Tech battles with RV Miami (FL), drops ACC opener

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Virginia Tech (6-6) 202518231
Miami (7-0 1-0 ACC) 252325253
  • Knight Complex - 475

Box Score (PDF)

CORAL GABLES, Fla. – Virginia Tech’s Rhegan Mitchell and Ester Talamazzi posted double-doubles Friday evening, however, it was not enough as RV Miami (FL) edged out the Hokies’ volleyball squad, 3-1, inside the Knight Complex.

Tech (6-6, 0-1 ACC) competed with the Hurricanes (7-0, 1-0 ACC), who hadn’t played a match in more than 20 days due to Hurricane Irma, in nail-biting fashion with 22 ties and 11 lead changes on the night.

Miami, which played in its first home match of the season, played to its crowd to open up set one, leading 15-8 to force a Tech timeout. The Hokies cut the deficit to four, 23-19, but the Canes finished strong to claim the first set, 25-23. Marisa Cerchio and Jaila Tolbert combined for nine kills, while the team hit .300 in the opening frame.

Jumping out to an early 6-2 lead, the Hokies continued pushing their advantage before The U made a comeback to tie it 13-all. With the score knotted, Tech scored five-straight points and that would be enough, taking the second set by a score of 25-23.

The Hurricanes started the third frame out hot, leading 9-4 to force a Tech timeout. Out of the break, Jill Wilson’s squad put together a 9-2 run to take the lead behind Tolbert’s two kills, 13-11. However, that would be its only lead of the set as Miami finished the frame on a run 15-7.

The final set of the night turned out to be quite the battle as there was 12 ties and seven lead changes between the two teams. No team gained a bigger lead than three, and the frame began with the score tied 13-13.

Each team wouldn’t let the other gain an edge greater than two, with the score coming to a halt, 21-21, after a Hokie timeout. Trading places until the match point, the Hurricanes’ Olga Strantzali placed the ball in the back left corner to earn the kill, giving Miami the set, 25-23, and the match.

NOTES

- Cerchio, a freshman, racked up a career-high 11 kills while playing a new position. The middle blocker filled in at the left side hitter spot and did not disappoint, beating her previous mark of seven kills versus Idaho State in the season opener on Aug. 25.

- Mitchell turned in her third double-double this fall and 13th of her storied career. The setter dished out 41 assists, the most since Sept. 2 against SMU, and 12 digs.

- Talamazzi registered a 15-kill, 15-dig performance, marking the freshman’s second double-double of her career. She’s tallied 27 kills in her last two matches.

- Tolbert posted 10 kills, which is the sixth match this season she has tallied double-digit kills.

- Redshirt senior Stacey Christy recorded five kills and one service ace. With the ace, the Maryland native has chipped in an ace in four of her last five matches.

STAT OF THE MATCH

- Tech had three players reach double-digit kills in Talamazzi (15), Cerchio (11) and Tolbert (10), marking the fourth time in 2017 that the Hokies have had three players have 10 or more kills in a match.

QUOTING JILL LYTLE WILSON

“It was a fantastic match. I’m really excited about the grit and fight that our team showed. I’m certainly not happy with the lost, but our team was flying into the stands for balls and gave full effort. It was a major step for our program tonight.”

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WHAT IS NEXT

The Hokies will head north to face the only ranked team in the Atlantic Coast Conference, No. 19 Florida State, on Sunday in Tallahassee at 1 p.m. ET.

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

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