RICHMOND, Va. – Sophomore Kristin Boyd (Wilmington, N.C.) spiked 12 kills to drive the offense and classmate Marisa Low (Carlsbad, Calif.) dug 21 balls to spark the defense in Virginia Commonwealth University's 3-0 (25-10, 25-19, 28-26) victory over Georgia State Friday at the Verizon Wireless Arena at the Stuart C. Siegel Center.
The Rams hit .370 and .469 in sets one and two, respectively, to roll out to a commanding 2-0 match lead. VCU led wire-to-wire in a 25-10 rout in the opening set. The Panthers threatened to push the match to four sets, but Boyd and senior Mariel Frey (Lititz, Pa.) blasted back-to-back kills off assists from freshman Ciara Brown (Fort Myers, Fla.) to lock up a 28-26 win.
Low, who was celebrating her 19th birthday Friday, provided 20-plus digs for the second straight match. She also dug 29 balls in a 3-2 win over George Mason on Oct. 16. In her last two matches, Low has averaged more than six digs per set.
Behind Low's effort and seven blocks, the Rams limited Georgia State to a paltry .080 hitting percentage. The Panthers hit just -.192 during the opening set.
"I'm really proud of the way [Marisa Low] played tonight," VCU Head Coach James Finley said. "She played amazing defense and kept us in a lot of rallies. The team, in general, has gotten better and better on defense as the year has progressed."
Boyd hit .429 and added three blocks, while senior Kelsie Clegg (Boise, Idaho), who was honored prior to the match for breaking VCU's career blocks record, added eight kills and hit .400.
"Two kids I'm really proud of tonight that were really standouts, Kelsie Clegg, who hit .400 blocked well and provided great leadership, and Kristin Boyd who I'm so proud of. We knew this was coming," Finley said.
VCU returns to the floor on Saturday, Oct. 23 when it hosts UNC Wilmington at the Verizon Wireless Arena at 7 p.m.