The VCU Volleyball team (7-7, 2-0 Atlantic-10) swept its three games over the weekend defeating James Madison University, La Salle and Duquesne after nearly a week off due to the cancellations caused by Hurricane Florence. The Rams look to extend their three-game win streak as they go on the road Sept. 28 to take on St. Louis University.
The Rams rallied to beat James Madison University in a five-set thriller Sept. 17. After VCU took the first set, JMU went on a run and won the next two. With the Rams’ backs against the wall, they edged the Dukes in the fourth set, 25-23. VCU managed to push past the Dukes in the fifth set 17-15, after withstanding three JMU match points.
Junior middle blocker Jasmin Sneed fueled VCU’s comeback on Monday, finishing with nine kills and hitting .444. She was also a force on defense with seven blocks. Sneed came up big in crunch time on Monday, with four kills and a block in the fifth-set tiebreaker, a set where the Rams trailed 14-12 before closing the match on a 5-1 run.
The Black and Gold balance continued for the early season. Four different VCU players recorded double-digit kills — Giommarini led the pack with 19. Freshman libero Alyna Draper recorded 21 digs in an outstanding defensive effort.
VCU won its first A-10 matchup of the season Friday, Sept. 21, against La Salle University three sets to one. After a tough first set, which featured 15 ties and five lead changes, VCU managed to take sets two and four to close out the match.
Tuzzolo led the Rams offensively with 15 kills. The junior hit .265 on the night and recorded three blocks. Giommarini turned in another all-around performance for VCU in its conference opener, spiking 13 kills on just two errors. Giommarini served five aces and recorded nine digs.
VCU’s defensive effort was extraordinary in the matchup. The Black and Gold had two players with at least eight blocks, while La Salle hit .188 from the field.
The Rams extended their Atlantic 10 winning streak to 19 matches Sept. 23 against Duquesne University. The Dukes threatened to force a fifth set tie-breaker, rallying to tie the Rams in the fourth set, 23-23. However, junior opposite hitter Gina Tuzzolo spiked a kill, followed by a knuckling serve from junior Madalon Simpson, to close out the match.
The Rams’ story was their balanced offense — VCU had five different players record 10 or more kills in the matchup. This balanced attack from the Rams continues to be their staple.
Junior outside hitter Vicky Giommarini led the Rams with an all-around great performance on Sunday. Giommarini spiked 13 kills on the day, with 13 digs and three blocks on defense.
The Black and Gold hope to build on this balanced attack as they go deeper into conference play.