RICHMOND, Va. – Sophomore Kristin Boyd (Wilmington, N.C.) blasted a career-high 18 kills and Virginia Commonwealth University used 20 blocks to rally past a plucky Towson squad, 3-2 (25-22, 23-25, 13-25, 25-20, 15-5) Saturday night at the Verizon Wireless Arena at the Stuart C. Siegel Center.

The Rams improve to 11-18 overall and 9-4 in the Colonial Athletic Association. The victory allows the Black and Gold to remain in third place, ahead of James Madison, Northeastern and Georgia State in a crowded CAA race. The league's top four teams qualify for the CAA Tournament. Towson is 14-15, including 2-10 in CAA play.
Boyd spiked four kills in five swings during a one-sided fifth set, a 15-5 rout. Towson's Shelynne Hoyt haunted the Rams for four sets Saturday, but sophomore Jasmine Waters (Landover, Md.) marked her in the fifth. Waters blocked Hoyt on the first two rallies of the tiebreaker and Boyd ripped off three of the next four points as VCU surged to an insurmountable 7-0 advantage.
VCU limited the Tigers to a -.136 hitting percentage in the fifth and were credited with 12 digs.
Boyd hit .326 on the evening and added five digs and four blocks. The Rams set a season-high with 20 blocks, including nine from sophomore Anett Farkas (Budapest, Hungary). Senior Kelsie Clegg (Boise, Idaho) added six kills and seven blocks, while senior Mariel Frey (Lititz, Pa.) contributed 10 kills, 13 digs and six rejections. Freshman setter Ciara Brown (Fort Myers, Fla.) provided 31 assists, 14 digs, four kills and a block.
Katy Buck and Alysha McCreary led Towson with 16 kills each, while Amanda Halls and Hoyt added 12 and 11, respectively.
The Rams were on the ropes following a disastrous third set that saw Towson hit .430 in a 25-13 blowout.
In the fourth, the Rams pulled away from a 12-12 tie on back-to-back kills by Frey and Boyd. Towson hung around, but Boyd and Frey combined for five kills down the stretch to cement a 25-20 win and force the tiebreaker. VCU hit .290 in the fourth and committed just four hitting errors.
VCU will host its final CAA match of the season on Friday, Nov. 12 when it welcomes longtime rival William & Mary to the Verizon Wireless Arena at 4 p.m.