Cecilia Aragao, Jr., Setter (Recife, Brazil)
JUST THE FACTS: Aragao led the Rams to a pair of conference-rattling road victories last weekend. VCU topped four-time defending champion and preseason favorite Dayton in five sets on Sept. 27 as Aragao handed out 49 assists and added 20 digs. The Rams' win snapped Dayton's 33-match home win streak against conference foes that dated back to 2008. On Sunday, Sept. 29, the 5-foot-11 Aragao set 52 of VCU's 66 kills and added six blocks and six kills in a win at Duquesne. A three-year starter, Aragao ranks fifth in school history in assists. This season, she's averaging 9.70 assists per set, third in the A-10, for the 12-4 Rams.
ON SNAPPING DAYTON'S 33-MATCH HOME WIN STREAK VS. A-10 TEAMS: We didn't know about it. Jody [Rogers] told us the other day. It's something that…anything that you tell us isn't going to motivate us [any more]. What motivates us is to win. We want the A-10 Championship. That's what we want. We don't care if they're No. 1.
ON THE RAMS' 16-ROAD MATCHES TO START THE SEASON: I woke up today and I just had one class and I and was like, where are my teammates? It's so weird because I've spent every day with the girls. We know each other so well. We check on each other. I think the road is really stressful, but it's such a building process of confidence in each other. And we're just 11 [players]. We fit at one table. We fit in one elevator. It is fun.
WHY THE RAMS HAVE BEEN SUCCESSFUL THIS SEASON: VCU was known as big offense and blocking team, and now we practice serve and defense and passing. It's a totally new team. I had to change my way of setting. Romana [Kriskova] has to change her way of hitting. I feel like the teams are not ready for us. Now they need to be ready for girls who can serve and play defense. So it's a different aspect of volleyball.
WHY SHE WANTED TO BE A SETTER: Because I have this thing, I need to touch the ball. My coaches started playing me as a hitter, and I started getting annoyed waiting for the ball to come to me. Whenever the setter couldn't come to me with the ball I was saying, 'set me the ball', and she couldn't set me the ball. So it was like, okay, I need to be a setter to touch the ball all the time.
STARTED PLAYING VOLLEYBALL: When I was 10 years old
WHY SHE WEARS NO. 11: It was my first jersey. My first time competing, my coach gave to me 11, and I said, that's going to be my number.
PRE-MATCH RITUALS: I pray and I talk to my mom.
FAVORITE TV SHOW(S): I like everything on the Food Network. I would say Chopped, Restaurant Impossible. All the Food Network shows I could spend all day watching.
ON YOUR IPOD RIGHT NOW: Avicii and Justin Timberlake
STRANDED ON A DESERTED ISLAND. TWO THINGS CAN'T YOU LIVE WITHOUT: My sister and my phone.
FAVORITE PLACE IN RICHMOND: I like walking around campus.
THE THING YOU MISS THE MOST ABOUT BRAZIL: The people. They hug, they kiss. It's a warm culture.
FAVORITE BOOK: The Bible
MAJOR: Community Health Education
POST-GRADUATE GOALS: I want to do something related to volleyball or play professionally. I was born inside of sports, and I don't feel like getting out and working with something else that's not sports-related.