Tech wins, 3-1, over Toledo to conclude Thunder Invite

Toledo (3-6) 172521161
Virginia Tech (6-3) 252125253
  • Huntington, W.Va.

Box Score (PDF)

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. – After not looking for the start it wanted at the Thunder Invite, Virginia Tech’s volleyball team found its groove against Toledo, winning in four sets, 3-1, Saturday evening inside the Cam Henderson Center.

Tech (6-3) got back to its winning ways after dropping the first two matches of the four-team tournament versus Marshall and Maryland, holding Toledo (3-6) to a .180 hitting percentage. It marks the fourth time the Hokies’ defense has held an opponent to under a .200 clip.

Unlike the first two matches of the Thunder Invite in closeness, Tech ran a way with the match as there were only five ties and four lead changes in the Rockets and Hokies duel. Tech won by eight or more points in two sets.

Leading 12-11 in the first set, Tech put together a 6-0 run led by Kaity Smith and Jaila Tolbert’s two kills apiece, forcing a Toledo timeout. The Hokies would not falter the lead, finishing strong to win the opening set 25-17.

The second frame the Rockets held the momentum as they led 16-7, their biggest lead of the match, however, Tech rallied going on an 11-3 run to cut the deficit to a point, 19-18. Toledo would win, though, 25-21 on Emma Swope’s kill. Swope tallied 13 kills on the night.

After an Ester Talamazzi kill to put Tech up 10-6, the Rockets would storm back to trail only by one, 20-19. The Hokies rattled off four-straight points, before Toledo answered with two, but Swope tallied a service error to give Tech the frame.

Set four was a battle midway through as Toledo only trailed by one at 11-10, but Tech started building its lead going on a 6-1 run behind Tolbert’s back-to-back kills. The Hokies kept rolling as they scored the last five points in a row, finishing on a Carol Raffety ace to claim the match, 25-16.


- Tolbert showed her consistency at the right side spot, racking up a season-high 14 kills with a .591 clip. The junior hit over an incredible mark north of .450 in the tournament.

- Setter Mandy Powers earned her first start in 2017 and middle blocker Marisa Cerchio started her third match of the season. Powers dished out 15 assists, while Cerchio posted five kills and a block.

- Smith, who was tabbed to the All-Tournament Team, had a team-high 17 kills and 12 digs to post her second double-double of the year. The freshman has been named to two all-tournament squads – Pepsi Panther Invitational and the Thunder Invite.

- Raffety had another do-it-all night as the sophomore tallied a season-high 17 digs, three service aces and three assists.


- Tech’s defense came to play today as the squad recorded 62 digs, the second-most of the season, and six blocks. Redshirt senior Stacey Christy posted four block assists.



The Hokies conclude their non-conference slate on the road and return to Blacksburg, hosting the Hokie Invitational sponsored by the Fairfield Inn and Suites in Christiansburg inside the Carilion Clinic Court at Cassell Coliseum against Radford and East Tennessee State on Sept. 15-16.


Gia Milana, Maryland, MVP
Erika Pritchard, Maryland
Hailey Murray, Maryland
Taylor Pelton, Marshall
Madison Hill, Marshall
Kaity Smith, Virginia Tech
Maurissa Leonard, Toledo

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

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