With 20 wins collected, VCU Volleyball was in search of #21 at home against a quality Atlantic 10 opponent in Saint Louis. In a battle of 1st vs 3rd place squads, VCU blocked the Billikens at the net and collected yet another sweep in conference play.
Can’t Block This. Wait…Yes, They Can.
VCU and Saint Louis went to war in Set 1. Multiple Rams got on the kill tally early including Vicky Giommarini, Alica Kandler, and Jasmin Sneed. Defense became the X-factor with Tori Baldwin and Gina Tuzzolo denying SLU kills at the net.
Baldwin and Tuzzolo added kills to their skillset as Set 1 continued. Rebekah Strange was in good form with numerous digs as VCU pushed their lead further. A costly attacking error by Camilla Rivas into her own net put Saint Louis in 16-22 hole.
The Billikens were unable to recover against VCU’s killer offense. Baldwin and Kandler closed shop with the last pair of kills in the opening set. VCU went up 1-0 after claiming Set 1 25-19.
Kills, Digs & A Variety Of Rams
Saint Louis bounced back in the early beginnings of Set 2. The first 3 points went SLU’s way off of 2 kills and a service ace by Sien Gallop. Giommarini stopped the bleeding with a VCU kill followed by the blocking unit of Baldwin & Tuzzolo stuffing the Billikens again.
As the blocking duo kept the Billikens grounded, Strange continued digging all of Saint Louis other scoring attempts. Madalon Simpson produced some digs to level up VCU’s defending. Julia Adler rose to the occasion with multiple kills, however, Set 2 still remained competitive.
Notched at 20-20, Kandler connected on a powerful kill that put VCU ahead. Tuzzolo scored on a clutch service ace that put the Black & Gold up 2. Saint Louis and VCU traded on a long rally that ended in another attacking error by SLU at the worse time.
Adler was set up for by Strange as the final kill of Set 2 was scored. VCU won a close one 25-22 to go up 2 set over Saint Louis.
21 Victory Street
Set 3 was painted Black & Gold at the start. Giommarini scored the first kill of the set while Baldwin brought in the following 2 for the Rams. An attacking error by Saint Louis put the Billikens in a 4-0 disadvantage early.
SLU bounced back temporarily with their first kill of Set 3. After that, VCU launched another 4 point swing to go up 8-1. Even with a pair of service aces for the visitors, Saint Louis just could not catch up to the VCU.
Vicky Giommarini had herself a game-leading VCU with 12 kills and 6 additional digs. VCU’s defensive unit of Tori Baldwin (7 Kills, 9 Blocks) and Gina Tuzzolo (6 Kills, 8 Blocks) performed well against Saint Louis. VCU out killed Saint Louis 47-37 and out-dug their opposition 57-44.
Rebekah Strange collected 24 of VCU’s 57 digs on the night. Madalon Simpson had 10 digs on the night. Tonight belonged to VCU Volleyball as they collected their 7th consecutive sweep with a 3-0 win over Saint Louis.
VCU Volleyball’s winning streak adds another result with 21 straight victories. The Rams remain perfect in Atlantic 10 play at 10-0 and improve to 24-2 overall.
Next up for VCU is an anticipated battle of unbeaten squads in the Atlantic 10. Dayton brings their 10 match winning streak and perfect 9-0 conference record to the Siegel Center on Sunday, October 29th. The battle of for A-10 supremacy begins at 1 PM.