Hokies fall to Miami at home

Miami (19-5 (13-5 ACC)) 2525253
Virginia Tech (9-20 (3-15 ACC)) 1922140
  • Cassell Coliseum - 468

Box Score (PDF)

BLACKSBURG – In its final match on a Sunday this season, the Virginia Tech volleyball team was defeated by Miami (Fla.), 3-0, at Carilion Clinic Court at Cassell Coliseum.

The Hokies (9-20, 3-15 ACC) were led by senior Cara Cunningham, who tallied eight kills on 10 errorless swings and a block. Outside hitter Olga Strantzali carried the load for the Hurricanes (19-5, 13-5 ACC) with a team-high 10 kills and four digs.

Starting off the match with the lead, Miami gained an 11-7 advantage, forcing Tech to take a timeout. Out of the break, the Hurricanes kept it going and pushed their lead to 18-11, before junior Jaila Tolbert rattled off two kills in a row followed by one more to cut it to 19-14. Both sides would trade points after Tolbert’s run, scoring five each until Miami’s Elizaveta Lukianova put down a kill to win it, 25-19.

With the score knotted at 7-7 after a Rhegan Mitchell kill, the largest advantage a team would sustain was two points all the way up to 23-20 in Miami’s favor. In between the 11 ties and six lead changes, freshman Ester Talamazzi went off, drilling six kills and three digs. Trailing by three points at 23-20, head coach Jill Wilson’s squad clawed back to make it 23-22, but the ‘Canes would call a timeout and proceed to score the next two points following the break to claim it, 25-23.

Miami began the final frame scoring eight of the first 10 points, causing Tech to take a timeout. Following the pause in action, the Hurricanes extended their lead to eight points at 15-7, making the Hokies burn another timeout. Miami would storm off on a 9-2 run to get it to match point, but Tech put together a 5-0 run behind two kills from Talamazzi and one from Tolbert. However, the ‘Canes scored the final point to take the stanza, 25-14, and the match.


- Cunningham posted eight kills to hit a career-high .800 (minimum 10 attacks). The eight kills were her second-most of the season and the highest mark since opening weekend. It marks the second time this fall the middle blocker has not made a mistake on an attack, and her fifth-straight match of owning five or more kills.

- Mitchell was close to another double-double, dishing out 26 assists and being just two digs shy of 10, while earning a kill. She has racked up 15 kills in the month of November from the setter position.

- Sophomore Carol Raffety scooped up a team-high nine digs and posted four assists. Since her career-high seven assists versus Duke on Oct. 22, the libero has turned in 31 assists in her last nine matches.

- Tolbert registered seven kills on a hitting clip of .375, as well as chipping in five digs. The Minnesota native has collected 17 digs her last three contests, marking her best three-match stretch of the fall.

- Talamazzi followed up her best performance of the month with another one, tallying a team-high 11 kills, seven digs and an assist. The Italy native racked up 26 kills and 12 digs on the weekend.


- Cunningham’s hitting percentage of .800 is the second-highest of any Hokie this year, almost topping the mark of freshman Marisa Cerchio’s .833, when the squad took on Toledo on Sept. 9.



The Hokies will get a short time of rest as they compete again on Wednesday versus Virginia at 4 p.m. ET at Carilion Clinic Court at Cassell Coliseum.

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