JONES’ KILLS NOT ENOUGH TO LIFT RAMS IN BIG TEN ROAD MATCH

Score: Purdue 3, VCU 0 (25-21, 25-18, 25-21)
Tournament: Mortar Board Premier
Location: Belin Court (West Lafayette, Ind.)
Records: Purdue 1-0, VCU 0-1
 
OPENING VOLLEY
  • Senior Kalah Jones blasted 15 kills for VCU, but the Rams were unable to overcome Big Ten stalwart and host Purdue before a crowd of 2,125 in the 2015 season-opener.
  • Redshirt freshman setter Indigo Thompson, who was seeing her first action in a VCU unform, directed the Rams' offense to the tune of 30 assists.
  • Freshman Sahbria McLetchie also shined in her VCU debut. The San Antonio, Texas native hit .333 with nine kills. Sophomore outside hitter Jessica Young chipped in with seven kills and three blocks.
  • The Rams were unable to halt Purdue's dynamic offense. The Boilermakers hit .308 in the win. Sam Epenesa and Azariah Stahl provided 11 kills apiece for the hosts.
KEY MOMENTS
  • A kill and an ace by Jones sparked a 3-0 burst midway through the opening set to give the Rams a 12-10 advantage. However, back-to-back Purdue blocks a short time later put the Boilermakers back in front 17-16. Purdue would not trail again the rest of the way.
  • VCU hit .346 in the second set, but Purdue was able to keep the Rams at bay. VCU pulled within 7-6 early in the frame, but the Boilermakers set Epenesa for three kills during an extended 8-4 push that opened up a 15-10 margin.
  • The Rams looked to strike back in the third set. Purdue opened a 19-15 lead late, but VCU battled back within 22-21 following a block by Young and senior Uzoamaka Ibeh. Purdue, however, closed with a 3-0 spurt to clinch the victory.
FROM COACH JODY ROGERS
  • "I thought we played pretty well, but Purdue, that's an NCAA Tournament team. We've just got to come back out and do well the next two games. Sahbria McLetchie played well in her first match. She's going up against blockers we won't play in the A-10. Kalah also hit well tonight. We just need to get our middles more engaged, and that comes with ball control. We were a little hot and cold tonight on the first ball. Stat-wise we looked decent but definitely need to get better. We just have to bounce back."
WHAT'S NEXT
VCU returns to Belin Court on Saturday to face Ohio (1 p.m.) and Austin Peay (5 p.m.)
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