RAMS FALL TO DAYTON IN A-10 TITLE MATCH

Atlantic 10 Conference Championship
Score: Dayton 3, VCU 2 (18-25, 25-15, 19-25, 25-16, 15-12)
Location: Richmond, Va. (E.J. Wade Arena at the Siegel Center)
Records: VCU 19-9, Dayton 23-7

The short story: VCU juniors Vicky Giommarini and Jasmin Sneed provided 14 kills and nine blocks, respectively, but it wasn't enough to hold off Dayton, which rallied past the defending champion Rams in the Atlantic 10 Conference Championship Match Sunday in Richmond.

OPENING VOLLEY

  • Giommarini hit .279 on 43 attempts and was one of three VCU players to record double-digit digs with 10
  • Sneed, a middle blocker, hit .333 with eight kills. She also became the second VCU player to record 500 blocks in her career, joining her teammate, senior Tori Baldwin, who reached that milestone earlier this year
  • Junior opposite Gina Tuzzolo added 11 kills, four aces and four blocks to the VCU cause
  • Sneed, Tuzzolo and Giommarini were named to the A-10 All-Tournament Team for their efforts
  • Dayton received 19 kills from A-10 Player of the Year Lauren Bruns, while Alli Papesh supplied 14

THE DIFFERENCE

  • VCU raced to a 10-7 advantage in the fifth set tiebreaker, only to watch Dayton piece together a match-altering 7-1 run, sparked by back-to-back aces from Bridget Doherty. VCU was able to close to within 14-12 on kill by Tuzzolo, but Westbelt answered on the ensuing play to give the Flyers the title
  • Dayton trailed 2-1 in the match, but the Flyers hit .439 in the fourth set on the way to a 25-16 win
  • Dayton outhit VCU .227-.161 in the tightly contested match

INSIDE THE NUMBERS

  • Sunday's match likely marks the end of the careers of VCU seniors Baldwin and Julia Adler, but they will not be soon forgotten. Baldwin, a two-time First Team All-Atlantic 10 and 2017 AVCA All-Region pick, departs as the Rams' all-time leader in blocks with 519. Adler, meanwhile, piled up more than 700 kills and 300 blocks as a four-year starter. VCU won 82 matches during their careers
  • VCU, which was making its second consecutive appearance in the A-10 title match, is 30-2 against league opponents the past two seasons
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