VCU volleyball has dominated its early season opponents on its way to a 5-1 record.
The squad opened the 2013 season by capturing the IUPUI Hampton Inn Invitational tournament, the team’s fifth tournament championship in a row spanning back to last season.
The Rams were firing on all cylinders in their first match in Indianapolis, defeating Florida Gulf Coast University by a score of 3-0. The Rams locked down on the defensive end, tallying 18.5 blocks in the match, a mark good for fourth-most in school history.
Former A-10 Rookie of the Year, Romana Kriskova, proved dominant on the offensive end, with 15 total kills. Recent transfer Kalah Jones also had her share of action, firing off seven kills in sets two and three.
Defensively, freshman middle blocker Nora Reed and junior setter Cecilia Arago helped shut down the Eagles attack and contributed to the impressive block total.
The match earned newly appointed head coach Jody Rogers her first win with the black and gold. It’s the third season in a row the Rams have won their opening match.
VCU returned to action on Saturday to take on tournament host IUPUI. Challenged early and down 2-1, the Rams were able to rally past the Jaguars 26-24 in a pivotal fourth set that included four lead changes and eight ties.
In the fifth set tie-breaker, the black and gold clinched the match 15-11.
VCU earned the tournament championship title after defeating Illinois State in a less contended match 3-1. Kriskova pummeled the Redbirds with 20 kills, and junior middle blocker Janelle Sykes had eight blocks to steer the Rams toward victory.
Kriskova received tournament MVP honors for her stellar play, racking up an average of more than four kills per set. Arago, the A-10 Defensive Player of the Week, and junior libero Amanda Love made the all-tournament team.
Love defended the backcourt with an average of three digs per set, while Arago averaged over nine assists per set.
With the tournament win, coach Rogers became the first VCU head coach to begin the season 3-0 in the history of the program. This was her first trip back to Indianapolis since leaving the University of Indianapolis and accepting the head coaching job at VCU this past February.
VCU travels to Knoxville, Tenn. this week to partake in the Comcast Lady Vol Classic. There the Rams will face East Tennessee State, Austin Peay, Wichita State and Tennessee.