VCU Volleyball captured its first tournament victory since 2009 at the Ball State Active Ankle Challenge.

Wrapping up the weekend in VCU Athletics, but not with an actual rap, because that would be awkward.

VOLLEYBALL (3-0)
Last week: at Ball State Active Ankle Challenge (Muncie, Ind.)

8/24: Def. Illinois State 3-1
8/25: Def. Ball State 3-1
8/25: Def. Gardner-Webb 3-1

Love the trophy, but what in the world is an active ankle?
VCU swept three matches over the weekend to win the Active Ankle Challenge at Ball State University in Muncie, Ind. It marks VCU first 3-0 start since opening at 5-0 in 2009, as well as the program’s first tournament victory since that season.

It matters because…
The Rams win over Ball State could prove important down the road, and not just in case they meet BSU-alum Dave Letterman in an airport. The Cardinals were 25-8 a year ago and 36 in the RPI. If Ball State is anywhere near as good this season, it would constitute one of the biggest, if not the biggest, road win for the Rams in decades.

Networking
VCU middle blockers Jasmine Waters and Martina Samadan, a freshman, led the way. Waters, a fifth-year senior, hit .522 and averaged 1.00 blocks on the way to Most Valuable Player honors. Samadan averaged a staggering 1.92 blocks per set and was named All-Tournament, as well as Atlantic 10 Co-Defensive Player of the Week. Sophomore libero Amanda Love also picked up an All-Tourney citation.

Put it in quotations
“Getting a win like this after we beat Illinois State yesterday was great. The thing is, when the selection committee is trying to decide on an at-large, you need these kind of big wins. To get one opening weekend is fantastic.” – Head Coach James Finley following VCU’s win over Ball State.

Coming attractions
VCU is North Carolina-bound. The Rams will battle Kent State, South Florida and host N.C. State Aug. 31 and Sept. 1 at the N.C. State Courtyard Midtown Invitational. Sadly, that’s the longest tournament name they could think of.

MEN’S SOCCER (1-0-1)
Last week: 2012 VCU/Nike Classic (Richmond, Va.)
8/24: Tied Bucknell 1-1 (2ot)
8/26: Defeated William & Mary 2-0

They called her the Goddess of Victory for a reason
VCU captured the VCU/Nike Classic, due in large part to a 2-0 win over former conference-rival William & Mary, which was said to be just tickled over the reunion, Sunday at Sports Backers Stadium.

They reached their goooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooals
Junior Jason Johnson and sophomore Jose Manel Bel each provided three points to lift VCU this weekend. Johnson’s goal in the 81st minute, off a feed from Bel, earned the Rams a 1-1 draw Friday against Bucknell.  On Sunday, Bel put the final nail in the Tribe’s coffin with a goal in the 87th.

Put it in quotations
“We’ve spent a lot of time talking about being able to win games 1-0 or when it isn’t your best day, by staying strong defensively and fighting as a team.  That was the story today.” – Head Coach Dave Giffard following VCU’s win over William & Mary.

Coming attractions
The Rams will be road warriors for the next four weeks. VCU will be at UMBC on Thursday, Aug. 30 at 7 p.m., then at Navy on Saturday, Sept. 1 at 7 p.m.

FIELD HOCKEY (1-0)
Last week:
8/24: Def. Missouri State 6-1

38 special
Senior Kelsey Scherrer tied VCU’s career scoring record with her 38th goal in the 53rd minute Friday. She will share the mark with Alycia Yoder, a Ram from 1991-94, until at least Sept. 2, when VCU hosts Columbia.

Senior two-fer
Senior Haley McBee scored two goals against the Bears. Prior to Friday, she had scored three career goals.

First of many
Friday’s victory was the first career win for VCU Head Coach Shannon Karl. Karl was an assistant with the Rams for five seasons before taking over the program this winter.

Put it in quotations
“Without a doubt she is one of the most dynamic players VCU Field Hockey has ever seen and someone who can single-handedly change the pace of a game in one fell swoop. She has dangerous speed, she has dangerous shots and when she wants to be, she is an incredible attacking threat for us.” – Head Coach Shannon Karl on Kelsey Scherrer

Coming attractions
The Rams will be off until Sept. 2, when they host Columbia at Cary Street Field at 1 p.m.

WOMEN’S SOCCER (1-2-1)
Last week: at Tennessee Lady Vol Classic (Knoxville, Tenn.)
8/24: lost to Akron 2-1
8/26: lost to Tennessee 2-0

That’s going to leave a mark
Akron stunned the Rams Friday with a go-ahead goal in the 85th minute. Despite a 15-7 advantage on shots, VCU was unable to produce more than a Cristin Granados goal in the 19th.

…and we didn’t like it very much the last time either
The losses are the first consecutive defeats for the Rams since dropping back-to-back contests to at Northeastern and Hofstra Sept. 23 and 25, respectively, of last season.

Put it in quotations
“We need to continue to focus on, it sounds really broad, but I think this past week was a lesson learned in mentality, because I don’t think we lost the game on Friday due to talent or tactics. I think we lost it due to mentality.” – Co-Head Coach Tiffany Roberts Sahaydak

Coming attractions
The Rams will return to action on Sunday, Sept. 2 when they host Villanova at 1 p.m. at Sports Backers Stadium.

I will try to be funnier next week .

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