BLACKSBURG, Va. – The Towson University volleyball team opened the season with a pair of tough losses on day one of the Hokie Classic hosted by Virginia Tech. The Tigers battled hard before falling to the Hokies, 3-1 in their opener. No. 14 Michigan State defeated Towson 3-0 in the nightcap.
The Tigers and Hokies battled through nine ties and six lead changes in the first set before Virginia Tech pulled ahead for the 25-21 victory. Towson fought through seven ties in the second set but hit a match-high .275 to claim the 25-21 victory.
Virginia Tech hit .345 in the third set en route to a 25-16 victory. The Hokies then posted a 25-17 win in the fourth set to earn the victory in the match.
Junior Victoria Williams had 11 kills, nine digs, three service aces and four blocks in her first match as a Tiger. Senior Dayane Van Ass came off the bench to contribute 10 kills. Sophomore Kelsey Polak led the Tiger offense with 29 assists while junior Paige Sekerak led the team with 18 digs. Junior Saitaua Iosia contributed nine kills and 17 digs.
Samantha Gostling led Virginia Tech with a match-high 12 kills while Jordan Fish had 32 assists and 11 digs.
In the first set against Michigan State, the two squads had five ties early in the set. However, the Spartans hit .344 in the set to the Tigers’ .038 and claimed the 25-13 victory. In the second set, Michigan State jumped out to a 20-7 lead and took a 2-0 lead in the match with a 25-13 win.
Towson held a 14-9 lead in the third set, following a kill from Iosia. The Spartans scored seven of the next nine points to tie the set at 16-16. The two squads traded points and found themselves tied at 18-18. Michigan State scored the final seven points of the set to break the tie and earn the 25-18 set victory and a 3-0 win in the match.
Iosia and Williams led the Tigers with five kills each in the match. Sekerak posted a team-high 11 digs while sophomore Kyana Miller led the squad with eight assists in two sets.
Lauren Wicinski led all players with 13 kills while Kristen Kelsay dished out 39 assists and added eight digs.
The Tigers are back in action on Saturday, August 31 for day two of the Hokie Classic. Towson faces Pacific at 10:30 a.m. and St. Francis (Pa.) at 5 p.m.