Volleyball (19-2, 5-0 A-10) hosted the University of Maryland – Eastern Shore (14-6) on Tuesday, Oct. 3, Duquesne University (7-12, 2-3 A-10) on Friday, Oct. 6 and La Salle University (10-10, 1-4 A-10) on Sunday, Oct. 8. The Rams lost one of ten sets.
VCU extended its win streak to 16, the longest of any collegiate volleyball team in the country, by defeating the La Salle Explorers, 3-0. The Rams were led by the sophomore outside hitter Vicky Giommarini, who finished with 12 kills.
With 41 kills to La Salle’s 23, VCU led offensively and achieved a .307 hit percentage. Sophomore middle blocker Jasmin Sneed, senior outside hitter Alicia Kandler and sophomore opposite hitter Gina Tuzzolo recorded seven kills each. Sneed leads the team in hitting at 70 percent.
Sophomore setter Dajah Ard led the team in assists at 24 and leads the team in assists-per-set at 6.1.
After the 3-0 win (25-15, 25-17, 25-19) over the Explorers, the Rams moved to 19-2 and into a tie with Dayton University for first place in the A-10 at 5-0 in conference.
The Rams sealed their 15th win in a row against Duquesne in straight sets, while coach Jody Rodgers secured her 500th career win.
Rodgers is 500-234 (47 percent) in 21 seasons of coaching and 94-54 in her five years at VCU.
Giommarini and Tuzzolo had 10 and 11 kills. respectively.
Junior middle blocker Tori Baldwin was able to keep up her tradition of reaching more than 100 blocks per season after nailing seven against Duquesne. Sneed also got over 100 blocks on the season and Tuzzolo was right behind Baldwin with six.
The Rams led the way until the third set where Duquesne pushed them to 20-18, and it appeared as if VCU was in danger of losing their second set of the week. Luckily, Tuzzolo and Giommarini killed it and brought the Rams back to tie it at 21 and eventually reclaimed the set.
VCU out-blocked Duquesne 10-1 and swept the Dukes (25-17,25-21,25-23) at the end of the night. The Rams moved to 4-0 in the A-10, while the Dukes fell to 2-3.
Maryland – Eastern Shore
The Black and Gold suffered its first lost set on Tuesday since a 3-2 match against Seton Hall in the VCU Invitational on Sept. 16. VCU pushed through and won the match 3-1.
Giommarini marked 19 kills and a .341 hit percentage while Kandler and Tuzzolo notched 11 each.
The A10 Co-Defensive Player of the Week — senior libero Rebekah Strange — was on fire with 32 digs and two aces. Strange’s two aces pushed her past the 100 mark on the season.
The Hawks kept it close in the fourth set. Eastern Shore had VCU caught at set point, but kills by Tuzzolo and an ace by Strange tied it at 24. Sneed blocked a few shots from the Hawks and the Rams won the final set 27-25.
VCU beat out the Hawks with 10 aces to 13 service errors and won the match 3-1, (25-19,18-25,25-17,27-25).
Volleyball will look to keep the streak alive in a pair of conference road matches when the Rams head up I-95 to George Washington University (6-14, 2-3 A-10) on Friday, Oct.13 and George Mason University (5-13, 1-4 A-10) on Saturday, Oct. 14.