May 4, 2016
Five things; Q&A Chris Riley
Tech volleyball wraps up a successful spring

BLACKSBURG – Every spring, the Tech volleyball team competes in a three tournaments to continue improving throughout the offseason. This year the Hokies traveled to Virginia Beach and Richmond in Virginia before wrapping up the spring at North Carolina. Head coach Chris Riley broke down the details with a short Q&A on how the spring went heading into the summer.

1. Spring volleyball is a time to break down the game and work on the details. What were some of the focuses of the season?

“We worked really hard on improving our defense,” Riley said. “That’s somewhere we can get better on as a team. We had a healthy spring so it gave us a good opportunity to work on that as a team. We spent a lot of time working on our floor defense and targeting. We also tried to speed up our offense to the pins. We were very rhythmic in what we were trying to do. We made some tremendous strides in that and it worked very well for us.”

2. Did anyone specifically stand out to you throughout practices and games?

“The whole group really changed,” Riley said. “I don’t know that I could point out one person. Everybody had good days, everybody had good practices. The ones you always expect to stand out, Lindsey Owens, Amanda McKinzie, Ashley Battle, stood out but we had Stacey [Christy] back in the gym for the first time and she did tremendously well. Jaila [Tolbert] did great and improved on her blocking. Rhegan [Mitchell] made strides being the only setter. She did really well and took hold of the team so we’re really happy about that part of it. We had everyone doing a little bit of everything and I’m really pleased we performed.”

3. After seeing the team this spring, where do you see the 2016 recruits making an impact in the fall?

“With Kennedy Bryan graduating, we have an opening on the right side,” Riley said. “Camila [de Freitas Maluf] will be a good fit and help us immediately, especially with the higher, out-of-system play because that’s not something that has been our strength. Gaby [Senties] will bring us some stability and consistency setting-wise. Carol [Raffety] will be hopefully be able to pass and defend well enough at our level to add some depth in the lineup.”

4. What are the team’s expectations following the spring, heading into the summer and fall?

“Our expectations are to be a sweet 16 team,” Riley said. “That’s where we’re trying to get to with this group. Those are their expectations too. All the work we started in January is for that purpose. Our season started in January and hopefully it ends with the sweet 16 and beyond.”

5. Notes heading into the summer with the upcoming fall

Rising senior Lindsey Owens received Tech’s prestigious Skelton Award for her academic and athletic achievements in April. (Read more here.) Additionally, with 1,111 kills and 937 digs, Owens has the potential to become the fourth player in program history with 1,000 or more each. A mere 31 total blocks shy of the top-10 list, rising redshirt-junior Ashley Battle has an equal shot to put her name in Tech’s record books following two seasons with top-10 single season records.

The Hokies will return to campus in August to begin fall practices with their 2016 recruits.

For updates on Virginia Tech volleyball, follow the Hokies on Twitter and on Instagram @vthokievolleyball Instagram

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