Two talented volleyball squads with NCAA Tournament experience took the court Wednesday night at the Siegel Center. VCU Volleyball welcomed Wichita State for their 2018-19 season home opener that electrified those in attendance for 5 sets in a close match.
Too Much Shock in Opening Set
The first three points of the opening set went in favor of the home team. Vicky Giommarini scored the opening kill followed by Jasmin Sneed and Gina Tuzzolo denying the Shockers with a team block. Madalon Simpson made it 3-0 VCU on a perfectly hit service ace.
Wichita State would regroup and regain ground as Set 1 continued. Even with Sneed laying the smackdown on her second kill, the Shockers would take control after multiple attacking errors by VCU. Both teams started to get settled in as the ball flew with velocity and plenty of impact on the court.
Julia Adler would team up with Sneed at the net and deliver a team block that kept VCU within striking distance at 12-15. However, Wichita State had the hot hands with 15 kills in Set 1 to win it 25-16.
Kill, Block, Ram. Repeat.
Both teams were neck a neck with each other in the early stages of Set 2. VCU broke ground on a 4 point run featuring kills from Tuzzolo, Giommarini, and Adler to go up 8-4. Wichita State started to gain ground until Adler and Sneed shut the door with another team block.
Sneed and Adler continued racking up kills but the Shockers would stay in the set with some attacking errors by VCU. The set was taken over by the Rams with kills, blocks and a pair of service errors during a 7 point swing. Adler finished Set 2 with the final kill of the assist by Tyler Sroufe to win it for VCU 25-15.
Wichita Recharged in the 3rd
Paula Neciporuka gave VCU a jump start in Set 3 with the opening kill. Following that was Sneed and Tuzzolo taking control of the kill tally for the Rams. Wichita State would have an answer with a 6 point spread featuring three kills for Megan Taflinger and a service ace for Giorgia Civita. Adler stopped the visitors’ run with a much-needed kill that had VCU sitting at a 7-13 disadvantage.
A pair of attacking errors would dig a deeper hole for the Rams to climb out of at 17-10. Even with a service ace from Giommarini and a couple more VCU kills, the deficit was too great. The Shockers scored 18 kills in Set 3 and won it 25-18 to go up 2-1 heading into Set 4.
Sneed & VCU Put in That WORK!!
Trailing one set, VCU attacked Set 4 with ruthless aggression in an attempt to force a tiebreaker. Dajah Ard started the festivities with a service ace then Giommarini scored a cross-court kill. VCU smelled blood in the water and feasted on the Shockers with a 12 point run that had Ram fans in jubilee at the Siegel Center.
Jasmin Sneed got the party started with a kill and it was all VCU for the majority of Set 4. Sneed was a one-woman showcase with three consecutive solo blocks that had every Ram fan in the building hyped. Giommarini scored another kill and after another attacking error by Tabitha Brown, Wichita State called timeout trailing 5-15.
After that timeout, Julia Adler scored two consecutive kills followed by Sneed collecting #AnotherOne. WSU finally caught a break on a VCU service error but Giommarini served it right back to the Shockers with her second service ace of the game.
Nearly everything was in sync for the Rams with 10 kills in set 4 and only two errors. The Shockers had 10 total errors as VCU forced a tiebreaker by dominating Set 4 25-10.
Final Round. FIGHT!
The final set was a short one that was filled with drama all the way until the final point. VCU and Wichita State traded points early on with no wiggle room and trading the lead. Ashley Pugh of WSU grasped her moment after being called for a double touch and hammered down a kill to put the Shockers ahead 6-4.
A much needed VCU kill came from Adler as she tipped the ball over the WSU block to keep the Rams within 3 points. An eventful rally of over 20 touches followed that and the Shockers would score the point off of a VCU attacking error.
One more kill came from Tori Baldwin before Wichita State would score the final two kills of the match to win Set 5 15-9. Wichita State won the match 3-2 and collect their third consecutive victory over the Rams.
Stats & What’s On Deck
VCU had three players in double-digits on the kill count; Jasmin Sneed led the Rams with 11 kills while Julia Adler and Vicky Giommarini collected 10 kills each. VCU had 15.0 total team blocks to Wichita State’s 3.0. The Shockers remained undefeated at 3-0 while the Rams fall to 0-3 overall.
Coming up next for VCU Volleyball is the Seton Hall Classic in South Orange, New Jersey. The Rams will take on Seton Hall, Oklahoma, and Pittsburgh beginning with the Pirates on Friday, August 31st at 7 pm. #LetsGoVCU 🐏