Sept. 15, 2006
BLACKSBURG, Va. - Senior Katie Esbrook led the Hokies (7-3, 1-0 ACC) to a close 3-0 (30-28, 30-28, 30-25) conference win over in-state rival Virginia (7-3, 0-1 ACC) to gain the first half point in the Commonwealth Challenge Friday night. Esbrook hit a deadly .625 percent for the match, leading Tech with 12 kills on 16 attempts and only two errors.
Sophomore Sarah Munoz and freshmen Taylor Parrish and Michelle Lang each posted double-doubles in the match win. Munoz's 11 kills and 12 digs is her fifth double-double this season and her third consecutive double-double match, while Parrish's 11 kills and 14 digs and Lang's 36 assists and 12 digs mark their second career double-doubles.
Tech's defense was strong throughout the match as they held the Cavaliers' attack percentage to .076. In addition to Munoz, Lang and Parrish, juniors Amanda Cloyd and Rachel Dulla each registered double digit digs with 12 and 10, respectively. Seniors Allie Kupec and Esbrook led the charge as the net as they combined for 10 of Tech's 17 blocks.
For Virginia, Lauren Dickson led the attack with 13 kills. Emily Kirkwood handed out 28 assists and placed 3 service aces. Melissa Caldwell had a game-high 19 digs, while Katie Oakes posted five blocks (three solo).
Virginia scored the first two points of Game 1 before the Hokies went on a seven point run to put Tech up 7-2. A Virginia time-out ended the streak but the Cavaliers were unable to catch up as Tech extended their lead to 13-6 on back-to-back kills from junior Jen Albrecht and Esbrook.
The Cavaliers attempted to close the gap with a block from Oakes and a kill from Dickson, but Esbrook landed another kill out of a Tech time-out to gain the momentum back.
Back-to-back-to-back kills from Virginia's Dickson tied the score at 26 and then give the Cavaliers their first lead since the second point of the game. A UVa attack error and a block from Kupec and Parrish put the Hokies up one, at 28-27, before Parrish knocked down two kills in the final three points of the game to secure the Hokie win, 30-28.
Game 2 featured 14 tie scores and only three lead changes, as the Cavaliers refused to let the Hokies take a lead early on. Up until the 20th point, Tech had only led through six serves.
The Hokies battled through a five point Cavalier run before tying the game at 19. From there, the game was neck-in-neck as the score was the tied at every point except 21 and 26 before a Virginia service error and attack error at 28-28 gave Tech the Game 2 victory.
Esbrook dominated Game 3 as she posted a fierce .875 attack percentage. She knocked down seven kills on eight attempts with no errors. The Hokie offense posted a .275 percentage while the defense held the Cavaliers attack percentage to .091. Parrish and Munoz combined for 13 digs in the final game.
The Cavaliers, though, came out strong as they opened Game 3 with a 13-9 lead. Tech struggled to keep up before a kill by Esbrook evened the score at 18. Esbrook then landed three kills to earn three of the Hokies next four points, giving Tech the lead for good. The Hokies closed out Game 3 on an 11-6 run, for a 30-25 win.
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A 1985 graduate of UVA, White worked at the Richmond Times-Dispatch until July 2009. He was honored six times as the state's Sportswriter of the Year.
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