BACK FROM THE BRINK: RAMS WEATHER JMU STORM IN THRILLER

Score: VCU 3, James 2 (25-21, 21-25, 23-25, 25-23, 17-15)
Location: Richmond, Va. (E.J. Wade Arena at the Stuart C. Siegel Center)
Records: VCU 5-7, James Madison 8-3

The short story: Junior middle Jasmin Sneed fueled VCU's comeback with four kills and a block in the fifth-set tiebreaker, while classmate Vicky Giommarini supplied a match-high 19 kills in a marathon victory over James Madison Monday night. VCU withstood three JMU match points before it prevailed.

OPENING VOLLEY

  • Giommarini also recorded 10 digs and rang up her fifth double-double of the season in the win
  • Sneed finished with nine kills in 18 swings and hit .444 in the match. She was also party to seven blocks
  • VCU senior Tori Baldwin added 11 kills, seven blocks and hit .391
  • In all, four Rams recorded double-digit kills
  • On the back row, freshman Alyna Draper collected 21 digs for the Black and Gold
  • JMU's M'Kaela White led all players with 19.5 points on 14 kills and nine blocks

THE DIFFERENCE

  • Trailing 14-12 in the fifth, Sneed tomahawked a kill with her right hand. Moments later, a bad set by the Dukes tied the frame. JMU briefly retook the lead 15-14, but Sneed and senior opposite Julia Adler sandwiched kills around a JMU hitting error to lift the Rams to a 17-15 win.
  • Sneed needed just six swings to rack up her four kills in the tiebreaker. She did not commit a hitting error in that stanza
  • The fifth set featured seven ties and four lead changes
  • VCU overcame a 13-8 deficit in the fourth set to force the tiebreaker. Baldwin provided two kills and a block in a pivotal 7-1 VCU run on the way to a 25-23 victory
  • Statistically, the teams were practically even. VCU hit .226, compared to JMU's .219. Both teams recorded 13 blocks. The Dukes held a narrow 86-81 advantage in digs

INSIDE THE BOX SCORE

  • While James Madison holds a 37-21 lead in the all-time series, VCU has won five of seven against the Dukes
  • Sneed needs five blocks to become just the third Ram with 400 in her career
  • Three Rams, Giommarini (19 kills, 10 digs), freshman Paula Neciporuka  (11 kills, 11 digs) and junior Dajah Ard (33 assists, 13 digs) recorded double-doubles Monday

NEXT UP
VCU will begin its defense of the Atlantic 10 Conference title when it welcomes league-foe La Salle to the E.J. Wade Arena at the Siegel Center on Friday, Sept. 21 at 7 p.m.

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