After nearly a week off, Volleyball extended its season-high winning streak to six games after cruising to a 3-0 victory over Davidson College Saturday in North Carolina. The victory extended the Rams’ conference winning streak to 21 consecutive matches — 19 in the regular season.
“We had such a strong pre-conference schedule and that is what is showing up right now,” said head coach Jody Rogers. “We are playing great and we need to continue that. The girls are very hungry and are working very hard everyday.”
Led by junior outside hitter Vicky Giommarini’s 14 kills, VCU (10-7, 5-0 A-10) hit a season-high .379 in kills and never trailed Davidson (7-8, 1-4 A-10) in any set by more than three points. Giommarini hit .500 for the match, and committed just one error in 24 swing attempts. Additionally, she added two aces and two blocks.
VCU started the match fast, taking a 7-3 lead in the opening set en route to a 25-13 score while hitting .407 as a team. The second set saw VCU trailing 14-17 before going on a 5-1 run to take a 19-18 lead. Sophomore outside hitter Paula Neciporuka sparked the run — scoring three of the five points — with a kill and two straight-service aces to give VCU the set lead and eventually a 25-21 win. In the final set, VCU hit a match-best .571 as a team with 18 kills to only two errors.
“That was huge and it was awesome,” Rogers said of Neciporuka’s mini-run. “It was something we needed and that was the spark that buried [Davidson] and and put an end to the little bit of confidence [Davidson] had been building for themselves.”
The Rams dominated the match in nearly every aspect as they outhit the Wildcats .379 to .132, out-blocked them 11-4 and out-dug them 36-27. VCU also added six service aces while surrendering none. Setters Dajah Ard and Tyler Sroufe added 22 and 15 assists respectively, and freshman libero Alyna Draper paced the defense with 16 digs.
Fresh off her A-10 Defensive Player of the Week award last week, junior middle blocker Jasmin Sneed scored seven kills and four blocks while hitting .583. Three other Rams added at least seven kills — junior opposite hitter Gina Tuzzolo (8), Neciporuka (7) and senior middle blocker Tori Baldwin (7).
“We prepare for each team like they are a team that could hurt our feelings and the girls do a great job in not taking anyone for granted,” Rogers said. “As a staff we let the girls know every day that we can’t look past anyone and that we have to play each match like it is our last.”
VCU returns home to the Siegel Center for the first time in three weeks this weekend with matches on Oct. 12 and 14 against conference foes George Mason University and George Washington University, respectively.