Tolbert's career day not enough against NC State

Virginia Tech (7-12) 261620211
NC State (13-6) 242525253
  • Reynolds Coliseum - 991

Box Score (PDF)

RALEIGH, N.C. – Junior Jaila Tolbert played arguably the best match of her career, racking up a career-high 22 kills for Virginia Tech’s volleyball team, however, NC State claimed the victory, 3-1, inside Reynolds Coliseum Sunday afternoon.

The right side hitter put together a .350 hitting percentage for Tech (7-12, 1-7 ACC), while adding three blocks against the Wolfpack (13-6, 8-0 ACC), who sit atop the ACC standings with an unblemished record tied with Pitt.

Jumping out to an early advantage, the Hokies led 10-7 after five players chipped in at least one kill. Momentum would swing to the Wolfpack, though, as NC State regained the lead, 19-17, forcing a Tech timeout. Out of the break, the Hokies would come back to tie it up at 23-23, after a kill by freshman Kaity Smith. State would get the next one to make it match point, 24-23, but Tech would score the following three behind back-to-back combo blocks from Stacey Christy and Tolbert to seal it, 26-24, in set one.

Putting a halt to Tech’s momentum entering the second stanza, the Wolfpack got out to an 8-4 lead and extended it to 16-8. From that point on, play would seesaw with Tech scoring eight points compared to State’s nine as the Pack won 25-16.

The Wolfpack again rattled off a lead early on, taking a 15-10 advantage into a Tech timeout. After the pause in action, the Hokies cut it to three, 20-17, following a kill from outside hitter Ester Talamazzi. But State would score five of the next eight points to get the edge going into the final frame.

Earning its biggest advantage of the day, Tech came out hot to gain an 11-4 lead after a crafty kill from setter Rhegan Mitchell, who tied a career-high five kills on the day. The Wolfpack started chipping away at the lead and gained it, roaring all the back to take their first advantage of the set at 17-16. With one big play after another, the two sides battled back and forth but State’s Bree Bailey, who tallied a team-best 17 kills, hammered down the final point of the match, marking State’s eighth win in a row.


- Tolbert has been on a tear as of late, turning in 33 kills and five blocks over the weekend. The Minnesota native has hit north of .300 in her last five matches. With the 22 kills against the Wolfpack, Tolbert tops her previous high of 20 set against Appalachian State on Aug. 26, 2016.

- Mitchell dished out the third-most assists of the season (48) and added six digs, while putting down a season-high five kills. The 48 assists mark her fourth-straight match of 40-plus.

- Talamazzi turned in her seventh double-double of the fall, racking up 11 kills and 13 digs. It marks the sixth double-double of her last eight matches.

- Libero Carol Raffety recorded her 11th-straight match of 10-plus digs, scooping up 16 to move her season total to 272.

- Christy registered nine kills, which is her third-most in a match this season. The Maryland native has posted 27 kills in her last four matches at the middle blocker spot.

- Defensive specialist Rhana Mitchell drew her first start of the season, and second of her career, posting four digs to give her 10 in her last two matches – her best two-match stretch of 2017.

- Michigan native Abby McKinzie tallied six digs, the most since Oct. 1 against Pitt (8). The sophomore has accounted 31 digs in conference action.


- Despite the loss, play was neck-and-neck as the teams were only separated by one mark each in three categories – Tech 61 kills, State 62 kills; Tech 58 assists, State 59 assists; Tech 50 digs, State 49 digs. The match saw 21 ties, including 12 in the epic first set, and nine lead changes in front of a crowd of 991.



The Hokies head back to Blacksburg and will host their third and fourth home ACC matches on Virginia Tech’s homecoming weekend Oct. 20-22. Tech will take on Wake Forest on Friday at 6:30 p.m. ET and Duke on Sunday at 1 p.m.

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

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