Olympic Sports Update: Virginia Tech Men’s & Women’s Soccer, Volleyball, Continue to Roll

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Virginia Tech men’s soccer jumped up to No. 6 in the United Coaches Soccer Poll this week after another undefeated weekend. (Will Copeland)

While Virginia Tech fans eyed the 17-10 upset over North Carolina at Lane Stadium on Friday night, Tech’s Olympic sports put on an impressive showing in the days leading up and after the Hokies’ win. 

The men’s soccer team defeated UCF and drew with Seton Hall. Volleyball returned home from Florida after winning two of its three weekend matches. Women’s soccer took down in-state foe James Madison, but were sunk by No. 9 Santa Clara over the weekend.

Men’s Soccer

Another week, another climb in the United Soccer Coaches Poll for Virginia Tech men’s soccer. As a result of a successful weekend, it moved up four spots in the United Coaches Soccer Poll from No. 10 to No. 6 on Tuesday afternoon.

After upsetting then-No. 1 Marshall during the James Madison University Invitational, the Hokies (2-0-2) traveled to the NC State Invitational tournament for two more non-conference matchups against UCF and then-No. 20 Seton Hall.

As the football team kicked off against the Tar Heels on Friday, the men’s soccer team was putting the finishing touches on a 2-1 win against UCF. Two second half goals that were scored within 20 seconds of each other — via the foot of Landon Ameres and Jacob Labovitz — pushed Tech past the Knights.

But VT’s toughest test of the weekend came against Seton Hall on Monday afternoon. A year after the Pirates took down the Hokies in penalty kicks in the Sweet 16 of the 2020 NCAA Championships, the two teams met again in Raleigh, N.C.

The top-20 matchup didn’t disappoint.

After Pol Monells put the Hokies up 1-0 with his first collegiate goal in the fifth minute, Seton Hall found the equalizer with five minutes remaining in the first half. But three minutes later, Connor Pugh notched his first career goal, knocking in a header that was delivered by Cameron Joice. 

Tech scored its third goal of the afternoon as Landon Ameres ripped a shot from outside the box that found the back of the net, giving the Hokies a two-goal lead early in the second half.

Even with the comfortable lead, Tech wasn’t able to hold on as the Pirates knocked in goals in the 67th and 74th minute to tie the match at three. After two extra periods, neither team was able to find the go-ahead goal and the rematch ended in a 3-3 draw.

Tech opens its conference slate against No. 19 Duke on the road on Saturday.

Volleyball

After winning all three of its matchups in the Hokie Invitational two weeks ago, the Virginia Tech volleyball team (5-1) took two of its three matches during the University of North Florida Invitational over the weekend.

In all three matches, the Hokies played five sets. Tech knocked off Georgia State and Davidson but was upended by North Florida in the team’s second match of the weekend.

After Tech lost the first two sets in its weekend-opening match with Georgia State, it fought back as the duo of Talyn Jackson and Cera Powell led the way in a close third set, stringing together three straight points in a close 25-23 set three win. 

The Hokies handedly took the next two sets, 25-17 and 15-13, for the match win over Georgia State, led by Powell. She recorded her fourth double-double in as many matches with 10 kills and 14 digs.

Both North Florida and Virginia Tech traded set wins as the Ospreys took sets one and three, while VT took two and four, setting up for a winner-take-all fifth set. Tech pushed UNF to the brink, losing 16-14. Jackson picked up her first double-double of the season with 21 assists and 14 kills.

As it returned to the floor on Saturday, Virginia Tech came out of the gates on fire, taking the first set against Davidson, 25-15. The Hokies were hot until they let the next two sets slip out of their grasp, forcing them into a do-or-die fourth set.

Tech bounced back convincingly, taking the set 25-19, and went on to take the fifth set — and the match — 15-13.

Next up, VT travels to Chattanooga, Tenn. this weekend to play in the Chattanooga Classic with matchups against Troy, Chattanooga and Tennessee Tech.

Women’s Soccer

Emily Gray’s right foot did it all for Virginia Tech (4-2-0) in its win over James Madison on Sept. 2 as she became the tenth VT women’s soccer player to record a hat trick in a 3-2 win over the Dukes. 

Her three goals extended her scoring streak to three games. She scored her first two goals in the 15th and 40th minutes, and netted the game-winning goal — while securing her hattrick — in the 64th minute.

However, three days later, the pendulum didn’t swing the Hokies’ way. As it took on the defending national champions, No. 9 Santa Clara, Tech led the match in shots and shots on goal but couldn’t bury any in its 2-0 loss.

Despite a strong start to the weekend, the Hokies split their two games in Harrisonburg. Tech returns to Thompson Field Thursday night against Villanova (5-0) at 5 p.m., which can be streamed on ACC Network Extra.

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1 Responses You are logged in as Test

  1. This is great stuff! Thank you for covering Hokies not on the gridiron or the basketball court. As we look to compete with programs like UVA for national championships and state and national bragging rights, this is where the competition resides; soccer, volleyball, track & field, baseball, softball, and yes, I’m biased and I know at the moment it’s “club”, but most importantly, rugby!
    Go Hokies!

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