Hokies fall in five-set fight to Virginia

BLACKSBURG, Va. — Anabel Zier scored 14 kills with an attack rate of .565, but the Virginia Tech volleyball team fell to the Virginia Cavaliers in five sets (25-21, 23-25, 22-25, 29-27, 14-16) home at Cassell Coliseum.

The loss dropped Virginia Tech’s record to 9-13 overall and 2-9 in ACC play.

Hokies’ attack was tempered by Cera Powell, who finished the day with 16 kills. Zier added 14 and Cara Lewis came in with 10 as part of a balanced attack from Virginia Tech. Defensively, Tech had three players in double digit digs, including Logan Mosley’s 14, 12 from Hanna Borer, and 10 more from Maddie Slagle. Borer finished with her ninth double-double of the season, recording a career-high 45 assists. From the front row, Lewis contributed seven blocks and Sarah Malinowski added five rejects. The Hokies had a total of 10 blocks.

Game Notes » Virginia Tech had three players in double digit kills. » Virginia Tech had three double-digit players in digs. » Anabel Zier was efficient in attacking situations throughout the match, racking up 14 kills while hitting .565. » Sierra Cates had a match-high three aces in the loss. » Cera Powell had a team-high 16 kills for Virginia Tech. » Virginia Tech got a team-high 14 digs from Logan Mosley. » Virginia Tech forwards were helped by a team-high and season-high 45 assists from Hanna Borer.

How it happened

The Hokies opened an early one set lead and won the first set 25-21. Virginia Tech took the advantage for good at 17-16 in a set that only had one lead before the Hokies took over in the bottom half of the stanza. The Hokies got a solid defensive performance from a front row blocking four Virginia attacks while Lewis led the way with two. Zier got off to an early start and led the way with four kills in the first.

Virginia Tech then fell 25-23 in the second set, the evening’s match on one set apiece. The Hokies fought back from an 8-point 11-3 deficit to tie the game at 14-14, but Virginia held on to take the set. The Hokies took the lead at 23-22 on a kill by Lewis before UVA bounced back on a 3-0 run to close the set. For the Hokies, Powell added five kills and hit .364 in the second set.

A loss in the third set put Virginia Tech two sets behind one. The Hokies came up short by the score of 25-22. Virginia Tech trailed by a whopping six points, while Virginia took the advantage for good 6-5 in a set that was tied five times before the Cavaliers took the lead. Zier had her best offensive set in the third, hitting .833 with five kills to lead Tech. Borer helped defensively, recording four digs and providing eight assists.

Virginia Tech bounced back to force a fifth set with a 29-27 win in set number four. The Hokies came out in a tight fight, winning in a stanza that tied 12 times and had seven leading changes. The Hokies win came in a set where 18 of their 29 points came through the kill. Virginia Tech delivered a solid front-row defensive performance blocking four Virginia attacks and recording 18 digs. The Hokies held a 23-20 lead and battled the UVA comeback, using a Virginia offense to take a 29-27 lead. The Hokies had their best offensive performance, with a 0.283 success rate and 18 kills. Powell was responsible for eight of those kills, hitting .467 in the set.

After dropping sets two and three, Virginia Tech won set four, tying the game two sets apiece to force a fifth set, but was unable to complete the comeback and lost the set 16-14 and the game 3-2. The Hokies dropped a back-and-forth set of five. Neither team led by more than three points in the set. With the score 13-13, UVA closed the set with a 3-1 run to win the match.

The win gives the Cavaliers half in the Commonwealth Clash presented by Smithfield. The two teams will compete again on November 11 in Charlottesville. For more information, visit https://smithfield.sfdbrands.com/en-us/promotions/commonwealth-clash-2022/.

The Hokies will be back in action on Sunday, taking on No. 7 Pitt at 1 p.m

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