The Virginia Tech volleyball team faced two ranked conference opponents this weekend, falling to No. 21 Miami 3-0 (23-25, 20-25, 20-25) and No. 23 Florida State 3-0 (16-25, 21-25, 11-25) in an effort that was overshadowed with miscues by the Hokies.
The Hokies (8-6, 1-2) opened up play Friday night, going toe-to-toe with Miami (11-1, 2-1) in the first set, as the score teetered back and forth through 11 ties, with Miami narrowly taking the set 25-23.
The Hokies again battled close early in the second set, but the Canes eventually broke the deadlock, closing the set out 25-20. Miami dominated the third set early, but Tech would not go down easily, as they rallied back with dominating play of their own to lock up the score. However, Miami would pull away again to take the set 25-20.
The 3-0 victory by Miami tells a different story, but the match was far closer than it would appear, as Tech was statistically even with Miami in most facets of the game. Both teams were dead even with 43 kills and 39 assists, while Miami edged out digs 59-52 and blocks
Hokies head coach Chris Riley observed that Miami was a tough team, but “we just had too many attack errors,” pointing out a need to be more disciplined on their side of the court.
Attack errors and discipline indeed seemed to be the difference, as the Hokies made it tough on themselves, yielding 21 errors for a .162 attack percentage, while Miami kept it to 13 for a .252 percentage.
Senior Erin Leaser echoed Riley’s thoughts, as she said Tech has the ability to beat teams like Miami, but must follow through on their game plan to do so.
“(Miami) was a solid team, but I don’t think we put everything together like we needed to,” Leaser said. “We need to focus on less errors and doing what we planned before the game.”
Things didn’t get any easier on Saturday night as Tech faced No. 23 Florida State (9-4, 3-0), the only team that has beaten Miami.
All three sets shared similar stories as the Hokies and Noles would battle close early in the set, with the Noles eventually pulling away and finishing it off.
Tech’s closest effort came in the second set when they fought to a 21-22 score but couldn’t overtake FSU, who went on a run to finish the set 25-21.
The Hokies once again suffered self-inflicted wounds as they gave up 27 errors for a .063 attack percentage, while the Noles yielded seven errors for a .353 attack percentage, capitalizing on the Tech’s mistakes.
Senior Justine Record noted the toughness of the ACC teams.
“Every team in the ACC is beatable, we just have to show up,” Record said.
The Hokies will look to get back on track as they go on the road for the first time in conference play against Boston College this Thursday, Sept. 29, at 7 p.m.