Virginia Tech Olympic Sports Update: Women’s Soccer Upends No. 12 South Carolina

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Nicole Kozlova’s game-winning goal pushed the Hokies past South Carolina on Sunday. (Virginia Tech Sports Photography)

It was a busy weekend for Virginia Tech’s Olympic sports programs. While the football team was busy taking down Middle Tennessee, the men’s soccer team dropped a match to Duke and the volleyball team went 2-1 in the Chattanooga Classic.

To cap off the weekend, the women’s soccer team defeated its first ranked opponent on the road in three years — a 1-0 win over then-No. 12 South Carolina.

Women’s Soccer

The Virginia Tech women’s soccer team won its second straight game on Sunday, taking down the Gamecocks in Columbia, S.C.

Tech found the back of the net when Emily Gray’s perfectly placed cross in the 20th minute found the foot of Nicole Kozlova at the back post for an easy tap-in.

The Ukrainian international is second on the team with five goals so far this season. Gray’s assist was No. 19 in her career, moving her into a tie for fourth place all-time within the program.

Alia Skinner made three saves and recorded her third clean sheet of the 2021 season. The sophomore stopped two early corners by the Gamecocks inside the opening six minutes and protected the Hokies’ lead until the very end, denying Corinna Zullo’s look at the equalizer in the 90th minute.

The Hokies (6-2-0) host NC State in their first ACC match of the season at 7 p.m. at Thompson Field on Saturday. The match can be streamed on ACC Network Extra.

Men’s Soccer

For the first time all season, the No. 17 Virginia Tech men’s soccer team was held scoreless. And for the first time since early May, the Hokies were on the wrong end of the final score, dropping last Saturday’s match to then-No. 19 Duke, 1-0.

Despite Tech goalkeeper Ben Martino’s play throughout the match, the Blue Devils’ outshot the Hokies 19-11 (9-5 shots on goal).

Jacob Labovitz, Pol Monells, Danny Flores and Kyle McDowell were the only Virginia Tech starters to record a shot on goal. But Duke’s defense held on, securing a clean sheet for the fourth time in five matches.

Duke’s Thorleifur Ulfarsson scored the game winner on a penalty kick in the 35th minute after a foul by Tech captain Sivert Haugli.

Saturday’s loss dropped Tech to 2-1-2 on the season and from No. 6 to No. 17 in Tuesday’s United Coaches Soccer Poll.

The Hokies are back in Blacksburg this week when they host Virginia at Thompson Field on Friday at 7 p.m. The first meeting of the 2021-22 edition of the Commonwealth Clash will be televised on the ACC Network.

Volleyball

Another weekend, another successful invitational for the Virginia Tech volleyball team.

The Hokies finished 2-1 in the Chattanooga Classic, where they defeated host Chattanooga (3-2) and Tennessee Tech (3-0). Their loss during the weekend against Troy, who made quick work of the Hokies, 3-1.

Sept. 10 vs. Troy

After winning the first set, Tech appeared to have the match in control when it went up 15-10 in the second. But eventually, due to errors and poor defense, dropped the second set, 25-22. 

The Hokies slowly lost their momentum after that. Despite leading 10-8 and then 12-10 in the third set, Tech lost the eight of the final 12 points and dropped the set, 25-22. Not much went Tech’s way in the fourth set, which VT lost 25-14, sealing the match.

Griere Hughes recorded her first double-double of the season with 10 kills and 11 digs. She also led the team in blocks with five.

Sept. 11 vs. Chattanooga

After playing down to its opponents’ level the day before (the team’s attacking percentage on the season so far is .207, while the team hit percentage was .150 against Troy), Virginia Tech picked its play right back up against Chattanooga, avoiding a second-straight upset.

The Hokies stretched out a 3-2 win, but had trouble finding an offensive rhythm, trading points all afternoon with the Mocs. They won the first set handedly, 25-19, but were beaten in the next two, 25-17 and 27-25.

Tech finally broke out of its slump, dominating the fourth set, 25-14. Then VT put the Mocs away for good in the fifth set, 15-11.

Sept. 11 vs. Tennessee Tech

Tech needed a match like the one it played against Tennessee Tech. Badly.

After dropping the match to Troy and then scraping by Chattanooga, the Hokies came out swinging against Tennessee Tech and didn’t stop. They swept the Golden Eagles off the floor and out of the building in three sets.

After two lackluster offensive matches, the Hokies hit .368 for the match, including a strong hit percentage of .500 in the third set. 

The match was never close. Tech shot down the Golden Eagles and undoubtedly won each set: 25-15, 25-11, 25-14.

After the Chattanooga Classic, the Hokies are 7-2 and return home this weekend for the final invitational: the Hokie Invite. Tech plays George Mason, Wofford and North Carolina A&T to close out non-conference play. All of the Hokies’ matches this weekend can be streamed on ACC Network Extra.

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5 Responses You are logged in as Test

  1. I worry that the Volleyball team is having to fight to win against smaller D1 teams and not playing any P5 schools in the early season. The ACC schedule will significantly ramp up the difficulty level.

  2. I watched the woman’s victory over SC. It was a little undisciplined at times but Tech out played them and generally controlled the game. It was a nice win.

  3. Like these write ups, and thanks for the nice summaries. A friendly reminder to not forget about our XC and track & field programs!

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