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LOUISVILLE, Ky. – The Virginia Tech volleyball team hit .374 on the attack as a team to roll past Rice, 3-0 (25-16, 25-23, 25-16) on Friday afternoon during the opening day of the Active Ankle Challenge hosted by Louisville at Cardinal Arena.
Lindsey Owens and Samantha Gostling led Tech (11-1) with 14 kills each. Owens hit .458 on the attack while Gostling posted .423. Kathryn Caine added 12 kills while hitting .556. Jordan Fish put up 43 assists. On the defense, three players tallied 10 digs with Owens, Amanda McKinzie and Megan Beckwith reaching the mark. LaTasha Samson-Akpan recorded six blocks.
The Hokies took the early eight point, 12-4 lead in the opening set. Rice was unable to get anything going on the offensive side as the Hokies extended their lead to 23-12. A kill from Gostling and a block from Samson-Akpan gave Tech the points to win the set and take a 1-0 lead in the match.
In the second frame, the two teams battled back and forth with 12 ties in the set. The Owls and the Hokies traded points throughout and were tied as late as 20-20 before the Hokies scored the next two on back-to-back kills (Owens, Gostling) to go on top 22-20. Rice trailed 24-23 late in the set, but a kill from Gostling secured the winning point as Tech took a 2-0 lead in the match.
The Hokies came out strong in the third set, taking the early lead and were up 15-7 midway through. Tech again kept Rice’s offense in check by not allowing a late run from the Owls. The Hokies rolled on to the 25-16 win to secure the match winning set.
Tyler Jenkins tallied 10 kills for Rice (3-8) with Noelle Whitlock adding eight. Sara Blasier tallied 29 assists. Daniela Arenas recorded 13 digs while Jillian Humphrey posted three blocks for the defensive side.
The Hokies will remain in Louisville for two matches on Saturday beginning with Bowling Green at 10 a.m. Tech will face host-team Louisville in the night match at 7:30 p.m. at Cardinal Arena.
For updates on Virginia Tech volleyball, follow the Hokies on Twitter (@VT_VBall).