Imagine being on a college campus when a hurricane is blowing through and a tornado is ripping through the city and on top of all that, falling behind 2-1 to a perennial power in volleyball. Most teams would have thrown up their hands and said that it would not be their night. One note, however, none of those teams are the VCU Rams. And behind the resilience and ferocious and tenacious perseverance of Vicky Giommarini and Jasmin Sneed, the Rams sent the Dukes back to Harrisonburg disappointed after a 3-2 loss. The win moves the Rams to 5-7 on the season. The match provided intensity and resilience especially the Rams having to overcome three match point attempts by the Dukes before sneaking away with a victory. The Rams now have won 5 of the last 7 matches against JMU.
The Rams had overcome a 13-8 deficit in the 4th set but took over the rest of the way to force a tiebreaker. In the 5th set, however, trailing 14-12, Sneed pulled the Rams to a tie before JMU took a 15-14 lead. But Sneed and senior teammate Julia Adler were determined to make sure that Rams did not go down in disappointment. Adler fired right back and the Rams took the set 17-15 and 3-2 match win. The set had featured seven ties and four lead changes. It felt like as if it was game 7 of the world series and the last ball thrown just might produce a walk-off win. In this case, a simple strike down would do just the trick.
Giommarini finished the comeback win with 19 kills and also recorded 10 digs while notching her fifth double-double of the season in the win. Sneed finished the night with nine kills in 18 swings and hit .444 in the match. She was also party to seven blocks and needs just five more blocks in her career to become the 3rd player in VCU history to reach 400 blocks. Senior Tori Baldwin added 11 kills, seven blocks. In all, four Rams recorded double-digit kills. Three Rams, however, Giommarini, freshman Paula Neciporuka (11 kills, 11 digs) and junior Dajah Ard (33 assists, 13 digs) recorded double-doubles Monday. On the back row, the star was freshman Alyna Draper who ended up scooping 21 digs for the Black and Gold. For the Dukes, it was M’Kaela White led all players with 19.5 points on 14 kills and nine blocks. Both teams somehow recorded the same number of blocks with 13 while the Dukes held a narrow 86-81 advantage in digs.
For the Rams, the defense of their reigning A-10 title begins this upcoming Friday at 7 pm in the Siegel Center as VCU must now face La-Salle for an inter-conference matchup. The first matchup of the season promises to be a hard fight. The Explorers are 7-6 and are coming off a loss to the Ball State Cardinals in a 3-0 shutout.