How it Happened
Rhode Island (7-13, 1-7 Atlantic 10) challenged first-place VCU Friday night, but couldn't quite keep up with the guests in a 3-1 (20-25, 25-12, 26-24, 25-18) loss.
A strong service game helped Rhode Island take the first set, as URI had five aces in the opening set, including two from Jenna McGuire. Offensively, Rhody had just six kills, including three from Zoe Staats and two from Hazel Brown, but it was enough to take the set, 25-20.
VCU (13-7, 8-0 A-10) came storming back, dominating the second set. Up 11-9, the visitors ran off the next nine points to open an 11-point lead that let them eventually tie the match, 1-1.
The key third set was back-and-forth early, with the teams tied 9-9. From there, VCU went on a 10-3 run to force Rhody's second timeout of the set at 19-12. A kill from Zoe Staats, an ace from Annie Ell, a VCU attack error and a kill from Hazel Brown pulled Rhody back within 20-19, forcing VCU to call for time.
Rhody finally tied the set at 22-22, and then staved off a set point to tie things again, 24-24. However, VCU took the next two rallies to end the set and grab a 2-1 lead.
The final set was competitive again, but VCU was able to maintain a slight edge. The visitors eventually closed the match out, taking the final set, 25-
Inside the Box Score
- Freshman Zoe Staats and senior Hazel Brown led Rhode Island with eight kills each. Brown added eight digs and one ace.
- Senior setter Lauren Pick had a double-double with 24 assists and 14 digs.
- Junior Jenna McGuire had four kills with no errors, three service aces and four block assists.
- In the second set, VCU hit .300 as a team, while Rhode Island hit -.346, committing 11 errors with just two kills.
- VCU had 18.5 total blocks, compared to 10 for Rhody.
- Rhode Island had five aces and three service errors in the first set. For the remainder of the match, Rhody had five aces and six service errors.
Rhode Island is back at Keaney Gymnasium Sunday afternoon to take on Davidson. Match begins at 1 p.m.