BLACKSBURG, Va. – The Virginia Tech volleyball team will be back on the court this weekend for its first road trip of the season, traveling to Murfreesboro, Tenn. for the Middle Tennessee Invitational. Tech is set to open the tournament on Friday, Sept. 6 against Austin Peay at 10 a.m.
The Hokies will play host-team MTSU on Friday evening at 7:30. On Saturday, Tech will take-on North Dakota at 12:30 before facing UAB in an evening match at 5:30. Middle Tennessee will be live streaming all matches on its website for free.
Virginia Tech opened the season strong this past weekend, winning the Hokie Invitational with a 3-1 record. Senior Samantha Gostling was named the tournament MVP while juniors Kathryn Caine and Jordan Fish claimed All-Tournament honors.
Gostling is leading the Hokies (3-1) with 3.75 kills per set while freshman Lindsey Owens is adding 2.85 kps and Caine is chipping in 2.33. Fish is putting up 9.29 assists per set. On the defensive side, LaTasha Samson-Akpan is tallying 1.53 blocks per set and Megan Beckwith is recording 3.14 digs per set.
Austin Peay (1-3) opened the season at the USF Invitational. The Lady Govs picked up a 3-0 win against The Citadel the last time out.
Jada Stotts leads Austin Peay with 5.07 kps with Calyn Hull chipping in 2.0. Cami Fields is tallying 8.79 aps on the offensive side. Defensively, Hillary Plybon paces the Lady Govs with 1.0 bps along with Stotts and Fiels who are averaging 3.43 dps each.
This marks the first meeting between Virginia Tech and Austin Peay.
Middle Tennessee (3-1) also got off to a strong start last weekend, hosting its first tournament of the season. The Blue Raiders picked up a 3-2 win against San Francisco and defeated Notre Dame 3-1. MTSU fell to North Carolina, 3-0. In the team’s last outing, the Blue Raiders downed Southern Illinois, 3-2.
Chelsea Ross averages 4.12 kps for the Blue Raiders to lead the team while Jale Hervey and Tyler Richardson are adding 2.53 and 2.24, respectively. Shelby Anderton is putting up 7.12 aps. Kendall Howard is tallying 4.35 dps for the defensive side with Rachel Shaughnessy adding 1.35 bps at the net.
The Hokies and the Blue Raiders are 1-1 in the all-time series. Tech won the past meeting, 3-1 last season in Blacksburg. Gostling had 23 kills in that match for the Hokies while Ross posted 15 for MTSU.
North Dakota (1-2) fell to Texas A&M in the team’s last outing, 3-1. Lexi Robinson is leading UND on the season with 3.0 kps. Lisa Parlich is adding 2.70 kps and Ronnie Munkeby is notching 2.40. Nikki Hunsfeldt is tallying 9.0 aps. Munkeby is also strong on the defensive side with 1.20 bps while Lauren Clarke is recording 4.90 dps.
Saturday’s match is the first meeting between Tech and North Dakota.
UAB (4-1) is coming off a 3-0 win against Samford. The Blazers have a trio of players averaging three or more kills per set with Sam Skinner leading the way with 4.06. Kiriana Hirini is adding 3.56 and Sara Rishell is chipping in 3.12 kps. Becca Howard is notching 11.62 assists per set. Hirini and Rishell are also leading on the defensive side of the net with 1.31 and 1.38 bps, respectively. Rachel Fairbanks is picking up 4.69 dps.
Virginia Tech holds a 2-0 advantage on the Blazers in the all-time series. The two teams last met on Nov. 14 1992 in Durham N.C. Tech claimed a 3-2 win.
Following the weekend, the Hokies will be back at home to host the Hokie Classic, Sept. 13-14 at Cassell Coliseum.
For updates on Virginia Tech volleyball, follow the Hokies on Twitter (@VT_VBall).