Smith, Hokies take down Virginia in five sets

Virginia (7-23 (3-16 ACC)) 27192519102
Virginia Tech (10-20 (4-15 ACC)) 25251325153
  • Cassell Coliseum - 554

Box Score (PDF)

BLACKSBURG – In the Commonwealth Clash Wednesday evening at Carilion Clinic Court at Cassell Coliseum, the Virginia Tech volleyball team defeated Virginia, 3-2, behind 21 kills from freshman Kaity Smith.

The Kentucky native cracked the 20-kill plateau for the third time this season, as well as scoring four of Tech’s last six points in the final frame to lead the Hokies (10-20, 4-15) over the Cavaliers (7-23, 3-16 ACC). Under head coach Jill Wilson, Tech went a perfect 2-0 against Virginia this year in volleyball to help Tech take a lead in the Commonwealth Clash.

The Tech-UVA volleyball game was presented by Virginia529, the official college savings plan of Virginia Tech Athletics and the University of Virginia Athletics. The score for the "Commonwealth Clash" is now 3-1 in favor of Virginia Tech. Learn more about Virginia529 and this competition at

Starting off the match knotted at 10-10, both sides would seesaw all the way up to 23-23. The first set was made up of 14 ties and eight lead changes. After a block from senior Cara Cunningham and junior Jaila Tolbert to bring it to match point, the Cavaliers went on a 4-1 run to claim it, 27-25. In the first matchup this fall on Sept. 27, the first frame was also a nail-biting 27-25 affair.

The Hokies got out to a hot start in the second frame, going up 7-3 following back-to-back blocks from Tolbert and Cunningham, causing a Virginia timeout. Tech would extend its lead to 20-13 before the Cavaliers went on a run to cut it to four, however, Tech finished the set with a kill from setter Rhegan Mitchell to win it 25-19.

With the match tied at 1-1, Virginia came out strong after the two teams returned from the locker room, leading 11-6. Tech trimmed the deficit to four points, 14-10, after a Smith kill. But that would be its smallest losing margin as the Cavaliers went on a 11-3 run to win the third frame.

Holding on to a slim lead at 12-9, Tech scored five of the next eight points to force a UVA timeout. Up 17-12, redshirt senior Stacey Christy put down three kills to guide Tech to a 25-19 victory.

Heading into the final stanza of the match, Tech got up early, 3-0, after kills from Smith and Tolbert, but Virginia clawed back and took the lead 9-8. The Hokies would respond with a run of their own, finishing the frame with a 6-1 run to clinch it, 15-10, and the match.


- Cunningham continued her hot play, racking up a season-high nine blocks, seven kills and three digs. Her performance marked the sixth-straight match of owning five or more kills for the Fairfax, Virginia native. The nine swats were the most a Hokie has accomplished this year.

- Mitchell got into a rhythm early and filled out the statsheet in a variety of ways, recording 49 assists, eight digs, five kills and three blocks. The redshirt junior has registered 12 kills her last three matches at the setter position.

- Sophomore Carol Raffety scooped up a team-high 16 digs and posted five assists. Since her career-high seven assists versus Duke on Oct. 22, the libero has turned in 36 assists in her last 10 matches.

- Tolbert registered her second-most kills (16) on the season, while hitting a clip of .406 as well as stopping a season-high six attacks at the net and recording seven digs. The Minnesota native has collected 24 digs her last four contests, marking her best four-match stretch of the fall.

- Freshman Ester Talamazzi played well defensively, collecting 15 digs and three blocks. The Italy native also was impressive on the service line, posting four aces, which is tied for the most by a Hokie this fall.

- Smith hit .304 with 21 kills, while logging nine digs, four blocks and an ace. The outside hitter has been feeling it up front, posting nine blocks her last two matches.


- Tech’s defense played lights out at the net, notching a season-high 14 blocks as team. Cunningham led the charge with one solo block and eight block assists and Tolbert tallied one solo block and five block assists.



The Hokies will close the season versus Pitt on Friday at 4 p.m. ET at Carilion Clinic Court at Cassell Coliseum. Senior Day festivities will begin once the match has concluded.

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

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