Volleyball drops match at Virginia Tech 3-1

Ross and McCombs named to Hokie Invitational All-Tournament Team

September 1, 2012 · @MTAthletics

BLACKSBURG, Va. - The Middle Tennessee volleyball team wrapped up play in the Hokie Invitational Saturday night with a 3-1 (25-18, 17-25, 17-25, 18-25) loss to the host Virginia Tech at Cassell Coliseum. Chelsea Ross led the Blue Raiders with 15 kills, hitting .300 and added 10 digs.

Ross and freshman libero Bri McCombs were named to the All-Tournament team following the match. McCombs had a team-high 15 digs Saturday night for the Blue Raiders.   

Virginia Tech (4-2) opened the match on a 7-2 run, highlighted by two Victoria Hamsher service aces. Middle Tennessee (3-4) responded with a 7-0 run that included two Tyler Richardson kills and a block by Richardson and Miri Shade to give the Blue Raiders a 9-7 lead. The lead grew to three at 13-10 on a block by Ross, Monet Marshall, and Shelby Anderton. After a slow start, Middle Tennessee hit .313 in the opening set and won five of the last six points to win the first set 25-20 on Ross' fourth kill of the set.

The two teams traded points early in the second set, but a Blue Raiders error and a block by the Hokies' Jennifer Wiker put Virginia Tech ahead 5-3. Middle Tennessee came back with three of the next four points to tie the set 6-6. The Hokies' then went on a 5-0 run, using kills by Cara Baarandse and Samantha Gostling to go ahead 11-6. Virginia Tech grew the lead to eight at 19-11 on an ace by Jennifer Wiker. The Blue Raiders closed to within five, 19-14, on kills by Richardson, Ross, and Adams but that would be as close as they would get in the set. Virginia Tech evened the match 1-1 with a 25-17 win in the second, hitting .480 to Middle Tennessee's  .182.

Just like the set prior, the Blue Raiders and Hokies traded points to start the third. Middle Tennessee was able to take a 7-6 lead on a block by Marshall and Ross. Virginia Tech then went on a 7-2 run to go up 13-9 as Gostling put down three kills in the run. The lead grew to six at 17-11 when Hamsher and Kathryn Caine blocked an attack by Adams. Middle Tennessee only closed the gap to five at 19-14 on a Ross kill as the Hokies won six of the last nine points to win the third set 25-17 and take a 2-1 lead in the match.

The Blue Raiders opened up a 5-3 lead in the fourth set on two Ross kills. After Virginia Tech tied the set 6-6, Middle Tennessee went on a 3-0 run on kills by Adams and Marshall and a Miri Shade ace to go up 9-6. The Hokies tied the set 9-9 on a Gostling solo block, then took an 11-10 lead on a block by Caine and Hamsher. Virginia Tech led 14-12 when a Miri Shade kill got the Blue Raiders within one at 14-13. The Hokies then ran off five points in a row to go up 18-13. Middle Tennessee got within three at 19-16 on an ace by Shade, but that was as close as the Blue Raiders would get. Virginia Tech won the set 25-18 and the match 3-1

The Hokies hit .315 for the match as Middle Tennessee hit .216. Virginia Tech also had 10.5 blocks to the Blue Raiders' 7.5. Gostling led all players with 23 kills and was in on four blocks. Hamsher added nine kills and had six blocks. Jordan Fish led all players with 47 assists.

The Blue Raiders round out their Labor Day Weekend road trip with at match at VCU on Monday. First serve in Richmond, Va. is set for 2 p.m.

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