With another shot at the Atlantic 10 championship looming, the women’s volleyball team successfully made it past the first trial.
Finishing as runner-ups in the A-10 conference championships last year, the Rams survived a five-set matchup in the quarterfinals against University of Rhode Island on Friday, Nov. 21. The hard-fought battle opened in VCU’s favor, as the Rams led throughout the first set, winning with a score of 25-20. The second set would see the same score, but a different result, as URI evened the game. Set three would be the most competitive, as both teams exchanged blows the entire outing, causing neither to pull away. In a round that saw a game-high 15 ties, the Rhode Island Rams would eventually create separation. URI outscored VCU 5-3 after a 20-20 tie, for the win.
Down two sets to one and their season on the line, head coach Jody Rodgers’ team responded with the most lopsided victory of the contest, easily winning the round 25-16 to ensure a fifth set under sudden death rules. Tied at 8-8 midway through the deciding set, the Rams went on a 7-2 scoring attack to win the round 15-10 and the game 3-2.
The victory for Rodgers advanced her team to the semi-final round, earning the right to face the top-seeded hosts of the tournament, Dayton University on Saturday, Nov. 22. However, results for the game were not available as of press release.
Freshman Jessica Young led both teams with 17 kills, including one in the fifth set that sparked five straight points for a 13-8 lead for the Rams. Sophomore Nora Reed contributed a game-high seven blocks. Seniors Cecilia Aragao (44 assists) and Janelle Sykes (six blocks) extended their collegiate careers, as the win marks their 85th win as duo.