ARIZONA STATE RALLY THWARTS RESILIANT VCU, 3-2

DAYTON, Ohio – Sophomore Kristin Boyd (Wilmington, N.C.) had 13 kills, but Virginia Commonwealth University couldn't hold back surging Arizona State in a 3-2 (25-21, 27-25, 20-25, 20-25, 9-15) loss Sunday at the University of Dayton's Flyer Classic at the Frericks Center.

The Rams (0-4) hit .257 and .294 in sets one and two, respectively, to grab a 2-0 lead. However, Arizona State took control in the third game. With VCU leading 17-16, the Sun Devils (1-2) outscored the Rams, 9-3, to take the set, 25-20. ASU never looked back, hitting .378 and .353 in the fourth and fifth sets on the way to victory.

VCU received six kills and seven blocks from junior Courtney Hott (Fredericksburg, Va.), who also hit .500 for the match. She did not commit a hitting error. Senior Mariel Frey (Lititz, Pa.) added 13 kills and 15 digs, while sophomore Marisa Low (Carlsbad, Calif.) provided 17 digs.

Ashley Kastl had 21 kills to lead the Sun Devils, while Sarah Reaves kicked in 18 and libero Sarah Johnson handled 24 digs.

The Rams won a back-and-forth opening set. The Rams trailed by as many as six points in the frame, at 17-11, and were down 19-15 when Head Coach James Finley called timeout to stem the tide. VCU promptly closed the set with a 10-2 burst.

In the second set, the Rams managed to dig out of a 15-8 hole. Trailing 25-24, the Rams got a critical diving, one-arm dig from Low to set up a right-handed slam by Boyd. On the ensuing play, Hott and freshman setter Ciara Brown (Fort Myers, Fla.) teamed up on a double block of Kastl to give the Rams a 26-25 lead. VCU would take the set, 27-25, after a Kastl hitting error.

The Rams return to action on Friday, Sept. 3 when they face Colgate at 4:30 p.m. at the Penn State Classic in State College, Pa.

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