Sep 7, 2013
MURFREESBORO, Tenn. ----- In just the second loss of the 2013 season, the UAB volleyball team (6-2) fell to Virginia Tech (7-1) 3-1 at the Middle Tennessee Invitational. The Blazers won the first set, but the Hokies were able to win the next three to take the match.
Both teams entered the match without dropping a set in the tournament this weekend. The Blazers came out strong in the first set and took the win easily 25-13. UAB had just one attack error, while forcing 10 errors for Virginia Tech.
In the second set, the Hokies went up early but the Blazers scored five-straight points to get within one and force a Virginia Tech timeout. The Hokies went on another run coming out of the timeout to stretch the gap again and eventually take the win 25-20.
Virginia Tech had a 24-18 lead in the third set, but UAB rallied off four points to pull within two. The Blazers couldn't overcome the deficit though as the Hokies were able to land set point for a 25-22 win.
Neither team had been forced to a fourth set in the tournament thus far. Both teams traded the lead until UAB was able to pull away and went up 23-18 after a kill by Hirini. Then Virginia Tech went on a 7-0 run with the help of two service aces and several blocks to close out match with a 25-23 win in set four.
Junior Kiriana Hirini was solid in the match, leading all players with 15 kills. She hit an impressive .583 to just miss her personal-best of .593 set earlier this season. Also grabbing double-figure kills was fellow junior Sara Rishell and sophomore Sam Skinner, who each hit 10 kills on the night. Skinner scored a double-double, adding 14 digs to her 10 kills.
Adding eight kills apiece was junior Bethanie Thomas and senior Ally Slaughter. That tied Thomas' personal-best during her time at UAB that she set against Jacksonville State.
Defensively, the Green and Gold had three players with double-figure digs. Senior Rachel Fairbanks and Skinner each had 14, while senior Becca Howard grabbed 10. Hirini led the team with eight blocks and Rishell added six.
The Blazers will be back in action on Tuesday, Sept. 10 when they travel to Atlanta, Ga. to face Georgia State at 6:00 p.m. CT.
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