RAMS TAME WILDCATS TO CAPTURE VCU INVITE, RUN WIN STREAK TO 10

Tournament: VCU Invitational
Score: VCU 3, Northwestern 0 (25-22, 25-23, 25-17)
Location: Richmond, Va. (Siegel Center)
Records: VCU 13-2, Northwestern 11-2

The short story: Sophomore outside hitter Vicky Giommarini blasted 12 kills, while senior and tournament MVP Alica Kandler added eight to send the red hot Rams to a 3-0 sweep of Northwestern Saturday night in the finale of the VCU Invitational. VCU completed a 3-0 weekend with the victory and has won 10 straight matches.

OPENING VOLLEY

  • Giommarini hit .346 to pace a VCU offense that kept Northwestern on its heels. The Rams hit .219 in the match overall.
  • VCU blocked Northwestern 12 times, and the Wildcats could muster just a .107 hitting percentage.
  • Senior libero Rebekah Strange returned to action Saturday and supplied 16 digs from the back row, as well as a pair of service aces.
  • Four Rams were credited with at least four blocks, including sophomore middle Jasmin Sneed, who booked seven.
  • The Wildcats came into Saturday evening's match riding a nine-match win streak.
  • Nia Robinson and Symone Abbott led Northwestern with 10 kills each.

THE DIFFERENCE

  • VCU's quick offense and aggressive serving proved a challenge for Northwestern, which struggled with ball control. The Rams served up eight aces in the match.
  • The Rams outblocked the Wildcats 12-10 and limited Abbott, a high-flying outside hitter pivotal in Northwestern's two wins this weekend, to a .133 hitting percentage.
  • VCU took command of the opening set with a late 3-0 burst, bolstered by a pair of Gina Tuzzolo aces, which gave the Rams a 19-16 lead.
  • In the second, the Wildcats drew within 24-23 with a late push, but it was Tuzzolo again with a critical lefty kill to clinch the frame.

INSIDE THE NUMBERS

  • VCU's win was the first in program history over a Big Ten opponent.
  • VCU's 10-match win streak is its longest since it won 10 in a row Oct. 23-Nov. 23, 2009.
  • The Rams improved to 13-2 for the first time since 2012.
  • Juniors Tori Baldwin and Julia Adler joined Kandler on the All-Tournament Team for VCU.

NEXT UP
VCU, picked second in the league preseason poll, will open Atlantic 10 Conference play on Friday, Sept. 22 when it hosts Rhode Island at the E.J. Wade Arena at 7 p.m.

GIOMMARINI WINS A-10 HONOR
October 9, 2017 GIOMMARINI WINS A-10 HONOR
STRANGE DIGS OUT A-10 AWARD
October 2, 2017 STRANGE DIGS OUT A-10 AWARD
BALDWIN, SNEED NET A-10 AWARDS
September 5, 2017 BALDWIN, SNEED NET A-10 AWARDS