COME TOGETHER; RAMS AIM TO CHALLENGE A-10 AGAIN WITH OLD AND NEW

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Year One of Jody Rogers’ tenure as VCU Volleyball coach was wildly successful, as the Rams finished 26-8 and reached the Atlantic 10 Conference title match. But that’s not to say the Rams are satisfied. VCU is still chasing its first conference crown and NCAA bid since 2005, and this year, the Rams will do it behind five returning starters and eight freshmen.

SPEED KILLS; KRISKOVA PILES UP POINTS

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Playing in VCU's new, faster-paced offense, sophomore Romana Kriskova has thrived.

Playing in VCU’s new, faster-paced offense, sophomore Romana Kriskova has thrived.

RICHMOND, Va. – VCU Volleyball Coach Jody Rogers talks fast and runs her offense even faster. But in short order, she’s winning players over with both.

Count sophomore outside hitter Romana Kriskova among the converts. The athletic, 6-foot-3 Kriskova is averaging 4.86 kills per set this season, which ranks seventh nationally, and is hitting .284. At this pace, Kriskova is mounting a serious challenge to Ludmila Francescatto’s school records of 4.46 kills per set and 549 total kills, set in 2006. Behind its offensive hammer, VCU is off to a 10-4 start as Atlantic 10 Conference play looms.

Kriskova was already a good player. She averaged 2.39 kills per set and was named to the A-10’s All-Rookie Team as a freshman, but this year, she’s been on another level.

The Rams’ new offensive direction appears to be serving Kriskova well, but the Bratislava, Slovakia native’s breakout season hasn’t come without trepidation. Kriskova changed positions this summer, from right side hitter to outside hitter, and is playing in a system unlike any other in her volleyball career. Kriskova had been accustomed to offenses popular in Europe and much of NCAA volleyball that use high-arching sets.

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