RICHMOND, Va. – With the 2011-12 athletic calendar complete for VCU, we here at VCUathletics.com thought we would try to recap what was a year full of thrills, excitement and another year of growth for the movement known as Ram Nation.
After a long debate, some wrestling matches and name-calling, our crew came up with the top-25 stories from VCU Athletics in 2011-12, which we will unveil one-by-one of the course of the next 25 business days (Monday-Friday).
If you have any thoughts or comments, our Twitter handle is @VCUAthletics, we’d love to hear from you.
Today, we look at #19 on our countdown.
#19 - Volleyball upsets its way to the CAA Championship
If there's one thing that has been clear in recent memory, it's that the VCU volleyball program knows how to play and win come conference tournament time. That lesson was on display yet again in 2011 when the Ram make a run at the CAA Championship as the sixth seed in the conference tournament.
VCU rolled off victories in six of their final seven regular-season matches to earn the final spot in the CAA Tournament and a first-round match-up against the third-seeded Tigers of Towson. The Rams did what they always did, pulling out a five-set thriller, 25-12, 25-22, 24-26, 18-25, 15-7 and set up a date with second-seeded Northeastern.
The talented Huskies could not stop VCU's magic as the Black & Gold continued to roll with another five-set thriller, 23-25, 25-15, 20-25, 25-20, 15-12. The victory earned the Rams their fourth CAA Championship match appearance in the past seven years.
VCU's magic nearly turned into a conference title as they took top-seeded Delaware, who had dominated the conference all year long, to five sets, but eventual fell, 24-26, 25-17, 15-25, 25-18, 15-9.
#20 - Simmons, Crew Bike Across America for long-time
What makes Ram Nation so great are the 270-plus student-athletes that wear the Black & Gold proudly and are incredible ambassadors for VCU. Need an example? Look no further than men's track & field and cross country runner Tyler Simmons.
Simmons and two of his friends are currently in the middle of the country, nearing the halfway point of their Bike Across America journey.
Chris Kowalczyk of Around the Horns did a feature on the journey earlier this year, take a minute a read about the incredible story behind Bike Across America.
Support is still needed for Simmons and his friends, so please check out the Ricky Rides Again site for your chance to donate to a great cause.
Check out more of the Top 25 Countdown: