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Virginia volleyball falters in loss to Virginia Tech

Virginia volleyball falters in loss to Virginia Tech

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BLACKSBURG – Virginia Tech (4-1, 3-1 ACC) used a strong serve to earn a 25-21, 25-15, 18-25, 25-22 win over Virginia (1-3, 0-3) on Sunday evening.

Virginia out-hit Virginia Tech on the night, but nine Hokie aces and 10 Cavalier service errors proved enough to flip the script. Sarah Billiard and Jayna Francis co-led Virginia with 12 kills each. Alex Spencer set a career high with 27 digs in the loss.

Virginia Tech was paced by 17 kills from Kaity Smith and another 13 from Marisa Cerchio.

Virginia out-hit Virginia Tech in the opening set but the Cavaliers were aced four times which proved to be the difference. The Hokies built an early advantage behind their four service aces, racing to a 13-8 lead. The gap widened to 21-14 in favor of Virginia Tech before the Cavaliers made a run.

Freshman Laila Rogers recorded a kill to spark a 5-0 run while Mattison Matthews jumped in on a pair of block assists to cap the run and pull Virginia within 21-19. The Hokies responded out of a timeout, however, and closed the set.

After a tight battle to 10-9 in the second frame, Virginia Tech used a 5-0 run powered by a pair of Smith kills to open a 15-9 advantage. The Hokies continued to enlarge their lead, eventually growing it to 22-12 on a 3-0 run.

Virginia floored its first six swings of the third set to build a 7-2 lead. The Hokies pulled within 8-6 but Virginia went on another 7-2 run to lead 15-8 at the media timeout. The Cavaliers never looked back as they picked up their first set of the night.

But Virginia Tech capitalized on early service errors from the Cavaliers to build an 11-8 advantage in the fourth set. After a timeout, Virginia reeled off three straight points to tie the set. The Hokies answered with a 4-1 run sparked by a service ace.

Virginia would rally once again, using a 3-0 run keyed by a Matthews and Billiard rejection to draw even at 20-20. A trio of late Cavalier errors proved costly, however, as Virginia Tech finished off Virginia.

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