LOUISVILLE, Ky. – The Virginia Tech volleyball team battled Louisville to five-sets on Saturday night, but the Hokies faltered to the Cardinals, 3-2 (23-25, 25-12, 36-34, 18-25, 9-15) in the final match of the Active Ankle Challenge at Cardinal Arena in Louisville, Ky.
Victoria Hamsher paced four Tech (12-2) players in double-digit kills, with a career-high 18 kills. Kathryn Caine added 16 kills while Lindsey Owens chipped in 15. Samantha Gostling rounded out the double-digit attack with 11. Jordan Fish tallied a career-high 61 assists.
The Hokies took an early 9-4 lead in the opening set, but the Cardinals chipped away at the Tech advantage and tied it up at 16-16. Tech reclaimed the lead and was up 19-17, but Louisville again answered with back-to-back scores to tie the set up for the third time. The two teams were knotted at 22-22, but the Cardinals closed out the set to take a 1-0 lead in the match.
Tech got out to a 13-3 lead in the second frame. The Cardinals would get no closer than nine over the final rallies of the set as the Hokies rolled to the 25-12 win, tying the match at 1-1.
Virginia Tech and Louisville battled in the third set, with 14 ties and five lead changes. The two teams were back and forth early in the set, but the Hokies took a slight 13-9 advantage off an ace from Amanda McKinzie. Tech maintained the lead over the next several rallies, but the Cardinals came back to tie it up at 22-22. The Hokies and Cardinals traded points, tying 12 more times and were deadlocked at 34-34. A service ace from Beckwith followed by misstep by the Cardinals gave Tech the points for the 36-34 victory.
In the fourth set, the Hokies and Cardinals kept it close and were tied at 18-18. Louisville broke open the scoring and closed out the set with a 7-0 run to win 25-18 and tie the match up at 2-2.
In the final frame, Louisville and Tech were tied at 6-6, but the Cardinals went on a 3-0 run to go on top 9-6. The Hokies closed within two at 9-7, but would get no closer as the Cardinals claimed the set 15-9 to secure the match win.
Brooke Mattingly led Louisville (4-6) with 20 kills. Maya McClendon and Janelle Jenkins added 14 and 13, respectively. Katie George put up 61 assists. Defensively, Caitlin Welch tallied 30 digs and Randi Ewing posted six blocks.
For updates on Virginia Tech volleyball, follow the Hokies on Twitter (@VT_VBall).