DUQUESNE TOPS VCU, TAKES OVER FIRST PLACE IN A-10

 Score: Duquesne 3, VCU 1 (25-22, 25-15, 23-25, 25-21)
Location:
Richmond, Va. (Verizon Wireless Arena)
Records:
VCU 24-7 (11-3 A-10), Duquesne 17-9 (11-2)

TALKING POINTS
  • Sophomore Romana Kriskova blasted 15 of her match-high 24 kills in the final two sets, but Duquesne hung on for a critical A-10 victory.
  • With the win, the Dukes take over first place in the league standings and control their own fate heading into their match Sunday at La Salle. A victory would clinch the A-10 regular season crown.
  • VCU, meanwhile, will have to wait out the weekend to find out their seed for the A-10 Championship Nov. 22-24 in Washington, D.C. In addition to Duquesne, the Rams will also keep a close eye on George Washington, which is 10-3 in league play heading into its regular-season finale Sunday at Dayton.
  • Junior Amanda Love recorded 20 digs for VCU Friday night. Despite her effort, VCU was outdug 70-57 by Duquesne. Four Dukes dug at least 10 balls. Due to exceptional defensive play on both sides, the match was marked by numerous extended rallies.
  •  Sophomore Kalah Jones provided 11 kills to boost the Rams, while freshman setter Kaitlyn LaMantia handed out 45 assists. Junior Janelle Sykes added five kills and six blocks.
  • Arielle Love sparked Duquesne. She registered 13 kills and hit .458.
KEY MOMENTS
  • Duquesne earned a hard-fought win in the first set, then pushed ahead 2-0 with a convincing victory in the second. The Dukes stymied the Rams defensively, holding VCU to a -.026 hitting percentage.
  • VCU charged back with a 25-23 win in a wild third set. The Rams trailed 22-21, but Kriskova ripped three straight kills – of her 10 in the set – as VCU took command 24-22. Kriskova finished the frame with 10 kills on 14 swings.
  • The Rams eased ahead of the Dukes 19-17 in the fourth, but Duquesne used a 6-0 burst after a timeout to grab a 23-19 lead VCU could not overcome.
BEYOND THE BOX SCORE
  • Kriskova was honored prior to the match (right) for setting the Rams' single-season kills record last weekend in Saint Louis. She has 577 kills this year, and counting.
  • With her six blocks, Sykes moved into sole possession of second place on VCU's single-season blocks list with 161. She needs 12 more to surpass Martina Samadan's mark of 172, set last season.
WHAT'S NEXT
VCU will wait out the weekend to find out its seed in the A-10 Tournament next weekend. If the Rams receive one of the league's top two seeds, they'll earn a first-round bye and play in the A-10 semifinals on Saturday, Nov. 23. If they are seeded third (the lowest possible seed they can earn), the Rams will play in first round action on Friday, Nov. 22.
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