HARRISONBURG, Va. – Senior Kelsie Clegg (Boise, Idaho) made history Friday, setting the Virginia Commonwealth University career blocks record while leading the Rams to a critical 3-1 (25-23, 19-25, 25-15, 25-19) victory over James Madison Friday night at the JMU Convocation Center.
Clegg blasted 10 kills and collected six blocks to become the Rams' all-time leader. A 6-5 middle blocker, Clegg recorded the record-breaking rejection in the pivotal third set, a 25-15 VCU win. Clegg passed former teammate Ivana Rich, who set the mark last season with 384.
"It feels awesome," Clegg said. "I've been shooting for this goal for a long time, and it feels good to get it done as a team tonight. I blocked well, but everyone helped block around me."
VCU Head Coach James Finley, who recruited Clegg as a lanky, raw prospect in 2005, couldn't be more excited about the progress the Boise, Idaho native has made in four years.
"It's so cool because she's come so far," Finley said. "The thing that's so cool is that when it comes time for conference play, she's going to find a way to make a difference. She's been phenomenal and a great role model."
Behind Clegg and sophomore Jasmine Waters (Landsdown, Md.), who also recorded six blocks, VCU out blocked James Madison, 15.5 to 2.0. It proved to be a deciding factor in the match.
The two schools split the opening two sets before Finley's implored his team to find a renewed fire.
"I challenged a couple of individuals. For example Mariel Frey, who was hitting negative in the first two games," Finley said. "I said, 'look you're a senior, and this is it. Can you get this job done?' "
Frey (Lititz, Pa.) answered the call and did not record an error rest of the night. She would also rack up nine kills and ten digs by the end of the match.
Freshman Bridget Camacho (Cumming, Ga.) also heard her coach loud and clear. She led a defensive effort in the third set that saw more the Rams score more digs and blocks than either of the previous sets. Camacho registered six digs in the set, the most by any Ram in any set of the match. The Black & Gold would go on to take the third set 25-15.
Led by a balanced attack that saw three players score three kills apiece, the Rams took the fourth set by a score of 25-19. The VCU victory ended the Dukes' nine-match home win streak.
VCU will look to carry the momentum east for Saturday night's match-up against conference leaders George Mason at 7 p.m.