BLACKSBURG, Va. – The Virginia Tech volleyball team defeated Lipscomb in a hard-fought three set match, 3-0 (25-21, 25-23, 28-26) on Friday evening during the first day of the Hokie Classic at Cassell Coliseum.
“I thought we had a lot of fight and a lot of heart tonight,” said Head Coach Chris Riley. “That’s a very good Lipscomb team. They are number two in the country in hitting percentage and I thought we did a very good job blocking and defending most of what they did. They have some great players on that team; they are very well coached and their defense is fantastic. I was happy with our group finding a way to beat a very good team even when we weren’t playing that great.”
Samantha Gostling knocked down 13 kills while hitting .400 on the attack to lead the Hokies (8-1). Lindsey Owens added eight kills while Kathryn Caine tallied seven. Caine was also strong on the defensive side, posting six blocks to match LaTasha Samson-Akpan for the team high. Kenedy McGrath and Megan Beckwith had eight digs each.
The two teams kept it close in the early part of the opening set, but the Bisons (4-3) broke open the scoring to take a 15-10 lead at the midway point. Tech answered with a 5-0 run to tie it up at 15-15 off a block from Samson-Akpan and Gostling. Lipscomb and Tech traded points and were tied at 17-17 before the Hokies went on a 4-0 run to take the 21-17 lead on a kill from Owens. The Bisons cut it to two at 23-21 but the Hokies scored the next two to take the set.
Tech took an early lead in the second frame and was up 9-6. The Bisons came back to tie it at 10-10 on a kill from Lauren Ford. Virginia Tech and Lipscomb traded points over the next several rallies and were tied at 15-15, but Tech went on a run to take the 19-16 off a block from Owens. The Hokies maintained the advantage, but the Bisons looked to make a late run, cutting it down to 23-22 late in the set. Tech was up 24-23 when a kill from Gostling gave the Hokies the set-winning point.
In the final set, Virginia Tech and Lipscomb battled throughout, tallying 15 ties and six lead changes. Lipscomb took the largest lead of the set midway through and was up by three at 15-12. The Bisons stayed on top before the Hokies went on a run to tie it up at 20-20. Tech and Lipscomb went back and forth in the final rallies with neither team taking more than a one-point advantage. The two teams were tied at 26-26 with the Hokies serving. Amanda McKinzie scored an ace to give Tech a 27-26 lead and a block from Samson-Akpan and Caine scored the match-winning point on the next rally.
Lipscomb had a trio of players with double-digit kills, with Jewell Dobson leading the way at 16, while Molly Spitznagle and Ford added 11 each. Caitlin Dotson tallied 43 assists. On the defensive side, Bri McCombs posted 18 digs.
The Hokies will be back on the court on Saturday, Sept. 14 at 12:30 p.m. when they host William & Mary during the second day of the Hokie Classic.
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