September 28, 2016
Tolbert's big night not enough in Tech's 3-1 loss to Pitt
Hokies turn in strong defensive effort against powerful Panthers
Pitt (11-3) 251829253
Virginia Tech (6-7) 122527161
  • Cassell Coliseum - 473

BLACKSBURG – In what was a tough, physical contest on both sides, a staunch defensive effort from the Virginia Tech volleyball team came up just short as Pitt defeated the Hokies, 3-1 (25-12, 18-25, 29-27, 25-16), on Wednesday evening on Virginia Tech Carillion Court.

Tech (6-8, 1-2 ACC) rejected 10 shots to Pitt’s six and held the Panthers to a .209 attack percentage. Pitt (12-3, 3-0 ACC) entered Wednesday hitting at a .269 clip which ranks first in the ACC. Sophomore Jaila Tolbert led the way offensively and defensively for the Hokies as she hit a career-best .733 without committing a single error and tied for the team-lead with five blocks.

After Pitt blitzed Tech in the first frame, Tech countered with an impressive second set performance. A 4-0 run that featured back-to-back kills from senior Lindsey Owens and Tolbert and an ace from Cunningham gave the Hokies an 11-8 lead. Holding set point at 24-15, the Hokies fended off a rally from the Panthers and held on to tie the match up at 1-1 with a 25-18 second set win.

Before falling in the fourth set, the Hokies missed a golden opportunity to take a 2-1 lead in the third. It was a back and forth affair that saw 56 points between the two teams. With the Hokies leading 23-17, Pitt used a furious rally to tie the score at 23-23. The Panthers held set point, 25-24, but a kill from Tolbert knotted up the score at 25-25 and kept the Hokies alive. Two more tie scores followed before Pitt delivered the decisive blow at 29-27.

Tech will be back in action on Friday when the Hokies take on Virginia in the Commonwealth Clash set for 7 p.m. at Cassell Coliseum. The first 200 students will receive a free “Hokies, bro” tank and free pizza will be served at the student tailgate.


  • Still weathering injuries, the Hokies went toe-to-toe with the one of the top teams in the ACC as the Panthers entered the night with the best hitting percentage at .269 and opponent’s hitting percentage at .164.
  • While Tech took advantage of 24 Pitt attack errors, the Hokies couldn’t get out of their own way in service as they surrendered 16 service errors.
  • Tonight’s performance marked the second time in her career that Tolbert took 10 or more swings without committing an error.
  • Tolbert snapped her career-high in attack percentage that was set in the first match of the season vs. App State when she hit .529.
  • Cunningham has tallied five or more blocks in six matches this season after posting give against Pitt.
  • Owens now has eight double-doubles on the season after registering 11 kills and and 22 digs, two-shy of matching her career-high, vs. Pitt.

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

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