DUQUESNE MAKES CRITICAL PLAYS LATE TO HALT VCU

Score: Duquesne 3, VCU 1 (16-25, 25-17, 26-24, 25-23)
Location: Pittsburgh, Pa. (Palumbo Center)
Records: VCU 10-8 (1-1 A-10), Duquesne 12-6 (2-1)

The short story: Freshman Vicky Giommarini led a balanced VCU attack with 10 kills and junior Rebekah Strange provided strong back-row defense with 18 digs, but Duquesne made critical plays down the stretch in the third and fourth sets to hold off the Rams Friday night in Pittsburgh.
 
OPENING VOLLEY
  • Giommarini hit .200 and added eight digs and two blocks for the Rams.
  • Lefty outside Julia Adler spiked nine kills and hit .260 for VCU, while sophomore middle Tori Baldwin recorded seven kills on 15 swings, as well as five blocks.
  • Strange was one of three Rams to register at least 10 digs. Junior Alica Kandler added 13 and eight kills.
  • VCU limited Duquesne to a .165 hitting percentage, but two players, Madelynn Burnham (13 kills, .333 hitting percentage) and Liz Wayne (12 kills, .320 hitting percentage) were able to provide enough offense to tip the scales in the Dukes' favor.
THE DIFFERENCE
  • Duquesne's timely playmaking made all the difference Friday night. VCU led the third set 24-22, only to watch the Dukes score the final four points of the frame to steal a 26-24 win. Molly Davet, Kori Johnson and Maddie Bazelak all recorded kills in the decisive burst.
  • A similar fate awaited the Rams in the fourth. A kill by VCU's Jasmin Sneed, followed by a flubbed Duquesne set pulled the Rams and Dukes even at 22-all. The teams traded the next two points before Burnham converted her 13th and final kill of the match. On the ensuing play, Burnham and Wayne combined on a match-clinching double block.
  • VCU, which opened with a decisive 25-16 win, hit .406 in the first set. But the Rams hit no better than .133 in any of the final three.
  • Statistically, the teams were virtually even, a reflection of the back-and-forth nature of the match. VCU owned advantages in hitting percentage (.193-.165), blocks (10-3) and digs (71-69), while the Dukes served up 10 aces for the Rams' five.

QUOTABLE
"We came out kind of hot, but in that second set they came out more aggressive in terms of passing and serving, and that threw us off, and it kind of went from there. Our outsides weren't as consistent as we needed them to be. The setters did a nice job with distribution, but they were running all over the place because our ball control wasn't as consistent as it has been. This is one of those matches where a little bit of our youth showed. Jasmin Sneed was phenomenal again tonight and some other girls did well, but for us, it all comes down to ball control." – VCU Coach Jody Rogers

WHAT'S NEXT
VCU will travel across Pennsylvania to face La Salle in Philadelphia on Sunday, Oct. 2 at 1 p.m.

 

 

 

 

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