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Cavs' Rally Falls Short, Drops Match to Tech

Courtesy UVa Media RelationsThe Virginia volleyball team concluded its 2009 campaign with a tough loss at Virginia Tech Wednesday evening, falling 1-3 (18-25, 15-25, 25-22, 20-25) to the Hokies.

Virginia (12-19, 7-13 ACC) was led by sophomore Simone Asque's nine kills. Juniors Sydney Hill and Kendahl Voelker each knocked down seven, while junior AJ Cushman led the defense with 13 digs. Seniors Brittani Rendina and Tara Hester each collected 12, while freshman Rachel Gray registered her fifth double-double. The setter dished out 32 assists and had 10 digs.

Virginia Tech (19-12, 9-11 ACC) had two players in double-digit kills, led by Justine Record, who tallied 15 and Cara Baarendse who landed 10. Erin Leaser distributed 48 assists and collected 13 digs, while Jill Gergen had a match-high 21 digs.

Freshman Jessica O'Shoney and Asque teamed to lead Virginia to an early 6-2 advantage, sandwiching back-to-back kills from each of them around one from the Hokies. But Tech was able to work its way back into the frame, and eventually took a 13-11 lead following a service ace from Record. The Hokies continued their run following a timeout called by the Cavaliers and, thanks to a 10-2 streak, capped off a 17-7 run with a 25-18 victory.

Behind consecutive service aces from Record at the start of the second frame, the Hokies were able to grab an early 7-2 lead and extended their advantage to eight, by 17-9. The Cavaliers attempted to cut their deficit down, but four-unanswered kills from Tech to end the frame put the home team on top, 25-15.

The third set was much closer, as it featured 11 tie scores, including eight-straight late in the frame. With the score knotted at 21 all, the Cavaliers took advantage of two Hokie errors to gain a two-point advantage and held on for the 25-22 victory.

Virginia fell behind at the beginning of the first set, 9-3, but worked to cut Tech's lead to one, at 14-13, following a five-point run. The Hokies wouldn't allow the visitors to even the score though, as they landed back-to-back kills to extend their lead back to three. Virginia worked to string together a late rally, but Tech would go on to win, 25-20.

The match marked the final contest for Virginia's three seniors: Lauren Dickson, Tara Hester and Brittani Rendina. The trio concluded their careers with a 70-55 overall record and a 45-39 mark in conference play.