Hokies stay perfect on opening day

Virginia Tech (2-0) 2525253
South Dakota State (1-1) 1612190
  • Milwaukee, Wis. - 111

MILWAUKEE – Virginia Tech Volleyball picked up where it left off Friday evening as the Hokies swept South Dakota State, 3-0, behind a balanced attack on their second match of the day in the four-team Pepsi Panther Invitational at the Klotsche Center.

Tech (2-0) defeated Idaho State in five sets earlier in the afternoon, 3-2, before giving the Jackrabbits (1-1) their first loss of the young season.

In a stellar defensive match, the Hokies held SDSU to under 20 points in all three sets. Sophomore Carol Raffety led the charge posting 10 digs and eight other players chipped in at least one dig in the nightcap.

In set one, Tech hit an even .500 clip while holding the Jackrabbits to .130 to take it 25-16. Senior Stacey Christy tallied her two blocks on the night in the opening frame.

For the first time since Aug. 26, 2016, the Hokies held and opponent to under 12 points. Set two finished with a final score of 25-12 after Tech hit .706 with 12 kills.

Set three was Tech’s best defensive effort as it only allowed a .040 hitting percentage from SDSU to clinch the victory, 25-19.


- Another career-high was broken on Friday as middle blocker Cara Cunningham broke her previous Virginia Tech personal best of nine kills with rattling off 12 kills, including five alone in set two. In today’s earlier match against the Bengals, Rhegan Mitchell and Stacey Christy set new highs in assists (65) and kills (11). Sophomore Abby McKinzie tied her career-best in digs (11).

- Freshman Kai Young performed well in her first-ever match at the collegiate level, tallying two kills on two attempts and one block assist.

- Fellow freshman Kaity Smith again had a 10-plus kill performance, posting 11 kills and hitting .381.

- Setter Rhegan Mitchell recorded 31 assists, racking up her total to 96 assists through two matches.


Mitchell in her last two season openers has performed her best, setting career highs in back-to-back years. The Georgia native had 57 assists against Appalachian State in 2016’s opener and 65 earlier today versus Idaho State.



“I was excited to see all four of our middles add tonight, so we’re going to look for them to do that in different circumstances tomorrow. I challenged our block this morning and they really responded well.”


The Hokies will play Milwaukee tomorrow at 2:30 p.m. ET in their final match of the Pepsi Panther Invitational. Fans can follow along on ESPN3 and live stats.

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

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