up 13-7. The Hokies responded, cutting the advantage down to two at 14-12 off another block from Baarendse and Wiker. Tech kept it close and tied the match at 18 as Hamsher knocked down a kill off the assist from Fish. The two teams tied seven more times and were knotted at 27. Michigan recorded back-to-back kills to secure the set 27-25 and tie the match at 2-2.
Tech and Michigan traded points to open the final set and were tied at 10. The Wolverines scored the next two points, taking a 12-10 advantage and forcing the Tech timeout. The Hokies came out with a kill from Wicker, but the Wolverines again went up by two (13-11). Tech’s Gostling recorded a kill on the next rally, but a kill from UM’s Dannemiller and a service ace gave the Wolverines the points to secure the set (15-12) and the match.
Tech’s Baarendse earned a spot on the All-Tournament team after recording 31 kills, three aces, 15 digs and eight blocks on the weekend. She hit for a percentage of .491.
The Hokies will return to Blacksburg for their home opener Friday, Aug. 31 against Towson at 7 p.m. during the first day of the Hilton Garden Inn Hokie Invitational. On Saturday, Tech will face Harvard at 12:30 p.m. before a 7 p.m. match against Middle Tennessee State.
For updates on Virginia Tech volleyball, follow the Hokies on Twitter (@VT_VBall).