Having started its first nine games on the road, amounting to a 2-7 record to start the season, the VCU women’s volleyball team fell one game shy of once again playing in the Atlantic 10 championship game.
After a five-set battle with the University of Richmond, the Rams would meet their next daunting task, the No. 1 seeded University of Dayton, who would also boast home court advantage against the Rams.
In Dayton, Ohio the stage was set, yet the question remained: Could the Rams be able to continue their winning ways against the best the A-10 had to offer, and extend the collegiate careers of seniors Cecilia Aragao and Janelle Sykes?
The opening set was closely contested early on, as the Flyer and Rams could not create separation from the opposing team. A tie of 5-5 would soon evaporate as a couple of errors by Dayton allowed VCU to pull away for the lead. VCU would extend its lead to eight points as the round progressed and with a 24-16 lead, the Rams seemed poised for the victory. The Flyers would answer with four points unanswered until a kill by freshman Jessica Young eliminated all hopes for a Dayton comeback in the first set.
Set two would tell a different story as the Rams would be on the receiving end of a lopsided affair. The Flyers pulled away early and never relinquished the lead, winning the set 25-13. Now tied at one-all, the Rams would need to respond. In the third round, both the Rams and the Flyers would keep the game close through the first 15 match points. Tied at 15-15, the Rams would fall behind the Flyers in points due to kill shots and errors. Down the stretch, VCU would be outscored 10-2, losing the set 25-17. The fourth set was now a must win for the Rams.
Set four would be the most closely contested match of the game. Both teams would exchange match points with the game tied as late as 23-23. However, Dayton would eventually win the set after a kill and an error by VCU to win the game and the series, 3-1, ending volleyball’s season.
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