Category Archives: Sports

Expect A Big 2016-17 Season For VCU Men’s Basketball

Coming off a 2015-16 campaign, where it was Will Wade’s first year at the helm and losing their two best players, Treveon Graham and Briante Weber, to graduation, a lot of people didn’t expect much from the VCU Men’s Basketball Program. Yet, once again VCU proved their doubters wrong.

The Rams finished in a three-way tie for the Atlantic 10 regular season title with Dayton and St. Bonaventure at 14-4. VCU did fall to St. Joseph’s in the A-10 championship game, but their bid into the NCAA Tournament had but all been secured.

VCU would go on to defeat Oregon State in the opening round of the NCAA tournament before losing to No. 2 seed Oklahoma in the Round of 32, thanks in most part to Big 12 Player of the Year, Buddy Hield. But enough about last year, let’s talk about what to expect this season from the VCU Men’s Basketball team.

VCU has a strong core returning for the 2016-17 season led by the backcourt of JeQuan Lewis and Jonathan Williams alongside a trio of frontcourt players that will cause problems for the A-10 all season with Mo Allie Cox, Justin Tillman, and Ahmed Hamdy.

However, the two X-factors for VCU I believe are seniors, Doug Brooks and Jordan Burgess, who shot 33.9 percent and 33.5 percent respectively, during their careers. During the Black and Gold Game last Saturday both played well and under control with each scoring 12 points.

“If Jordan can increase his percentage, and we can get Doug shooting where he shot it as a sophomore from 3, which I think he can do, it’s a jolt. It’s what you need,” Wade said, after the Black and Gold Game.

But the question is, can they do that when the season starts November 11?

VCU is also welcoming a talented batch of freshman guards: De’Riante Jenkins, Malik Crowfield, Marquell Fraser, and Samir Doughty, who redshirted last season. The two to watch out for in my opinion though are, Doughty and Jenkins.

Doughty, a 6-4 guard, can finish around the rim and just knows how to put the ball in the basket. His scoring ability will be much needed, especially with the departure of the Rams’ leading scorer from last season, Melvin Johnson.

Jenkins, a 6-5 wing and top 100 recruit, will provide VCU with a lot of mismatch opportunities throughout the season and with his size and length on the defensive end, he can have an impact on the game more ways than one.

Now when you look at VCU’s non-conference schedule this season, I believe it’s pretty good, while I know there’s others who don’t believe so. Last season, VCU struggled to defeat the good teams they played out of conference, like Duke, Wisconsin, Georgia Tech, and Cincinnati, which made it all more important that they performed well in the A-10. This year the narrative can be different, a good showing in the Battle for Atlantis Tournament, defeating teams such as Illinois, Georgia Tech, and Middle Tennessee State among others, VCU can better position themselves when it comes to seeding in the NCAA Tournament.

Overall, with a year under their belt in Wade’s system I expect VCU to be much better than they were last season. They have a much deeper team who will be able to find various ways to score and to go along with their patented “havoc” defense; VCU once again will be in the running for another A-10 championship and well on their way to their seventh consecutive NCAA Tournament appearance.

WVCW Sports Regular Season Prediction:

  • Projected Record: 23-6 (14-4 A-10)

Fall Sports Recap: 10/19/16 – 10/23/16

VCU Men’s Soccer vs. Saint Joseph’s (10/19/16)

Records: VCU 5-6-3 (3-1-1 A-10), Saint Joseph’s 6-8-1 (3-3 A-10)

With a strong defensive effort, the VCU Rams defeated the Saint Joseph’s Hawks by a score of 2-0.

VCU would get on the board first in the 31st minute as Jorge Herranz headed a ball past the Hawks goalkeeper that would put the Rams up 1-0. The Rams would put the nail in the coffin early in the second half when Luc Fatton would sink a shot from about 15 yards out to put VCU up 2-0 as the Rams cruised their way to victory.

The combo of Fatton and Herranz have now scored in VCU’s last four games at Sports Backers Stadium. The Rams outshot the Hawks 12-7 in the game and also held the Hawks without a corner kick opportunity on the night.

VCU Women’s Soccer vs. George Mason (10/20/16)

Records: VCU 7-8-1 (3-4 A-10), George Mason 11-5 (5-2 A-10)

It was a rough game for the VCU Rams on Senior Night against the George Mason Patriots. George Mason would score three first half goals, ultimately winning 4-1 over the Rams.

Tori Burress would score for VCU in the 63rd minute from an assist by Julia Suarez, which allowed Burress knock it in from inside the box. That would be Burress second goal of the season.

VCU led the way in shots with 17 and had six corner kick opportunities just couldn’t convert a lot of them into goals. Goalkeeper Ryan Jones made five saves for the Rams in the loss.

VCU Volleyball vs. George Washington (10/21/16)

Records: VCU 14-10 (5-3 A-10), George Washington 7-15 (1-7 A-10) 

With juniors Alica Kandler and Rebekah Strange leading the way, VCU defeated George Washington 3-1 (25-21, 25-19, 21-25, 25-18) on Friday night. With the win, VCU snapped their two-game losing streak and swept the season series from George Washington.

VCU served 11 aces in the game and totaled 24 aces against George Washington in two meetings this season. Kandler posted 12 digs while Strange collected 20 digs in the match. Sophomore Julia Adler contributed 11 kills in the win as well.

Now VCU has matched its victory total from all of last season, with the win on Friday.

VCU Volleyball vs. George Mason (10/22/16)

Records: VCU 15-10 (6-3 A-10), George Mason 4-18 (0-9 A-10)

The VCU Rams defeated the George Mason Patriots 3-1 (20-25, 25-22, 25-17, 25-23) on Saturday night. The Rams were dominant from the second set to the final point only surrendering the lead twice in the final three sets. With the win, the Rams now surpassed their victory total from last season.

Freshman Vicky Giommarini led the Rams with 11 kills and junior Alica Kandler added nine kills with three aces for the Rams. Sophomore Tori Baldwin contributed eight kills as well.

VCU returns home to place Norfolk State on Tuesday, October 25th at the E.J. Wade Arena at 7 p.m.

VCU Men’s Soccer vs. Massachusetts (10/22/16)

Records: VCU 5-7-3 (3-2-1 A-10), Massachusetts 5-7-3 (2-1-2 A-10)

It took overtime to decide to a winner between VCU and the University of Massachusetts (UMass) Saturday afternoon. VCU would give up a goal with under a minute to play in overtime to Josh Jess that would give UMass the 1-0 win.

Most of the game was quiet from both teams offensively as defense was the name of the game Saturday. Brandon Eaton and Jorge Herranz each had three shots in the game, but VCU only got two shots on net. Goalkeeper Pierre Gardan made three saves on four shots in the loss.

VCU returns to action this Wednesday, October 26th on the road when they take on William & Mary at 7 p.m.

VCU Women’s Soccer vs. Massachusetts (10/23/16)

Records: VCU 7-9-1 (3-5 A-10), Massachusetts 3-9-3 (1-5-2 A-10)

It was another tough outing for the VCU Rams as they loss their second straight game on Sunday, losing to Massachusetts 3-0.

UMass would get on the board first in the 13th minute with a goal from Megan Burke. They would score again in the 38th minute as this time Gabby Kenyon would score for UMass. The Minutemen would score their final goal of the game in the 55th minute, as Salma Anastasio would kick one through the net and VCU was held scoreless for the whole 90 minutes.

VCU put up a game high 14 shots, while also besting UMass with seven shots on goal. Ingrid Brouwer led the way with four shots for the Rams, while Julia Suarez also put up three shots on the day. Goalkeeper Audrey Sanderson made three saves in the loss.

VCU looks to bounce back on Thursday October 27th when they travel to face the Saint Louis Billikens at 7 p.m.

Fall Sports Recap: 10/12/16 – 10/16/16

VCU Men’s Soccer vs. La Salle (10/12/16)

Records: VCU 4-5-3 (2-0-1 A-10), La Salle 6-6 (1-2 A-10)  

The VCU Rams defeated Atlantic 10 conference foe, the La Salle Explorers, on Wednesday 2-0, to remain undefeated in conference play.

After a stalemate in the first 45 minutes of play, senior Jorge Herranz would score the first goal of the night for VCU in the 55th minute with an assist from Rafael Andrade Santos. Then in the 75th minute, junior Luc Fatton would strike one through the back of the net that gave VCU a comfortable 2-0 cushion lead.

Fatton’s goal was his team leading fifth of the season and he is also second on the team in points behind Herranz. Speaking of Herranz, he is now second on the team with four goals and leads the team in points with 14. Goalkeeper Pierre Gardan recorded his third shutout in the Rams last four matches, notching his fourth win of the season.

VCU Women’s Soccer vs. George Washington (10/13/16)

Records: VCU 6-7-1 (2-3 A-10), George Washington 9-4-1 (3-1-1 A-10) 

It would take overtime to decide a winner between the VCU Rams and George Washington Colonials. The Rams were aggressive on offense throughout the first half with multiple scoring opportunities coming from Julia Suarez that couldn’t find the back of the net.

The second half would be much of the same for the Rams, as late in the game they had plenty of opportunities to score the game-winning goal inside the box, but once again the Rams couldn’t find the net and the game went into overtime tied 0-0.

In overtime, it only took George Washington six minutes to net the game-winning goal. Megan McCormick would be the one to score the game-winning goal and give George Washington the 1-0 win over VCU.

Kelly Graves led VCU with four shots in the game, with Suarez taking two. Each time took 11 shots apiece, with five shots on goal for both teams as well.

VCU Volleyball vs. Dayton (10/14/16)

Records: VCU 13-9 (4-2 A-10), Dayton 19-1 (6-0 A-10)

The VCU Rams fell to the Dayton Flyers 3-1 (25-21, 25-19, 22-25, 25-21) on Friday night, as it was VCU’s first home loss of the season.

VCU was down 2-0 after the first two sets, but struck back in the third set, however it was too much Dayton in the fourth and final set that allowed the Flyers to take down the Rams. Dayton came into the match winners of seven in a row, now that streak is at eight.

Sophomore Julia Adler and junior Alica Kandler both led VCU with 11 kills, while Kandler also added 10 digs. Junior libero Rebekah Strange led the Rams in digs with 17 and freshman setters Tyler Sroufe and Dajah Ard combined for 40 assists.

VCU Men’s Soccer vs. Duquesne (10/15/16)

Records: VCU 4-6-3 (2-1-1 A-10), Duquesne 7-3-3 (2-1-1)

The VCU Rams suffered a heart-breaking loss to the Duquesne Dukes on Saturday afternoon in overtime.

It took a penalty kick to decide a winner between both sides. Juan Fajardo Ortiz got tangled up with Duquesne’s Zach Hall inside the box and a penalty was called on VCU and a penalty kick was given to the Dukes. Diego Vieira would score on the penalty kick to give Duquesne the 1-0 win.

The loss ended the Rams seven-game streak of being held scoreless in a loss. Jorge Herranz led the Rams with six shots and goalkeeper Pierre Gardan made three saves on four shots in the game.

VCU returns to action tonight at home against Saint Joseph’s, with game time set for 7 p.m.

VCU Volleyball vs. Saint Louis (10/16/16)

Records: VCU 13-10 (4-3 A-10), St. Louis 10-12 (5-2 A-10)    

Even though the VCU Rams recorded a season-high 17 blocks, they fell to the Saint Louis Billikens 3-1 (13-25, 25-20, 25-21, 25-15). That was VCU’s second consecutive loss with both being at home, after starting 7-0 playing at the Siegel Center.

After a dominant first set, VCU struggled to gain any type of momentum and NCAA kills leader Danielle Rygelski provided all kinds of trouble for the Rams. Rygeliski recorded 24 kills on the night and also produced six digs, four blocks, and two aces.

Sophomore Tori Baldwin, recorded nine of VCU’s season-high 17 blocks. In all, there were three Rams who had at least six blocks. VCU has now registered 10 or more blocks in a match nine times this season.

VCU will return to action on Friday, October 21st at 7 p.m. on the road against the George Washington Colonials.

VCU Women’s Soccer vs. La Salle (10/16/16)

Records: VCU 7-7-1 (3-3 A-10), La Salle 3-8-3 (1-2-3 A-10)

Amanda Tredway would score the game-winning goal for the VCU Rams in double overtime to send the Rams home with a 1-0 win against the La Salle Explorers.

After stalemate through 90 minutes between both teams, the game went into overtime where La Salle had two great chances to end the game, but goalkeeper Ryan Jones (replaced Audrey Sanderson in the 2nd half) and VCU’s backline defense fought hard to keep those balls from crossing into the net, forcing double overtime.

However, double overtime didn’t even last a minute because just 54 seconds in, Tredway would connect on a header assisted from Rachel Hardy, giving VCU a 1-0 victory.

VCU returns to action tomorrow at Sports Backers Stadium to take on the George Mason Patriots. Game time is set for 7 p.m.

Fall Sports Week-In-Review: 10/5/16- 10/9/16

VCU Men’s Soccer vs. George Washington (10/5/16)

Records: VCU 3-5-3 (1-0-1 A-10), George Washington 5-2-5 (0-0-2 A-10)

The VCU Rams were in a hard fought battle against the George Washington Colonials on Wednesday that ended up in a 2-2 tie.

George Washington would strike first with a goal by midfielder Garrett Heine in the 11th minute off a free kick. VCU had opportunities to tie things up in the first half but Colonials’ goalie Thor Hofs made save after save to keep the Rams off the board in the half.

VCU would finally even things up at one in the 58th minute with a goal by midfielder Dakota Barnathan. And the Rams weren’t finished, in the 70th minute VCU took the lead thanks to a header by midfielder Francesco Amorisino off a corner kick. However, moments later in the 73rd minute, George Washington would wipe out VCU’s momentum with a goal from Dylan Lightbourn coming off a corner kick.

In extra time, Rams’ goalkeeper Pierre Gardan made two huge saves in the second overtime that kept the score a 2-2 tie and allowed VCU to finish with a draw instead of a loss.

Between both teams, 28 shots were taken, with George Washington leading 16-12 in that category. George Washington also held the advantage with shots on goal over the Rams 9-7.

VCU returns to Sports Backers Stadium next Wednesday, October 12th when they face the La Salle Explorers at 7 p.m.

VCU Women’s Soccer vs. Fordham (10/6/16)

Records: VCU 5-6-1 (1-2 A-10), Fordham 6-3-3 (1-0-2 A-10)

After a scoreless 85 minutes between the VCU Rams and Fordham Rams, Fordham was able to break the 0-0 tie in the 86th minute to beat the Rams 1-0.

It was a quiet first half for both teams as neither team was able to find the back of the net and not a lot of offensive opportunities were created. In the 53rd and 68th minutes VCU had opportunities to score but saves by Fordham goalkeeper Megan Fitzgerald that kept the score even at zero.

In the 86th minute Lane Cronin would score the eventual game-winning goal that led to VCU receiving their second loss in the Atlantic 10.

Without a goal, VCU had its streak of five straight games without being shutout snapped.

VCU Volleyball vs. George Mason (10/7/16)

Records: VCU 12-8 (3-1 A-10), George Mason 4-14 (0-5 A-10) 

The VCU Rams swept the George Mason Patriots Friday night 3-0 (25-14, 25-22, 25-16) with Julia Adler and Alica Kandler leading the way. Adler and Kandler both recorded 10 kills while sophomore Tori Baldwin produced six kills and had five blocks.

The Rams were dominate in mostly all categories against the Patriots. VCU out blocked Mason 10-3, led in aces, and outhit Mason as well.

VCU Volleyball vs. George Washington (10/9/16)

Records: VCU 13-8 (4-1 A-10), George Washington 6-13 (0-6)

The VCU Rams swept George Washington 3-0 (25-16, 25-12, 25-20) while serving up 13 aces, the most for the Rams in nine years.

From the opening set, VCU didn’t take George Washington lightly coming out and putting their stamp on each set. VCU out dug George Washington 35-25 and led in blocks as well 7-5.

Sophomore Julia Adler recorded 10 kills to go along with three kills, while freshman Madalon Simpson served five of VCU’s season-high 13 aces. Junior Alica Kandler and freshman Vicky Giommarini each registered eight and seven kills, respectively.

VCU has now won three straight matches and 11 consecutive sets.

VCU returns to action on Friday, October 14th when they face the defending Atlantic 10 champion Dayton Flyers at 7 p.m. at the E.J. Wade Arena.

VCU Women’s Soccer vs. Dayton (10/9/16) 

Records: VCU 6-6-1 (2-2 A-10), Dayton 3-7-2 (1-2-1 A-10) 

The VCU Rams defeated the Dayton Flyers on Sunday afternoon by a score of 1-0.

In the first half, there wasn’t much happening for both teams other than a couple of shots for VCU that couldn’t be converted into goals. Much of the first 45 minutes was all about defense. Coming into the second half, sophomore Kelly Graves broke the scoreless tie in the 47th minute as she finished off a goal assisted by Maddi Santo. That would make the score 1-0 and it would stay there as Dayton couldn’t find the back of the net in the second half as well.

The Flyers got up a lot of shots, mostly in the second half, totaling 19 for the game while the Rams only managed five total shots in the game. Goalkeeper Audrey Sanderson recorded her first shutout of the season, recording 11 saves in the game.

VCU will be back in action Thursday, October 13th when they go on the road to take on the George Washington Colonials at 3:30 p.m.

Fall Sports Week-In-Review: 9/27/16 – 10/2/16

VCU Volleyball vs. Maryland Eastern Shore (9/27/16) 

Records: VCU 10-7, Maryland Eastern Shore 7-10

Junior Alica Kandler led the VCU Rams with 15 kills and 12 digs to defeat Maryland Eastern Shore 3-1 (25-22, 19-25, 25-21, 25-15) and its VCU’s seventh win in eight matches.

VCU controlled the match from start-to-finish owning advantages in aces, digs, and blocks. Freshman Vicky Giommarini helped the Rams dominate the last two sets 25-21 and 25-15. In the fourth set VCU jumped out to a 9-0 lead, and from that point the match was in their hands.

Giommarini continues to play well with 13 kills in the match, while also serving up three aces. Three Rams recorded three blocks, including sophomore Julia Adler, who also had nine kills.

VCU Men’s Soccer vs. #14 Akron (9/27/16)

Records: VCU 2-5-2, #14 Akron 5-3-1

The VCU Rams and the 14th ranked Akron Zips had plenty of opportunities to win this game, but both teams would have to settle for a scoreless draw on Tuesday night after a double overtime match.

It was a pretty quiet first half until Akron made a push at the end of the half with some offensive pressure, but couldn’t convert on any of their opportunities. The Zips came out firing early in the second half, but like the first, the Zips just couldn’t the ball in the back of the net. So in extra time, the Rams got a shot from Jorge Herranz in the first overtime that went just wide and in the second overtime the Zips missed a breakaway shot that would have won them the game.

VCU took a total of 11 shots, with three on goal, but also were called for offisides three times, that cost them mightily. Goalkeeper Pierre Gardan recorded his first shutout of the season, making five saves in the game. Both sides combined for 27 fouls and seven yellow cards.

VCU Women’s Soccer vs. Davidson (9/29/16)

Records: VCU 5-4-1 (1-0 in A-10), Davidson 4-6 (0-1 in A-10)

Rams Win Atlantic-10 Opener

By: Jason Boleman

The VCU Rams defeated the Davidson Wildcats 2-1 on a night where offense was hard to come by until the second half.

Despite having three shots on goal in the first ten minutes of the game, VCU and Davidson both were unable to get on the scoreboard in the first half.  The Rams played tough offensively, and were more often than not on their opponent’s side of the field in the first half.

Davidson, who had zero shots on goal in the first half, scored in the 53′ as Perry Zollicoffer broke the tie.  From that point on it was all VCU, with a goal in the 58′ by Julia Suarez, and a goal by Megan Dell off a Suarez assist just eight minutes later.  The Rams were then able to hold off the Wildcats despite the rain that made the field slippery in the last minutes.

VCU outshot Davidson 16-7 for the game, with the majority of Davidson’s shots coming in the second half.  The Rams improve to 5-4-1 on the season, 1-0 in Atlantic 10 competition.

VCU Volleyball vs. Duquesne (9/30/16)

Records: VCU 10-8 (1-1 A-10), Duquesne 12-6 (2-1 A-10)

Duquesne defeated the VCU Rams 3-1 (16-25, 25-17, 26-24, 25-23) on Saturday as they made critical plays down the stretch to outlast the Rams in four sets.

VCU was leading in the third set 24-22 before the Dukes scored four unanswered points to come away with the win and in the fourth set with the score tied at 22-all, Duquesne seized the opportunity and made play after play to seal the match and knock off a pesky VCU squad.

Freshman Vicky Giommarini led VCU with 10 kills and junior Rebekah Strange was everywhere on the court with 18 digs. Sophomore Julia Adler added nine kills to go along with sophomore Tori Baldwin’s seven kills and five blocks. Junior Alica Kandler also had a good match for the Rams with 13 digs and 8 kills.

It was a well-played match by both teams with VCU leading in hitting percentage, blocks, and digs, but Duquesne was able to serve 10 aces to the Rams’ five.

VCU Men’s Soccer vs. George Mason (10/1/16)

Records: VCU 3-5-2 (1-0 A-10), George Mason 2-6-1 (0-1 A-10)

The VCU Rams defeated the George Mason Patriots 2-0 in their Atlantic Conference opener on Saturday night.

The Rams would get on the board first in the 35th minute with a goal from Jorge Herranz assisted by Eli Lockaby. That was Herranz’s third goal of the season. The score would remain 1-0 until the 79th minute when Luc Fatton would put one through the back of the net and Lockaby recording his second assist of the game. Fatton is the leading goal scorer for the Rams, with four on the season and this was Lockaby’s first multi-assist game of the season.

Goalkeeper Pierre Gardan has turned in back-to-back shutouts for the Rams, making one save in 90 minutes of action against the Patriots.

VCU returns to action on Wednesday, October 5th when they take on the George Washington Colonials on the road. Game time is set for 2 p.m.

VCU Women’s Soccer vs. Duquesne (10/2/16)

Records: VCU 5-5-1 (1-1 A-10), Duquesne 6-3-2 (2-0 A-10)

The Duquesne Dukes defeated the VCU Rams 3-1 after scoring three unanswered goals in the second half.

The Rams started strong with a goal midway through in the first half. Alyssa Tallent would kick a strike in the 32nd minute that would give the Rams a 1-0 lead and Tallent’s first career collegiate goal. But the Dukes came out firing in the second half. Just two minutes into play in the second half, Duquesne’s Malea Fabean would head in a ball to tie the score at 1. Minutes later in the 51st minute Duquesne would take a 2-1 lead with a goal by Linnea Faccenda and for insurance in the 80th minute the Dukes scored the final goal of the game to make it 3-1.

It was a tale of two halves as VCU edged the Dukes 18-17 in total shots and shots on goal 11-10. Goalkeeper Audrey Sanderson made seven saves on 10 shots on goal.

VCU returns to action on Thursday, October 6th against Atlantic-10 foe the Fordham Rams as they travel to the Bronx, N.Y. Game time is set for 7 p.m.

VCU Volleyball vs. La Salle (10/2/16)

Records: VCU 11-8 (2-1 A-10), La Salle 8-10 (0-3 A-10)

The VCU Rams had a dominant performance against La Salle on Sunday winning 3-0 (25-16, 25-23, 25-17) and owning advantages in digs (55-42) and blocks (9-2).

Junior outside hitter Alica Kandler recorded 13 kills, 16 digs, and a pair of blocks to lead the Rams in the one-sided affair. Sophomore Tori Baldwin provided seven kills to go along with her six blocks and freshman Gina Tuzzolo chipped in with nine kills for the Rams.

VCU is now 6-0 against La Salle since they joined the Atlantic 10 Conference in 2012. Now the Rams will play seven of their next nine games at the E.J. Wade Arena at the Stuart C. Siegel Center, where VCU is 5-0 on the season.

The Rams will have the next four games at home, beginning with George Mason on Friday, October 7th at 7 p.m.

Photo Gallery: Washington Wizards Training Camp 2016

Weekend Recap of Fall Sports

VCU Volleyball vs. Davidson (9/24/16)

Records: VCU 9-7 (1-0 A-10), Davidson 4-10 (0-1 A-10)

The VCU Rams outlasted the Davidson Wildcats in four sets to win their Atlantic 10 Conference opener Saturday afternoon. Led by Vicky Giommarini and Julia Adler who combined for 25 kills, the Rams were able to come back after a slow start.

Trailing 24-21 in the second set and already down in the match 1-0, VCU scored five straight points to win the set 26-24. From that point on, VCU remained in control of the match to secure the win.

Libero Rebekah Strange recorded 25 digs and sophomore Tori Baldwin returned from injury with eight blocks for the Rams.

VCU is now 5-0 at home this season.

VCU will travel to Princess Anne, Maryland on Tuesday, Sept. 27, where it will face off with Maryland-Eastern Shore in non-conference play.

VCU Men’s Soccer vs. Saint Louis (9/24/16)

Records: VCU 2-5-1, Saint Louis 1-3-3

The VCU Rams and Saint Louis Billikens played to a 1-1 draw on September 24th after 120 minutes wasn’t enough time to decide a winner.

Saint Louis got on the board first in the 18th minute with a goal by Constantin Heider. After a pretty quiet first half and a slow start in the second half, VCU finally broke through.

Rafael Andrade Santos knocked in a free kick in the 73rd minute to tie the game at 1. That was also Santos’ third goal of the season.

Doing the overtime frames, VCU had multiple opportunities to win the game but couldn’t convert down the stretch to score a game-winning goal.

The Rams outshot the Billikens 23-8 in the game and had 10 corner kick opportunities. Goalkeeper Pierre Gardan also made two saves in the draw.

VCU will return to action this Tuesday, September 27 as they stay on the road and head to face Akron. The match is scheduled to start at 7:30 p.m.

A Look At Club Sports: VCU Rams Rugby

By: Jacob Sexton

This weekend, VCU Men’s Rugby Club A and B teams played a home game against North Carolina State Men’s Rugby club, which is ranked top five in the nation. Overall, the game was not the best outing for the Ram Rugby Club. The A team for NC State would control the whole game as they beat the young Rams A club team 97-7 with Jack Weber scoring the Ram’s only try of the game with Conor McGeehin making the conversion kick.

As for the B teams, the Wolfpack would shut out the Rams 71-0. North Carolina State would score a total of 15 tries on the day. The tries were made by eight different players on the Wolfpack. Senior Kyle Morris would make eight of his conversion kicks, while Chris Schnupper was three for three on conversion kicks.

The Men’s Rugby Club at VCU looks to rebound from the loss as the club will face the University of Maryland- BC at Seven Pines Rugby Pitch October 1st. Kickoff will be at 1 in the afternoon.


Mid-Week Recap of Fall Sports

VCU Women’s Soccer vs. Liberty (9/18/16)

Records: VCU 4-4-1, Liberty 4-5

The VCU Rams defeated the Liberty Flames 2-1 in well played match by both teams.

Sophomore Julia Suarez scored on a penalty kick early in the eighth minute after VCU drew a foul in the box to take 1-0 lead. Liberty then tied the game in the 33rd minute with a goal by Isabella Habuda. But in the 69th minute VCU would take the go-ahead lead with a goal by Amanda Tredway assisted by Kelly Graves. With under a minute to play, Liberty had back-to-back corner opportunities, with the final one that landed a header with four seconds to go, but goalkeeper Audrey Sanderson was there to make the save to seal the win for VCU.

Both teams totaled nine shots for the game, with Liberty putting six on goal to VCU’s four. Liberty also held the advantage in corner kicks 6-4, but VCU made up for it by drawing 18 fouls on Liberty. Sanderson picked up her fourth win of the season, totaling five saves for the match.

VCU returns to action on Thursday, September 29 when they begin conference play at Sportsbackers Stadium against the Davidson Wildcats. Game time is set for 7 p.m.

VCU Men’s Soccer vs. Old Dominion (9/20/16)

Records: VCU 2-5, ODU 3-3-1

VCU Rallies in 5-1 victory over ODU

By: Jacob Sexton

VCU Men’s Soccer was coming into Tuesday’s game with a 1-5 record following their 3-0 loss to the University of Virginia last Wednesday. However Tuesday, the Rams were prepared for an Old Dominion University team coming into Sportsbackers Stadium with a 3-2-1 record.

Old Dominion would strike first blood when midfielder CJ Taylor scored early in the game, with the assist from his teammate Jimmy Filerman in the 7th minute.

After that early goal, VCU would put on a show, mostly Luc Fatton, who would pull off a hat trick in just six minutes of play (27’, 29’ and 32’) with assists coming from teammates Jorge Herranz and Rafael Andrade Santos. Both Herranz (52’) and Andrade Santos (73’) would add on a goal later in the contest, giving the Rams a 5-1 victory over Old Dominion.

VCU’s next game will be on the road as they will play at Saint Louis on September 24th at 8:30 p. m.

VCU Volleyball vs. Towson (9/20/16)

Records: VCU 8-7, Towson 12-2   

The VCU Rams had won five straight entering Tuesday’s game with Towson, but Towson was just too much for VCU as they snapped the Rams five game winning streak with a 3-1 win (25-17, 25-22, 26-28, 25-17).

After losing the first set, VCU had a prime opportunity in the second set to tie the match. VCU led in the second set 21-19, but back-to-back aces by Towson keyed a 6-1 run to win the set for Towson. VCU won the third set to keep the match alive, but the fourth set was all Towson as VCU never got closer than three points after being down 19-14 in the set.

Freshman Jasmin Sneed and sophomore Sahbria McLetchie combined for 28 points in the match and junior Rebekah Strange, who was named the Atlantic 10 Conference’s Defensive Player of the Week on Monday, collected 16 more digs for the Rams.

VCU returns to the Siegel Center on Saturday, September 24 to begin conference play against Davidson. Match begins at 3 p.m.

Fall Sports Week-In-Review: 9/13/16- 9/17/16

VCU Volleyball vs. William & Mary (9/13/16)

Records: VCU 5-6, William & Mary 4-6

Freshman Vicky Giommarini was unstoppable in the final three sets with 13 spikes to go along with senior Rebekah Strange’s 30 digs as VCU came back from a 2-0 deficit against William & Mary to win the match 3-2 (19-25, 24-26, 25-21, 25-13, 15-11).

After winning their first set of the match, VCU never relinquished the momentum. The Rams never trailed in the final two sets and William & Mary only managed to tie the score once during that stretch.  Giommarini’s kills in the fifth set came at the most pivotal time in the set. Her three kills in the fifth set help provide VCU with a 5-2 burst that pushed the Rams lead to 11-7 in the set and William & Mary would get no closer than three the rest of the way.

Giommarini finished with a match-high 22 kills. Sophomore Sahbria McLetchie recorded 16 kills and freshman Jasmin Sneed provided eight kills and eight blocks. While freshman Madalon Simpson finished with 20 digs and three aces. VCU freshman setter Tyler Sroufe dished out 53 assists, 13 digs, and three blocks.

Tuesday’s comeback marked the first time VCU has overcome a 2-0 deficit to win since Sept. 14, 2013 at Tennessee.

VCU Men’s Soccer vs. #17 Virginia Cavaliers (9/14/16)

Records: VCU 1-5, Virginia 3-1-1

The VCU Rams didn’t perform well on Wednesday night against the 17th ranked Virginia Cavaliers. The Rams were held without a shot or shot on goal in the first half. They would end with four total shots for the game as they were shutout by the Cavaliers, losing 3-0 in Charlottesville.

Virginia jumped right out of the gate to take an early 1-0 lead in the 11th minute with a goal by Edward Opoku. The Cavaliers scored another goal before halftime to extend the score to 2-0 and the second half wasn’t much trouble for the Cavaliers either. Virginia held control through the second half, as they were able to get multiple shots on net through the first 13 minutes of the second half.  For VCU, they only had one corner kick opportunity on the night, as they were caught offsides five times during the game.

VCU will return to action this Tuesday, September 20, as they return home to face the Old Dominion Monarchs starting at 7 p.m.

VCU Women’s Soccer vs. James Madison (9/16/16)

Records: VCU 3-4-1, James Madison 3-6 

It almost took the whole 120 minutes to find a winner between the VCU Rams and James Madison Dukes on Friday night. The Rams were down 2-0 in the second half, but with goals from Maddi Santo and Julia Suarez to tie the score at 2, the game went into overtime. But a goal from Ashley Herndon, her second of the game, of the Dukes in the 115th minute gave James Madison the 3-2 win over VCU.

VCU struggled in the first half, only getting off one shot in the first half. VCU ended up totaling five shots for the game, but James Madison had 21 shots with 10 on goal. James Madison also topped VCU in corner kicks, 7-to-4. Goalkeeper Audrey Sanderson recorded seven saves in the losing effort.

VCU will return to action this Sunday, September 18 when they return to Sportsbackers Stadium. They will take on Liberty at 6 p.m.

VCU Volleyball vs. Middle Tennessee State in the VCU Invitational (9/16/16) 

Records: VCU 6-6, Middle Tennessee State 3-9

Career Night for Bekah Strange Leads Rams to Victory

By: James Shumaker

Bekah Strange, the junior libero for the VCU Rams, collected her 1000th dig Friday night in the Rams’ first game in the VCU Invitational against the Middle Tennessee State Blue Raiders. Strange’s 19 digs on the night lead the defensive front for the Rams. Vicky Giommarini lead the offense with 11 kills as the Rams made a clean sweep of the Blue Raiders.

VCU won the match 3-0 (25-20, 25-19, 28-26). The match was pretty much one sided as the Rams offense and defense were clicking on all cylinders through the first two sets. The third set however was a battle. With a few shaky calls from the officials the Blue Raiders were able to battle back and make it a close one. The Rams stuck together and still prevailed to win the set. The Rams improve to 6-6 on the season, winning their third straight game, while MTSU falls to 3-9.

VCU Volleyball vs. Morgan State in the VCU Invitational (9/17/16)

Records: VCU 7-6, Morgan State 0-14 

VCU was in control from start to finish as the Rams made a clean sweep of Morgan State 3-0 (25-15, 25-16, 25-12) in the VCU Invitational. VCU has now won a season-high four consecutive matches and everything seems to be clicking at the right time for the Rams.

Junior Rebekah Strange recorded 17 digs and helped VCU out dig Morgan State 43-33. The Rams served a season-high 11 aces, with five coming from freshman Madalon Simpson. Freshman teammate, Tyler Sroufe, set 27 assists and recorded six digs. VCU was bolstered offensively by junior Alica Kandler and freshman Vicky Giommarini with eight and seven kills, respectively.

Strange has averaged 5.83 digs per set for VCU so far in two VCU Invitational games.

VCU Volleyball vs. Liberty in the VCU Invitational (9/17/16)

Records: VCU 8-6, Liberty 5-7

The VCU Rams defeated the Liberty Flames 3-1 (26-24, 25-21, 13-25, 25-22) in their third and final game of the VCU Invitational to go undefeated in the tournament.

The Rams built an early lead in the first set before Liberty came back to tie things up at 24. Freshman Jasmin Sneed recorded a kill to break the tie and a Liberty miscue on the next play allowed VCU to win the first set 26-24. In the second set, VCU was led by Sahbria McLetchie on their way to winning the set 25-21. After a disappointing third set by the Rams, they bounced backed to win the match-clinching fourth set 25-22.

Sneed, along with junior Rebekah Strange and freshman Vicky Giommarini were named to the All-Tournament team. Strange led all players with 18 digs in the match and Giommarini had a match-high 17 kills to go along with nine digs, three aces, and two blocks. Sneed added seven kills and four blocks.

The Rams have won five straight and eight of their last 11 games since their 0-3 start.

VCU will travel to face Towson in their next match on Tuesday, September 20th at 7 p.m.