Tournament: VCU Invitational
Score: VCU 3, Seton Hall 2 (27-25, 25-20, 23-25, 19-25, 15-9)
Location: Richmond, Va. (E.J. Wade Arena at the Stuart C. Siegel Center)
Records: VCU 12-2, Seton Hall 6-6
The short story: Sophomore Jasmin Sneed led a stunning fifth set rally and helped halt a Seton Hall comeback with four blocks as the Rams held on for a 3-2 win over the Pirates Saturday afternoon. The Rams have won nine straight matches.
- Sneed, who finished with 11 kills and hit .450 in the match, provided four blocks to spark a match-shifting 9-0 VCU run midway through the fifth set that turned an 8-4 deficit into a 13-8 advantage.
- Seton Hall overcame a 2-0 match deficit to force a fifth-set tiebreaker, only to see VCU deny the Pirates of a win at the last minute.
- Senior Alica Kandler produced a double-double with 10 kills and 11 digs for the Rams. She also served up four of the Rams' 10 aces.
- Junior Tori Baldwin and sophomore Gina Tuzzolo added five blocks a piece for the Rams and combined to hit .389 with 18 kills for the Black and Gold.
- Adler also contributed eight kills and three blocks, while hitting .467, to the VCU cause.
- Seton Hall's Abby Thelen led all players with 17 kills.
- The Pirates surged to victories in the third and fourth sets and appeared headed for a come-from-behind win when they assumed an 8-4 lead in the final set. But Sneed combined for back-to-back double-blocks to give VCU life. Kandler promptly served up an ace on the ensuing play, and the Rams were off and running. Adler handed VCU the lead for good a short time later with a kill, and Sneed pushed the advantage to 12-8 with two more blocks.
- In all, VCU closed the fifth set on an 11-1 run.
- The Rams registered 4.5 blocks in the fifth set alone, while Seton Hall hit -.050 in the frame.
INSIDE THE NUMBERS
- VCU has won nine straight matches for the first time since the 2012 season.
- The Rams hit .294 in the match and are hitting better than .300 in two VCU Invitational matches.
The Rams will battle Northwestern Saturday night at 7 p.m. in the VCU Invitational finale.