WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. – Senior Jessica Ojukwu (Sao Paulo, Brazil) provided a double-double, while junior Kristin Boyd (Wilmington, N.C.) blasted 16 kills as Virginia Commonwealth University topped the College of Charleston in its season opener, 3-1 (25-14, 23-25, 25-15, 27-25) at the Mortar Board Premier Friday at Holloway Gymnasium.
Ojukwu kicked off the 2011 season on the right foot. The two-time All-Colonial Athletic Association honoree spiked 15 kills and dug 20 balls in the win. Boyd had just six hitting errors in 41 attempts and finished with a .244 average.
"It was wild, it was fun. Things were clicking. Good all-around effort," said Finley in assessing his team's performance.
VCU led the CAA in blocking last season and looked strong in that area on Friday, registering 10.0 blocks. Senior Courtney Hott (Fredericksburg, Va.) led the way with six rejections, as well as six kills. Freshman setter Cecilia Aragao (Recifie, Brazil), who also provided five kills, 30 assists and 12 digs, booked five blocks.
The Rams hit .271 on the day, while holding the Cougars to a .092 hitting percentage.
Elyse Chubb and Madelyn McGinnis led Charleston with 11 kills apiece.
VCU wasted little time hitting its stride, recording a .450 attack percentage in the first set. The Rams were also credited with an 80-percent sideout ratio (12-of-15) on the way to a 25-14 victory. VCU committed just one hitting error in the first set.
Following Charleston's lone win in the second set, the Rams answered by hitting .345 in the third frame to push the Cougars to the ropes.
The Rams will have little time to celebrate their victory, however. VCU meets 13th-ranked and host Purdue at 10 a.m. on Saturday before taking on Baylor at 5 p.m.