BOSTON – Virginia Commonwealth University put an early Halloween scare into first place Northeastern Saturday night, but the Huskies held on for a 3-2 (25-20, 25-23, 23-25, 21-25, 15-10) win at Cabot Hall.
VCU, which rallied from a 2-0 deficit to topple George Mason last weekend, nearly turned the trick again Saturday. The Rams are 11-15 overall after the loss, including 5-6 in Colonial Athletic Association play. The Huskies are 18-4 overall and 8-2 in the league.
Junior outside hitter Kristin Boyd (Wilmington, N.C.) sparked the Rams with 18 kills. She hit .279. Senior Courtney Hott (Fredericksburg, Va.) added 11 kills and five blocks.
The Black and Gold was strong at the net again, recording 15.0 blocks in the match. Junior Jasmine Waters (Landover, Md.) provided 10 total blocks, while freshman setter Cecilia Aragao (Recife, Brazil) contributed eight. Aragao also dished out 48 assists.
Kelly Bacon and Jillian Briner supplied 17 kills each for the Huskies. Briner also recorded 26 assists, four aces and three blocks. Natalia Skiba was credited with a match-high 26 digs for Northeastern.
Briner was critical for NU in the tiebreaking fifth set, providing three kills in three attempts, while combining on two blocks. Northeastern had four blocks in the set and limited VCU to an .037 hitting percentage on the way to the 15-10 win.
The Huskies looked primed for a sweep after they assumed a 23-18 lead in the third set. Northeastern, leading the match, 2-0, watched as Waters played a role in five consecutive VCU blocks to ignite a 7-0 Rams' run to close out the set.
The fourth set featured 14 ties and five lead changes before the Rams pulled away. VCU, which hit .481 in the frame, received back-to-back kills by Boyd and Waters, as well as a Waters-Aragao double block during a 4-0 spurt to grab a 23-19 lead. The Rams would hold on for a 25-21 victory.
The Rams will look to return to the win column on Tuesday, Nov. 1 when they travel to Winston-Salem, N.C. for a non-conference tilt with Wake Forest at 7 p.m.