August 26, 2016
Tech volleyball grinds out five-set victory over Appalachian State in home opener
Tolbert tallies a career-high 20 kills to help lead the Hokies
Appalachian State (0-1) 2531262482
Virginia Tech (1-0) 22332426153
  • Cassell Coliseum - 837

BLACKSBURG – Behind sophomore Jaila Tolbert’s career-best 20 kills and .529 hitting percentage, the Virginia Tech volleyball team always found a way as the Hokies topped Appalachian State, 3-2, at Carilion Court in Cassell Coliseum in front of 837 fans on Friday evening.

After the Mountaineers claimed the first set, 25-22, the two teams went point-for-point in the second where they combined to register 64 total points. With its backs against the wall and facing a 31-30 deficit, an error and back-to-back kills from sophomore Rhegan Mitchell and senior Lindsey Owens cemented the Hokies’ wild 33-31 second set win.

Despite returning from the locker room and dropping the third frame, 26-24, the momentum from the second set victory stayed with Tech as the Hokies went on to take the final two sets to seal the 3-2 win in the season and home opener.

Match Notes

-Owens, a Preseason All-ACC selection, picked up where she left last season as the Orlando native posted a double-double, a team-high 22 kills and 14 digs, to go along with a .280 attacking percentage.

-Freshman Carol Raffety, who came to Blacksburg primarily as a hitter, transitioned to the back row and picked up her first career-start at libero. The Novato, California product had 28 digs, including a couple of acrobatic ones that kept Tech alive in the second set.

-Raffety’s fellow freshmen, Abby McKinzie and Gaby Sentíes, also saw time in the opener with McKinzie picking up her first service ace as a Hokie and six digs. After the second set, McKinzie shared the court with her sister and senior Amanda McKinzie.

-Mitchell matched her career-high with 57 assists, which she oringially set against Chatanooga last season on Sept. 19. She now has 973 assists through 33 career matches.

-Junior Cara Cunningham chipped in with two service aces and six blocks off the bench.

Up Next

The Hokies will face Siena at 12 p.m. and UMBC at 7 p.m. tomorrow in the final day of the Virginia Tech/Radford Invitational. Matches are free admissions and both will be streamed on WatchESPN via HokieVision LIVE and ACC Network Extra.

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

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