BLACKSBURG, Va. – The Virginia Tech volleyball team battled No. 14 Michigan State, winning the first two sets, but the Spartans rallied to win the match 3-2 (18-25, 20-25, 25-19, 25-20, 15-12) in the final match of the 2013 Hokie Invitational.
Tech claimed the title at the Hokie Invitational after the Hokies, MSU and Pacific all finished 3-1. The Hokies won more head-to-head sets to break the tie.
Samantha Gostling led a trio of Hokies (3-1) with double-digit kills, pacing Tech with 20. Kathryn Caine added 14 while freshman Lindsey Owens tallied 12. Caine was also strong on the defensive side, posting five blocks. Megan Beckwith notched 16 digs, while Jordan Fish recorded 51 assists in the match.
Gostling was named the tournament MVP while Caine and Fish both earned spots on the All-Tournament team.
The opening set between Virginia Tech and Michigan State (3-1) was a battle with 17 ties and four lead changes. The two squads were tied at 17 before the Hokies broke open the scoring with back-to-back kills from Victoria Hamsher. The Spartans scored on the next rally to close to one, but Tech closed out the set with a 6-0 run.
In the second set, the Hokies got out in front early, going on top 15-8. MSU closed the gap and were within four at 23-19, but a kill from Caine and a Spartan misstep gave Tech the points needed for the 25-20 win.
Michigan State came out strong in the third set, taking the early 5-0 lead. The Hokies were within two at 12-10, but the Spartans responded with a 6-1 run to go on top 18-11. The Hokies closed the gap to four at 23-19, but a kill and defensive stop by the Spartans secured the points for the Spartans to take the set.
The two teams kept it close early in the fourth frame with the Hokies trailing at 12-10. Michigan State went on a 5-1 run to go on top 17-11. Tech pulled to within three at 23-20, but back-to-back kills scored the points the Spartans needed to win the set.
MSU took an early 7-3 lead in the final set, but the Hokies battled back over the next several rallies to close to within one at 13-12. The Spartans tallied the points for the win off a kill and ace from Kelsey Kuipers.
Michigan State’s Lauren Wicinski tallied a double-double with 20 kills and 11 digs. On the defensive side, Kori Moster recorded 16 digs while Allyssah Fitterer notched nine digs. Alexis Mathews added 15 kills. Wicinski and Mathews were both named to the All-Tournament team.
Also making the All-Tournament team for the 2013 Hokie Invitational were Breanna Kochinsky of Saint Francis, Towson’s Lindsay Flaherty and Pacific’s Kat Schultz.
The Hokies will return to the court on Friday, Sept. 6 at the Middle Tennessee Invitational. Virginia Tech opens the tournament at 10 a.m. against Austin Peay.
For updates on Virginia Tech volleyball, follow the Hokies on Twitter (@VT_VBall).