Arrick Wilson, Contributing Writer
Before the 2020-21 season, the women’s basketball program made it to back-to-back Atlantic 10 championships, losing in both. The saying is “third time’s a charm,” and when the Rams made it to the championship for the third time, they took home a ring.
The black and gold took home their first A-10 championship after defeating the Massachusetts Minutewomen 81-69. This year should bring another challenge for the Rams, as they try to bring another championship ring to Richmond.
Along with games, Ram fans should also look for the return of graduate guard Taya Robinson, who was an A-10 All-Conference First Team member, an A-10 All-Defensive Team member, and last year’s leading scorer for the Rams. Another player fans should look for is sophomore Sarah Te-Biasu, who was a part of the A-10 All-Rookie Team and third-leading scorer for the Rams.
With a new season on the horizon, here’s a list of games to look forward to this season, with a mix of A-10 championship tournament rematches, homecoming games, nonconference and rivalry matches.
1. Homecoming — VCU vs. Middle Tennessee: Nov. 12 (TBA)
The annual VCU homecoming is shaping into play as the Rams will play the Blue Raiders at their opening game. The last time the Rams faced the Blue Raiders in 2019, the Rams suffered a loss of a huge deficit, 86-63. This game should not only be an opening party for the Rams, but a celebratory win for homecoming week.
2. VCU vs. ODU: Nov. 21 (TBA)
The rivalry between VCU Athletic teams and Old Dominion University teams continues. Last season, the Monarchs defeated the Rams in overtime 81-76. Then, ODU senior Victoria Morris led the Monarchs past the Rams with a career-high record of 31 points. Te-Bisasu and then-senior Sydnei Archie led the Rams in points with 18 and 17 points respectively. Fans can look forward to the rivalry game this fall after such a close loss last season.
3. Atlantic 10 Conference Opener — VCU at La Salle: Jan. 1 (TBA)
This game will open the A-10 conference play for the Rams. Last season, the Rams defeated the Explorers 63-62 in an overtime thriller in February. Madison Hattix-Covington, now a redshirt senior, led the Rams in points with 15 points and Te-Bisasu also had 13 points. This game should set the tone for the rest of the conference play, as the Rams look to better their 10 wins and five losses from last season.
4. Atlantic 10 — VCU at Richmond: Feb 2 (TBA)
Before last season’s game against the Spiders, the Rams had defeated Richmond in five straight games, but the Rams ultimately fell to the Spiders 69-64 on Jan. 24. Even though Robinson scored a team-high 16 points, it wasn’t enough to hold back the Spiders. This season, the interconference rivalry will be tested again as the Rams try to reclaim dominance over their intercity rival.
5. Atlantic 10 — VCU at Dayton: Feb. 13 (TBA)
The 2020 reigning Atlantic 10 champions, Dayton, entered the 2021 A-10 championship as the No. 1 seed. The Flyers’ conference record in 2020-21 was an impressive 12 wins with only one loss. The Rams upset the Flyers in a back-and-forth contest for the championship in 2021, 56-50. This season, it should be another highly contested game that will be televised on ESPNU. The Flyers should be on the lookout for 2021 A-10 Defensive Player of the Year, graduate guard Araion Bradshaw, and A-10 All-Conference First Team member, graduate guard Jenna Giacone. This game is one of the few that will be televised for the Rams.
This season will be interesting for the Rams, as they will play in front of 7,500 rowdy spectators in the Stuart C. Siegel Center for the first time in over a year. This season, the Rams will attempt to bring their second A-10 championship win and advance to their fourth straight A-10 championship game.
The Rams will open up their season with the annual black and gold scrimmage on Oct. 16 at 7 p.m. The game will be played at the Stuart C. Siegel Center. For ticket information, visit vcuathletics.com.
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