September 13, 2014
Hokies upset No. 12 Illinois, 3-2
Tech rallies to take the match in five
Virginia Tech (4-6) 33172525153
(12) Illinois (4-3) 35252219132
  • Murfreesboro, Tenn. - 356

MURFREEBORO, Tenn. – After falling in the first two sets, the Virginia Tech volleyball team puts together a big comeback to win the next three, defeating 12th-ranked Illinois 3-2 (33-35, 17-25, 25-22, 25-19, 15-13) on Saturday afternoon at the Blue Raider Bash in Murfreesboro, Tennessee.

Tech (4-6) boasted five players in double-digit kills, hitting .271 as a team. Sophomores Lindsey Owens and Amanda McKinzie tallied 14 kills each to lead a balanced Hokies’ attack. Owens also recorded four aces.

LaTasha Samson-Akpan posted 12 kills while Ashley Battle and Kathryn Caine added 10 a piece. Katie Krueger finished just one shy of double-digits with nine.

Jordan Fish and Kyra Coundourides put up 37 and 23 assists, respectively.

On the defensive side, Owens tallied a team-high 15 digs to go with her kills, recording her third double-double of the season. Fish also had her third double-double of the season, adding 12 digs. Battle came up big at the net for the Hokies with nine blocks.

The opening set was back-and-forth between the two teams with 16 ties and six lead changes. Tech and Illinois were tied at 14 before the Illini went on a 6-2 run to break the stalemate and take a 20-16 lead. The Illini maintained the advantage and were up 24-22, but the Hokies scored on back-to-back possessions to force the set in to extra points. The teams traded points over the next several rallies and were knotted at 33, but a Tech error followed by an Illinios ace secured the points for the 35-33 win.

In the second set, Illinois got out to the lead and was up 15-11 just past the midway point. The Hokies were unable to get any closer than two the rest of the way as Illinois rolled to win 25-17 and take the 2-0 lead in the match.

Illinois again took the lead midway through, going up 13-8 in the third set, but the Hokies chipped away at it with an 8-3 run to tie it up at 16 off a kill from Owens. The two teams were tied again at 17 before Tech rattled off four straight points, taking its first lead of the set on top 21-17. Illinois was unable to respond on the offensive side as the Hokies claimed it 25-22.

The Hokies and Illini kept it close early in the fourth with the Hokies holding the slight 14-13 lead at the midpoint. Tech extended its advantage with an 8-2 run to go on top 22-15 off an ace from Fish. Illinois got no closer than four in the final rallies as Tech rolled to the 25-19 win, tying the match at two all.

Virginia Tech took the early advantage in the final set, going up 8-5 as Owens knocked down a kill. Illinois answered, tying it up at nine. The Hokies scored the next two, taking the 11-9 lead off an ace from Samson-Akpan. Tech an Illinois traded points over the final rallies with the Hokies leading 14-13 before Samson-Akpan knocked down a kill to give Tech the point for the win.

Jocelynn Birks led Illinois (4-3) with 20 kills. Liz McMahon and Morganne Criswell added 18 each. Defensively, the Illini were led by Brandi Donnelly with 16 digs while Anna Dorn posted seven blocks.

The Hokies will be back on the court on Friday, Sept. 19 when they host UNC Wilmington in their home opener. The match is part of the two-day Hokie Invitational, which also features Radford and Marshall.

For updates on Virginia Tech volleyball, follow the Hokies on Twitter

HokieSports Shop