Malinka Walters, Contributing Writer
Volleyball started its Friday night hoping for a much-needed victory against La Salle University at home and to the Rams benefit, ended the night victorious.
The Rams fell behind 3-1 in the fifth, but came out strong with seven straight points to take the 8-3 lead. La Salle fought back to tighten up the score 12-10 but a Baldwin kill and an error derailed them. VCU was able to obtain the three sets it needed to win the match: 25-23, 19-25, 17-25, 25-22, 12-15.
Freshman Tori Baldwin took a stand and led her team with a season high 11 kills and six blocks with three solos. VCU held the Explorers to a .036 hitting percentage in the fifth set tiebreaker. While the middle blocker supplied 15.5 points, she had her sophomore libero Rebekah Strange with her hitting 22 digs and a tacked on service ace. Strange has recorded at least 20 digs in four of her last seven matches.
As she dug up what seemed to be two crucial kills, Strange assisted her team in winning the game point to throw them in the lead 13-10 in the last set against the Explorers.
Outside hitters in senior Kalah Jones and freshman Sahbria McLetchie received double-doubles both having 11 digs while Jones supplied her own 14 kills with McLetchie’s added 15 and her own set of solo blocks. Redshirt freshman setter Indigo Thompson added 41 assists and 13 digs for the Rams.
The Rams suffered misfortune earlier in the week however, dropping a conference road match to Dayton University in a 3-1 decision. The Rams started off strong with an upset comeback during the first set as they had initially trailed the Flyers 21-17, but was unable to garnish the win losing the set 25-23.
In hopes of keeping the upsets going, the Rams trailed behind Dayton as the Flyers jumped out by winning the first 10 of 12 points in the second set, but VCU couldn’t quite make a second comeback as they fell short 14 rallied points with a final score of 25-11, Dayton. With all the momentum on Dayton’s side, the powerhouse from Ohio took a strong lead of 19-9 in the third set leading to another win with a stretched out 11 points finalizing a 25-14 win, placing the Flyers in a 2-1 overall lead. VCU would go on to succumb to the Flyers.
Despite the loss, VCU’s McLetchie still thinks the team is headed in the right direction.
“The season has been tough, but I think we are starting to get to the point now where we are where we need to be,” McLetchie said. “I just want us to keep going on the path that we’re going, keep moving forward, which I think we are doing really well at.”
With McLetchie coming in as a starting freshman, she understands the Rams are a young team with most of the players being underclassmen.
“On and off the court we are together; we know how each other operates which helps a lot in understanding one another,” McLetchie said.
Volleyball sits at (9-14, and 3-5 A-10). VCU will host Duquesne at the Siegel Center Sunday, Oct. 25 at 2 p.m.