September 25, 2015
Tech comes up short to North Carolina
Amanda McKinzie and Kennedy Bryan record double-digit kills in loss.
North Carolina (4-6) 252625253
Virginia Tech (9-4) 16281571
  • Cassell Coliseum - 815

BLACKSBURG – The Virginia Tech volleyball team overpowered North Carolina to a second set 28-26 win, but fell short in four sets to open conference play on Friday night in front of a home crowd.

The Hokies slide to 9-4 overall with a 0-1 mark in the Atlantic Coast Conference, while the Tarheels improve to 4-6, 1-0 in the ACC.

Outside hitter Amanda McKinzie and middle blocker Kennedy Bryan kept Tech’s offense alive through the contest. McKinzie recorded double-digit kills for the 10th consecutive match, also marking her fifth double-double of the season. Bryan added 10 kills to McKinzie’s 13 for the night. Kenedy McGrath and McKinzie grounded the team as they collected 11 digs apiece. Lindsey Owens aided in the defensive effort tallying nine digs for the squad.

North Carolina’s Victoria McPherson slugged 16 kills for the Tarheels, attacking at a .517 clip. Paige Neuenfeldt added 12 kills to the squad’s 57 for the night. Both setters, Abigail Curry and Jordyn Schnabl, registered double-doubles in the matchup to pace North Carolina to its four-set win.

The Tarheels jumped on the board first to open the match, but the Hokies were able to keep the margin within three points. North Carolina escaped with a seven-point, mid-frame rally Tech could not overcome. Despite Bryan’s first ace of the season and McKinizie’s four kills, the Hokies fell short, 16-25.

Virginia Tech showed its resiliency in the second frame despite constant back-and-forth action throughout. Owens’ consecutive aces showed the Hokies’ fight as they were able to extend their lead to 18-15. North Carolina came back to tie it up, forcing Tech to three set points. The Hokies ultimately prevailed to a 28-26 win and even up the match at 1-1.

Looking to continue where they left off, the Hokies resumed the match with the same six on the court. However, the Tarheels responded with an early 6-1 lead. Tech combated with three consecutive blocks by Ashley Battle, Rhegan Mitchell and Owens to put the Hokies back on track. Despite valiant efforts, North Carolina secured the 25-15 decision.

North Carolina’s momentum continued into the fourth set. The Hokies tallied 15 digs in the frame, however, the Tarheels closed out the match, 25-6 for the set four win.

Tech looks to bounce back on Sunday afternoon when the Hokies take on NC State at 1 p.m. in Cassell Coliseum.

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