September 16, 2011

SERVICE ERRORS DOOM RAMS AGAINST SACRED HEART

EAST LANSING, Mich. – Virginia Commonwealth University's Kristin Boyd (Wilmington, N.C.) blasted 16 kills, but shaky play at the service line helped Sacred Heart rally past the Rams, 3-2 (25-19, 23-25, 22-25, 25-22, 15-13) Friday night at Jenison Field House at the Spartan Invitational.

VCU has lost two straight and is now 4-7 this season. Sacred Heart raises its record to 9-2.
 
The Black and Gold hit .287 on the day, enough to earn a win in most matches. However, a season-high 20 service errors spelled doom for the Rams. It's the most service errors by a VCU team since the Rams committed 21 against Howard on Oct. 10, 2007.
 
The Rams committed three service errors in the tiebreaker set alone, which ultimately proved to be the difference. The fifth featured 10 ties and five lead changes. VCU tied the set for the final time at 13-13 on a kill by senior Jessica Ojukwu (Sao Paulo, Brazil). However, Ojukwu's next attempt sailed long and freshman Cecilia Aragao (Recife, Brazil) was blocked by Johanna Ovsenek on the final play of the match to hand a 15-13 win the Pioneers.
 
Ragged play in the first set cost the Rams a 25-19 decision. VCU was facing a 2-0 hole, but used a 6-1 burst to turn a 22-19 deficit into a 25-23 victory in the second frame. Two blocks, the first by Boyd and juniors Jasmine Waters (Landover, Md.) and Anett Farkas (Budapest, Hungary), the second from Farkas and Waters, sparked the run. The second gave VCU the lead for good at 23-22.
 
VCU had a golden opportunity to close out the match in the fourth set, but two Black and Gold attacking errors sandwiched around a pair of service aces by SHU's Kimmee Roleder, pushed the Pioneers in front, 17-15. Sacred Heart would not trail again in the set.
 
Ojukwu finished with 11 kills for the Rams, while senior Amanda Friday (Springfield, Va.) added 18 digs and Waters provided nine blocks.
 
Dianis Mercado led all players with 17 kills for Sacred Heart, while Roleder added 16 kills, 10 digs and three blocks.
 
VCU will hit the court for two matches on Saturday. First, the Rams will meet the host Spartans of Michigan State at noon. Then, at 5:30 p.m., VCU will close out the weekend with Ball State. All matches will be played at Jenison Field House.
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