BLACKSBURG, Va. – The Virginia Tech volleyball team got off to a strong start in the 2013 season, defeating Towson 3-1 (25-21, 21-25, 25-16, 25-17) in the second match of the day at the Hokie Invitational at Cassell Coliseum in Blacksburg, Va.
Samantha Gostling knocked down 12 kills on .345 hitting percentage to lead the Hokies (1-0). Lindsey Owens and Kathryn Caine each tallied eight kills of their own, while Jordan Fish accumulated 32 assists. Defensively, a trio of Hokies registered double-digit digs. Fish led the way with 11, while Owens and Megan Beckwith each finished with 10. LaTasha Samson-Akpan recorded six blocks.
The first set was a battle between the two teams as there were nine ties and six lead changes. Tech and Towson were knotted at 17 before the Hokies went on a five-point run to move past the Tigers and go up 22-17. Towson looked to make a run late, cutting the lead to 23-21, but the Hokies claimed the final two points including a block assist from Kathryn Caine and Victoria Hamsher on the set-winner.
Early in the second frame, the two teams traded points and were tied at 11 before the Tigers scored nine unanswered to go on top 20-11. The Hokies looked to rally, closing the gap to 24-21, but Towson’s Victoria Willams knocked down a kill to secure the winning point and tie the match at 1-1.
The two teams kept it close to open the third set with the Tigers leading 10-8. Tech responded behind the serving of Victoria Hamsher as she served seven straight, including a pair of aces to put the Hokies ahead 14-10. Virginia Tech never looked back, closing out the set with an 11-6 run to go up 2-1 in the match.
Virginia Tech took the early lead in the fourth set going on top 7-1 in the opening rallies. The Tigers were unable to get anything going in the early part of the set, falling behind 17-9. Towson looked to make a run, closing the gap to five (18-13), but Tech answered and pulled ahead 21-15. The Tigers would get no closer than 21-17 as Tech scored the final four points to claim the win.
Victoria Williams led the way for the Tigers offensively with 11 kills, while Dayane Van Ass tallied 10. Paige Sekerak grabbed 18 digs to pace Towson defensively, just ahead of Saitaua Iosia, who finished with 17.
The Hokies will be back on the court this evening at 7 p.m. against Pacific.
For updates on Virginia Tech volleyball, follow the Hokies on Twitter (@VT_VBall).