SOUTH BEND, Ind. – The Virginia Tech volleyball team battled ACC newcomer Notre Dame on Wednesday evening, but the Irish proved too much as the Hokies fell 3-1 (25-20, 21-25, 25-27, 22-25) at Purcell Pavilion in South Bend, Ind.
Lindsey Owens tallied 19 kills and 10 digs to lead Virginia Tech (21-10, 9-8 ACC) with her seventh double-double of the season. Samantha Gostling notched 15 kills while hitting .364, and Victoria Hamsher had 14 kills and continued her strong hitting with .458 on the attack. Jordan Fish put up 55 assists.
Virginia Tech and Notre Dame went back and forth in the first set and were tied at 15-15 before the Hokies went on a 5-2 run to go on top 20-17 off a kill from Hamsher. The Irish pulled to within two at 21-19, but Tech closed out the set with a 4-1 run, taking the final point on a Hamsher ace to win 25-20.
In the second set, the two teams again kept it close early and were tied at 16-16 just over midway through the set. Notre Dame went on a 5-1 run to break open the scoring, taking the 21-17 lead. The Hokies closed the gap to 23-21, but a Tech error followed by an Irish kill secure the points for Notre Dame to win 25-21 and tie the match at 1-1.
Tech and Notre Dame battled in the third set with 14 ties. The Hokies and Irish were even at 20-20, but the Hokies went on a 4-0 run to get to set point off a Fighting Irish error. Notre Dame battled back though and tied it up at 24-24. The two teams were again tied at 25-25, but back-to-back kills gave the Irish the points to win 27-25 and take a 2-1 lead in the match.
In the final set, Notre Dame took an early lead and was up 15-10 just past the mid-point. The Irish extended their lead and were up 21-15, but the Hokies looked to make a late run, cutting it down to two at 23-21 off a block from Gostling and Samson-Akpan. Notre Dame scored on the next rally, but a kill from Owens again put the Hokies within two. The Irish secured the set and the match with a kill on the next rally to win 25-22.
Jeni Houser led Notre Dame (12-16, 6-11 ACC) with 13 kills. Toni Alugbue and Nicole Smith each had 12 for the offense. Maggie Brindock recorded 42 assists. Simmone Collins had six blocks while Alugbue and Andrea McHugh notched 10 digs each for the defense.
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