Volleyball opened its 2018 campaign 0-2, returning home from the N.C. State Invitational winless — the Rams fell to hosts North Carolina State University 3-2 before losing to Washington State University in straight sets.
The first set against WSU was VCU’s worst-scoring set of the season thus far — the Rams were only able to score 13 points to open the match. Meanwhile, Washington State jumped out to a 5-0 lead early-on.
In the second set, the Black and Gold kicked up their performance but still came up short. VCU started up 3-0, but Washington State quickly tied the game at three all.
Trailing 21-20 in the second set, the Huskies scored three straight to take a two-point lead that they carried on to a 25-22 victory.
In the third set, VCU tried to avoid the sweep but were unable to do so, losing 25-18 to finish the N.C. State Invitational winless despite a hotly contested opening match against the hosts.
In the first match of the tournament, VCU faced the host N.C. State Wolfpack Aug. 24. This match went the distance with all five sets played.
With the energy of the home crowd behind them, N.C. State came out fast, winning the first set 25-21 and the second 25-15.
N.C. State pulled away in the first set when they scored three points in a row after the score was already 14-15 in their favor, while VCU appeared overwhelmed in the second set.
The third and fourth sets were dominated by VCU — the Rams won 25-21 and 25-17 to tie the match at two sets apiece, setting the stage for a fifth, decisive set to 15.
Junior outside hitter Vicky Giommarini led the way, scoring three points in the third set. However, in the game-deciding fifth set, the Rams were unable to carry their momentum through the finish line. The Wolfpack defended their court and won the final set 15-11, ending in a 3-2 match victory.
VCU returns to Richmond for their home opener vs. Wichita State University Aug. 27 and then goes back on the road to play three games in the Seton Hall Classic.
Nile McNair Contributing Writer