Volleyball splits ACC games versus Va. teams

Tech’s volleyball team traveled to Va. this past weekend where it played in two ACC matches, facing Virginia Tech on Friday and Virginia on Saturday. After falling to the Hokies 3-0 (28-26, 26-24, 25-11), the Jackets topped the Cavaliers 3-1 (25-17, 20-25, 25-15, 25-21).

In the match against Virginia Tech, the Jackets went down in a sweept but were competitive in the first two sets, forcing both into extra points before falling.

Powered by five kills from sophomore outside hitter Bailey Hunter, the Jackets led for much of the first set before the Hokies pulled ahead, and the teams traded points before Virginia Tech took advantage of consecutive Jackets errors to take the set 28-26.

The second set saw the Jackets take the first six points and build an early lead. Back-to-back kills by freshman rightside hitter Monique Mead put the Jackets up 17-8, but the host Hokies caught fire and prevented the Jackets from winning back-to-back points again in the set. The Hokies won 18 of the final 25 points and took the set 26-24.

Virginia Tech then closed out the match, stringing together several brief runs and winning the final five points to take the set 25-11 and hand the Jackets their first sweep of 2009.

The Jackets struggled offensively. Tech had 21 attack errors and hit .098 as a team. Hunter and Mead each had 10 kills, but only one other player–senior outside hitter Chrissy DeMichelis–had more than two.

The next day in Charlottesville, the Jackets fared better in a four-set victory. Mead had a kill and two service aces in the early going, and the Jackets built an early lead and took the first set 25-17.

The second set went back and forth, but Virginia prevailed 25-20 to tie the match. Tech responded quickly, as DeMichelis and Hunter combined for nine kills in Tech’s 25-15 victory.

The Jackets prevented the Cavaliers from taking the lead in the final set, and DeMichelis registered 10 kills in the set as Tech won 25-21 to clinch the match.

DeMichelis was the star for Tech, with 20 kills and a .500 hit percentage. She added three digs and three solo blocks. Hunter’s 10-kill performance marked the 16th consecutive game in which she had posted double-digit kills. Junior setter Mary Ashley Tippins had a double-double as she recorded 49 assists and 12 digs.