Tech closes season versus Virginia, Pitt

Game Notes

BLACKSBURG – On Carilion Clinic Court at Cassell Coliseum for the final week of the regular season, Virginia Tech’s volleyball team will play against Virginia on Wednesday at 4 p.m. ET and Pitt on Friday at 4 p.m. on Senior Day.

The Hokies (9-20, 3-15 ACC) will close the season against their rival, the Cavaliers (7-22, 3-15 ACC), in the Commonwealth Clash presented by Virginia529 and the Panthers (23-6, 16-2 ACC), who sit atop the ACC standings.

At the conclusion of the match against Pitt, Tech will honor the senior class.

Wed. | 4 p.m. ET vs. Virginia | Stats | Stream
Fri. | 4 p.m. ET vs. Pitt | Stats | Stream

Both of Tech’s two matches will be streamed live on ACC Network Extra. You can watch the action on your computer or on your phone via the WatchESPN app.

The last time out, the Hokies went 0-2 in league play to close the ninth week of ACC competition. Tech played host to Florida State and Miami (Fla.) and fell both matches, picking up the third set versus the Seminoles.

Against the ‘Noles, freshman Kaity Smith and redshirt junior Rhegan Mitchell turned in double-doubles, as Mitchell picked up her 1,000th assist of the season and Smith posted a career-high five blocks.

Outside hitter Ester Talamazzi recorded her best match in the month of November, tallying 15 kills, her most since Oct. 22 against Duke, five digs and one block and assist apiece.

Versus the ‘Canes, senior Cara Cunningham hit a career-high .800 (minimum 10 attacks) on eight kills, marking the second-most kills for the middle blocker this fall.

Right side hitter Jaila 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.

Mitchell is fifth among all ACC players in total assists with 1,038 and Tolbert is ninth in the conference in hitting percentage (.327), however, she is ranked No. 1 among non-middle blockers. Libero Carol Raffety is seventh in the league with 404 digs, averaging 3.78 per set.

With the Hokies back on their home court, fans can bring multiple items to help out with the players’ Senior Project. The team is partnering with Carilion’s Children Hospital to collect items such as books, toys, games, clothes, toiletries and more.



• Similar to the Hokies, the Cavaliers (7-22) enter the last week of the season with a 3-15 record in conference play. Virginia took on Miami (Fla.) and took the Hurricanes to five sets, while dropping its match against Florida State in four frames.

• Head coach Aaron Smith is in his first year in Charlottesville, just like three other coaches who are breaking in their rookie campaigns in the ACC - Clemson’s Michaela Franklin, Louisville’s Dani Busboom Kelly an Tech’s Jill Wilson. In 2013 as an assistant coach, Smith was honored with the AVCA Thirty Under 30 award.

• The Cavaliers are led by Jelena Novakovic who owns a team-high 266 kills and Megan Wilson who has 785 assists. Wilson is coming off a 50-assist performance on Sunday against the Seminoles.

• The long rivalry between Virginia Tech and Virginia started back in 1979 in Blacksburg, a three-set win for the Hokies. Since then, things have been neck and neck as the all-time series is in Tech’s favor, 35-34. In recent memory, the Hokies won on the road at UVA, 3-1, behind an impressive 25-10 second-set victory.


• The Panthers enter the weekend with a 23-6 record and a 16-2 reading in ACC play, as they sit atop the conference standings tied with Louisville. Pitt comes off two convincing wins over Clemson and Georgia Tech on the road this past weekend, defeating both squads in three sets.

• Outside hitters Nika Markovic and Stephanie Williams lead the team in kills, combining for 691. Junior Kamalani Akeo paces the Panthers, dishing out 1,090 assists on the year at the setter position. Akeo owns the fourth-most assists in the ACC.

• Pitt is coached by Dan Fisher, who enters his fifth season in Pittsburgh and has international experience, leading the 2016 U.S. Women’s National Team to a Gold Medal at the Pan American Games as head coach, marking the first time since 1967. Fisher coached the first Pitt volleyball team to reach the NCAA Tournament in 12 years, when it made it last season after a 25-9 record.

• In 13 meetings, Pitt owns the edge, 8-6, in the all-time series against Tech, winning the most recent matchup in Pittsburgh, 3-0, on Oct. 1.

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

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