JONESBORO, Ark. (9/1/17) – The Arkansas State volleyball team won the first set against Virginia Tech, but dropped three consecutive sets to lose its home opener by a score of 3-1 (25-18, 23-25, 20-25, 20-25) Friday night at the Convocation Center.
Carlisa May led the Red Wolves (2-3) with 22 kills for her third 20+ kill match of the season, a new career-high, and added nine digs defensively. Drew Jones tallied 15 kills and had 10 digs for team-high third double-double of the season. Ellie Watkins dished out 44 assists, Kenzie Fields registered 15 digs, and Jessica Uke posted five blocks to lead in those respective categories.
A-State held the Hokies (4-1) to a .174 hitting percentage, but the home team could only muster a .103 attacking percentage of their own. Virginia Tech was led by Kaity Smith’s 16 kills and she registered a double-double by tying Carol Raffety for the team high in digs with 14.
Arkansas State jumped out to an 11-7 advantage on a block by Watkins and Uke to force a timeout by the Hokies. A-State maintained its lead by opening a 19-14 edge before eventually winning the first set 25-18. The home squad began the second set strongly and held a 16-12 advantage after a kill by Jones before an 8-2 run put Virginia Tech in front 20-18. The Red Wolves regained the edge 21-20 on three straight kills by May, but a 5-2 run by the Hokies won the set 25-23.
The two teams battled to an 18-18 tie in set three after a kill by May, but Virginia Tech used a 7-2 run to earn a 25-20 set victory and earn a 2-1 lead in the match. The fourth set began with both teams tied 9-9, but an 11-5 run opened a 20-14 advantage for the Hokies. A-State battled to within 22-19 on a kill by Uke, but couldn’t get any closer as a kill by Smith clinched the game 25-20 and gave Virginia Tech a 3-1 victory.
“The first set was fine, and we played well for a good portion of the second set,” A-State head coach David Rehr said. “However, we didn’t finish that set and then didn’t do well for most of the rest of the match. You have to give credit to Virginia Tech, but we have to get better.”
Arkansas State returns to action Saturday in the final day of the A-State Invitational. A-State will play SMU at 11 a.m., before taking on Ole Miss at 6:30 p.m. SMU and Virginia Tech will play the 4 p.m. match in between A-State’s matches. In other action today, Ole Miss defeated Virginia Tech 3-2, while SMU topped Ole Miss 3-1.
Fans can follow the team on Twitter (@AStateVB) and Instagram (astatevb) along with liking the Arkansas State University Volleyball page on Facebook for the latest news and updates regarding the team.