September 9, 2016
Northwestern gets by Tech, 3-0
Powers finishes with 18, assists, eight digs and two blocks in her debut
Virginia Tech (4-3) 2424160
Northwestern (5-2) 2626253
  • Nashville, Tennessee

NASHVILLE -- Despite having two starters sidelined by injuries, the Virginia Tech volleyball team held set point in the first and second frames but could not capitalize against a tough Northwestern squad as the Hokies fell to the he Wildcats, 3-0, in the first match of the Lipscomb Invitational on Friday morning.

Junior Mandy Powers, who started at setter in the absence of sophomore Rhegan Mitchell, finished with 18 assists, eight digs, two blocks and five kills in her first-career start as a Hokie. Classmate Cara Cunningham continued her strong play in the preseason with a .364 hitting percentage and six blocks against the Wildcats.

With Tech holding a 5-4 lead in the first set, the Hokies used a 4-1 that created a little separation. A kill from senior Lindsey Owens and a Northwestern error forced the Wildcats to call a timeout trailing 9-5.

Northwestern closed the gap but one of sophomore Jaila Tolbert’s seven kills gave Tech set point at 24-23. It wouldn’t be enough though as Northwestern rattled off three-straight points to take the first set, 26-24.

The result was the same in the second frame where Northwestern claimed the set, 26-24, and went into the locker room with a 2-0 lead in the match. The Hokies held a 24-22 advantage but the Wildcats again came back, this time with a 4-0 run.

The Hokies will face Ole Miss later this evening at 6 p.m.


  • The loss dropped the Hokies to 4-3 on the season and 3-1 all-time against Northwestern.
  • Injuries prevented junior middle blocker Ashley Battle and sophomore setter Rhegan Mitchell from making the trip. Starting in their place were junior Stacey Christy and Powers.
  • Powers’ start against the Wildcats was her first as a Hokie.
  • Junior Cara Cunningham finished with six blocks, one shy of her season-high set against Appalachian State, to go along with a .364 hitting percentage (6-2-11).
  • Freshman Gaby Senties came on in the third set for her most extensive time on the floor this season. She chipped in a dig and four assists.
  • Northwestern avoided serving to freshman Carol Raffety all morning as she finished with no receiving errors and nine digs. Raffety also posted her second kill of the season and two aces.
  • Errors at the net and in receiving, especially in the first two sets, plagued the Hokies as they gave 12 points to the Wildcats.

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