Volleyball goes 1-2 at Seton Hall Classic

Photo by Elizabeth Humphrys.

Volleyball traveled to New Jersey over the weekend to compete in a three-game series at the Seton Hall Classic, going 1-2 with a win over the University of Oklahoma and losses to the University of Pittsburgh and Seton Hall University. The Rams, who boasted the longest win-streak in the country last season, have started off the 2018 campaign 1-5.

Pittsburgh

The undefeated Pittsburgh Panthers — ranked 14th in the American Volleyball Coaches Association — topped the Rams in straight sets at the Seton Hall Classic, sending VCU home with their fifth loss of the year.

The Rams fell to the Panthers to close last season in the first round of the NCAA Tournament. VCU didn’t get anything going this time around, as Pittsburgh took the first set 25-16 and never looked back.

After a great game earlier in the day against Oklahoma, junior middle blocker Jasmin Sneed continued her big weekend as she provided five kills and three blocks, while hitting .357. Senior middle blocker Tori Baldwin added four kills and four blocks.

The difference in the match came down to hitting percentage. The Rams only hit .036 while Pittsburgh hit .307.

Oklahoma

After a heartbreaking loss to Seton Hall in the opening match of the event, the Rams cruised to a 3-1 victory over Oklahoma for their first win of the season.

The Rams turned up the defense against Oklahoma. The Sooners hit only .182 from the field on Saturday, as VCU came up with their best defensive performance so far this season. After splitting the first two sets with Oklahoma, the Rams closed the third set with back-to-back kills after a 25-all tie. The Black and Gold then closed the Sooners out in the fourth set, 25-20.

Sneed anchored the Rams defensively — he recorded 11 of the 17 blocks for the Rams Saturday afternoon. Sneed also registered eight kills to help the Rams on offense, and her performance helped VCU stand up defensively and take control of the match. The Black and Gold carried over their balanced offensive attack from the previous game, with six players making more than seven kills.

Seton Hall

In a nail biter, Seton Hall edged VCU in a fifth, decisive set.

After losing the opening set 21-25, the Rams rallied to take two consecutive sets and grab the upper hand. After losing a tight fourth set, Seton Hall grabbed the momentum in the final set to pull away — Seton Hall’s 4-0 start in the final set to 15 was too much for VCU to overcome.

Offensively, the Rams fired on all cylinders with a .298 hitting percentage in the match. Junior outside hitter Vicky Giommarini led the Rams offensively. Giommarini spiked 16 kills, while hitting .324. Giommarini contributed on defense as well, tallying six digs and a block on the day.

Seton Hall’s offensive efficiency was the story of the match. Seton Hall hit .299, upping their total in the final set to .643. Their offensive efficiency proved to be too much for the Rams, leaving little room for error.

Sneed led the Black and Gold on offense and defense, tallying seven blocks and 13 kills. The Rams had six players with six kills or more in the match, spreading the wealth on offense.

 

The Rams will travel to the Sunshine State this weekend for three matches on Friday, Sept. 7 and Saturday, Sept. 8 in the Home2Home Suites Tallahassee Seminole Volleyball Invitational.


Rodney Robinson Contributing Writer

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