UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. – Senior Mariel Frey (Lititz, Pa.) had 23 kills to lead Virginia Commonwealth University, but the Rams fell to Colgate, 3-2 (20-25, 21-25, 25-20, 26-24, 15-11) Friday at the Hampton Inn Classic at Penn State's Rec Hall.
Frey, who was playing short drive from her hometown, hit .214 on the day and added 17 digs and four blocks for the Rams (0-5). Fellow senior Kelsie Clegg (Boise, Idaho) hit .467 with seven kills and nine blocks. However, VCU was unable to overcome the 2-0 hole it dug at the beginning of the match.
After battling back to tie the match, the fifth set was knotted at 7-7 when the Raiders used a 3-0 burst, bookended by Casey Ritt and Maureen Colligan kills, to take a 10-7 lead. The Rams never got within two points the rest of the way. Colgate hit .333 in the fifth set, compared to .154 for VCU.
With the score tied at 24-24 in the fourth frame, Frey hammered a set from freshman Ciara Brown (Fort Myers, Fla.) for a kill. On the ensuing play, Clegg and junior Jessica Ojukwu (Sao Paulo, Brazil) combined on a double block of Colligan to give VCU a 26-24 win to tie the match at 2-2.
The Rams hit .156 and .094 in the opening two sets as Colgate (3-1) grabbed a commanding lead. VCU steadied itself and hit .242 and .208 in sets three and four, respectively, to roar back into contention.
Logan Keala led three Colgate players with double-digit kills with 12. Ritt and Colligan had 11 and 10, respectively. Raider libero Devon Applegate recorded 31 digs in the match.
VCU also received 11 kills, 17 digs and eight blocks from Ojukwu, who enjoyed her best match since returning from a knee injury that cost her the 2009 season. The Rams out blocked the Raiders, 14.0 to 7.5 in the match.
VCU returns to the court tomorrow when they meet Seton Hall at 1 p.m., followed by host and No. 1-ranked Penn State at 7 p.m.