RAMS GALLOP PAST VIRGINIA IN WEEKEND OPENER  

Tournament: Jefferson Cup
Score: VCU 3, Virginia 0 (25-17, 25-21, 25-21)
Location: Charlottesville, Va. (Memorial Gymnasium)
Records: VCU 7-2, Virginia 3-4

The short story: Senior Alica Kandler blasted 10 kills and VCU raced to its fourth straight win via a sweep of intra-state rival Virginia Friday night in Charlottesville.

OPENING VOLLEY

  • Kandler led an offense that hit .264 in the match and committed just 11 attacking errors. The senior outside hit .429 and produced just one error in 21 swings.
  • Sophomore middle blocker Jasmin Sneed added five more blocks to her season total, while four other Rams contributed at least two.
  • Sophomore outside hitters Gina Tuzzolo and Vicky Giommarini supplied seven kills each for the Rams, while classmate Tori Baldwin added four and hit .571 from the middle. Baldwin also recorded three blocks.
  • Jelena Novakovic provided a match-high 11 kills to pace Virginia.

THE DIFFERENCE

  • VCU controlled the match from the outset and trailed just once in the first two frames.
  • Virginia mounted a challenge in the third. The Cavaliers built a 15-10 lead, but Giommarini sparked a 5-0 run with a pair of kills. Virginia pushed ahead again at 19-16, but an ace by senior libero Rebekah Strange and back-to-back blocks, first by Sneed and Kandler, then Sneed and Tuzzolo, led a 6-0 blitz that shifted the set back in VCU's favor 22-19. The Rams were not threatened again.
  • VCU outhit Virginia .264-.088. The Rams hit .345 in the third set alone.

INSIDE THE NUMBERS

  • VCU has won three of the last four match-ups against UVA.
  • The Rams' 7-2 mark is their best through nine matches since the 2013 squad opened 7-2. That team finished with a 26-8 record.

QUOTABLE
"I think our passing was really great from the get go tonight. I think we passed a 2.0. You can do a lot of things passing a 2.0. We served really aggressive tonight and kept UVA on their heels a bit. It was nice for us to see a little short-term pressure in that third set. It was nice to see the girls fight. That valuable experience for when the conference season rolls around."

"Dajah Ard was aggressive setting tonight. She set at a nice tempo. Her and Tyler Sroufe are getting better and better. They're getting comfortable in our fast offense and doing things that will help them transition from good setters to great setters." – VCU Coach Jody Rogers

NEXT UP
VCU will continue Jefferson Cup play Saturday morning at 9:30 a.m. when the Rams take on Ohio. The Black and Gold will also meet Howard Saturday evening at 5 p.m.

BALDWIN, SNEED NET A-10 AWARDS
September 5, 2017 BALDWIN, SNEED NET A-10 AWARDS