RAMS PUSH TEXAS A&M TO THE LIMIT; SYKES, ARAGAO, JONES STAR

Scores: Texas A&M 3, VCU 2 (25-20, 19-25, 22-25, 25-22, 15-11)
Tournament: Baymont Inn and Suites Invitational
Location: Ohio University Convocation Center (Athens, Ohio)
Records: VCU 1-5, Texas A&M 5-1

THE BASICS
  • VCU gave 2013 NCAA participant and SEC stalwart Texas A&M a run for the ages in the Rams' finale at the Baymont Inn and Suites Invitational.
  • Senior setter Cecilia Aragao turned in a virtuoso, 50-assist, 16-dig, 10-block triple-double to drive VCU.
  • Two of the main recipients of Aragao's brilliance were senior Janelle Sykes and junior Kalah Jones, who each blasted 18 kills on the night. Sykes added nine blocks for a VCU defense that shined up front. Jones added 12 digs.
  • Junior Sami Blaze and freshman Mary Kilbane added 14 and 11 digs, respectively, to a back row that produced 74 digs.
  • Emily Hardesty paced the Aggie attack with 15 kills.

HOW IT HAPPENED

  • Texas A&M had to fight back from a 2-1 match deficit, as VCU put together one of it's most complete performances of the season. 
  • The Aggies staved off elimination when they used a pair of Kiara McGee kills mad a Shelby Sullivan ace to fire a critical 6-1 blitz midway through the fifth set tiebreaker. The rum gave A&M a 9-7 lead it would not relinquish.
  • Following a 25-20 loss in the opening set, the Rams charged back by hitting .400 in the second set on the way to a 25-19 equalizer.
  • VCU rode four Jones kills early in the third to stage a 10-3 run and take a commanding 14-7 advantage. A&M could get no closer than 20-18 the rest of the way.
  • The Aggies pulled even in the match when an Ashlie Reasor kill and block sparked a 3-0 burst that snapped a 21-all tie.

QUOTABLE FROM COACH ROGERS

"it hurts to lose, but I think this was a great step towards getting us ready for A-10 play. All-in-all I thought, even though we came up on the short end of the stick that it was a great look into the future for us."

BEYOND THE BOX SCORE

  • The Aggies are the fifth NCAA Tournament team from last season the Rams have faced in six matches this season.
  • Texas A&M advanced to the NCAA Tournament Round of 32 in 2013, and has appeared in 17 of the last 21 NCAA fields. 

WHAT'S NEXT
VCU will return to action Sept. 12-13 at the Carolina Classic on the campus of the University of North Carolina. The Rams will meet UNC, Georgia Southern and Kentucky in a trio of matches. 

 

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