Volleyball Isn’t Going Away

Jennifer Werling
Contributing Writer

In their regular season finale, the women’s volleyball team made easy work of visiting Davidson College on Saturday, Nov. 15, winning the match in three sets (25-12, 25-9, 25-17).

Volleyball’s Senior Day capped the careers of seniors Janelle Sykes and Cecilia Aragao at the Siegel Center. Midway through November, the pair has led the team to three out of four wins.

Senior Cecilia Aragao sets the ball for sophomore Nora Reed (No. 8) and freshman Jessica Young (No. 9) in women’s volleyball’s regular season finale on Saturday, Nov. 15. Photo by Brooke Marsh

The Rams opened November with a five-set battle with conference rivals Saint Louis University on Nov. 2 at the Siegel Center. The Rams won the second and third set after losing the first set. SLU would respond, winning the fourth set 25-20. After opening up the fifth a final set with a 5-0 advantage, the Rams plowed through to a 15-9 victory. The Rams hit .529 in the tiebreaker overall and committed just one attacking error in the frame. Sykes and junior Kalah Jones shined throughout. The dynamic duo combined for 36 of VCU’s 60 kills, including seven in the fifth set.

Head coach Jody Rodgers talked about the team’s mentality going forward.

“We sat back and reevaluated our goals for the next two and a half weeks of the season and they really want to go out four and zero and this was a start today so they came in with a lot of energy,” Rodgers said.

VCU then faced another conference rival in George Washington University on Friday Nov. 7, resulting in another five-set affair. However, VCU wouldn’t walk away with the win. Freshman Jessica Young hit .207 with 11 kills and Jones added 16 for VCU in the loss. In addition, Aragao turned in 38 assists, 15 digs and eight blocks in the effort.

“As usual, it comes down to ball control for us,” Rodgers said about the game. “That first ball makes all the difference for us. George Washington tonight, they had pivotal moments where they scored a lot of points and we couldn’t catch up.”

Rodgers felt the team lacked urgency. So naturally the team would respond in a big way against conference rivals George Mason University on Saturday, Nov. 8. The Rams swept the Patriots 3-0. Young hit .333 with 15 kills and Sykes, a Northern Virginia native, hit .409 with 13 kills and a pair of blocks. With the victory, VCU swept the season series with George Mason for the second straight season with the Rams having won 10 straight sets against their longtime in-state rivals.

“We played well, and that allowed us to play a lot of girls tonight, which is nice. It’s really nice to end the weekend with a win and keep ourselves in the mix of the A-10 race.”

Next the Rams travel to Dayton, Ohio for the Atlantic 10 conference championships Nov. 21-23.

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