Sunday afternoon inside the Siegel Center showcased a volleyball spectacle with a handful of stakes on the line. VCU and Dayton came into this highly anticipated match with unbeaten streaks, firepower and the Atlantic 10 regular season crown up for grabs.
The Flyers began to flap their wings as Set 1 began. VCU made 4 attacking errors in a row that put the Rams at a 6-2 disadvantage. Coach Rogers subbed in Julia Adler and this proved to be a great coaching decision as VCU went on a 6-0 scoring run.
Along with Adler, the Black & Gold was killing the game at the net. From Vicky Giommarini to Alica Kandler along with Jasmin Sneed, the Rams got back into battle rather quickly on the scoreboard. Dayton was able to answer back with a 9 point swing late in Set 1.
During this run, Dayton scored 3 service aces. VCU was able to stop the bleeding temporarily at 16-22 but the damage was already done. Lauren Bruns scored the final kill as Dayton took Set 1 25-21.
Rams Land A Haymaker
Dayton once again took advantage of attacking errors by VCU to pull ahead in Set 2. Kandler and Gina Tuzzolo kept the Rams within striking distance with a pair of kills for the home team. The Flyers once again launched another scoring rally to move ahead 10-4.
During the exchange, VCU was able to stay the course. Trailing 17-11, Dayton made 3 key errors that gave the Rams a chance at the comeback. With the score 21-15, Tori Baldwin got the kill that the Rams needed to make their run.
Errors were Dayton’s heel once again with two straight followed by a service ace by Madalon Simpson. Alica Kandler added to the hurt with 2 clutch kills that put VCU ahead 22-21. VCU and Dayton traded points to make it 23-23.
Opportunity struck for the Rams as Margo Wolf made an error on a set-up to give VCU set point. Julia Adler and Jasmin Sneed denied Dayton with a duel block to give VCU the Set 2 win. The crowd went bonkers as VCU scored the 25-23 win in Set 2 to tie the match at 1-1.
Hidden Ace in the 3rd
Vicky Giommarini got the third set going to the Black & Gold with back to back service aces. Giommarini added a kill to score 3 straight points for VCU as the Rams were zoned in. Kandler and Tuzzolo added to the Rams’ kill count while Dayton struggled early on defense.
The aces and kills kept coming in bunches for VCU. Baldwin, Giommarini, and Kandler could not be stopped by the Flyers in Set 3. Dayton scored some much-needed points late in the third to muster a comeback attempt.
Adler killed all of the Flyers chance to bounce back into the game. Giommarini ended a breakout performance in Set 3 with the final kill for the 25-18 VCU victory.
Soaring Back into the 4th
Giommarini and Tuzzolo continued good play as the 4th set started. The Rams got out to a 6-3 lead early as Dayton once again could not get past attacking errors. Dayton looked to their defense at the net with 2 team blocks to regain confidence.
Set 4 returned to a leveled affair between VCU and Dayton. The Flyers bounced ahead with a 5 point spread to take a 14-11 lead. A couple of attacking errors went against VCU that kept the Rams grounded for a few points.
VCU was able to get within a point at the 20-21 mark of the set. Dayton once again scored 4 straight points to better their chances at forcing a tie-breaker. Amber Erhahon made a 5th set a reality with the last kill in a 25-22 victory for Dayton.
Pedal On The Gas, 22 Wins in the Chamber
Extra volleyball was needed at Siegel Center to decide the victor. VCU sprung ahead in Set 5 after Baldwin and Tuzzolo denied the Flyers at the net to go ahead 3-1. Tuzzolo produced another kill to push VCU further out in front.
Dayton regained ground with 2 kills to tie the set. The duo of Adler and Kandler produced the next 3 kills for VCU and Giommarini added an extra for the Rams. VCU was closing in on the result until an attacking error by Kandler made the score 11-10 VCU.
VCU settled back and scored the next 2 points to go up 13-10. Tyler Sroufe set up Jasmin Sneed perfectly for the match point kill at 14-11. Vicky Giommarini ended a great day for her performance wise with the game-winning kill as the Rams remained perfect in Atlantic 10 play.
Alica Kandler led VCU with 17 kills and had 13 digs. Vicky Giommarini scored 15 digs along with her 17 digs on the day. Julia Adler was the third Ram in double-digits with 11 kills. Tori Baldwin recorded 10 blocks versus Dayton and Rebekah Strange had 23 digs.
The winning streak of the Black & Gold stayed intact as the Rams collected their 22nd victory with a 3-2 win over Dayton at Siegel Center. Dayton suffered their first conference loss of the season and snapped their 10 match winning streak.
VCU improved to 10-0 in A-10 play and 25-2 overall. The Rams have sole possession of 1st place in the Atlantic 10. VCU Volleyball returns to action on Friday, November 3rd at La Salle.