Elite blocking has become a VCU trademark in recent years. The Rams (19-3) are currently ranked sixth nationally in blocking.

RICHMOND, Va. – Volleyball players say there’s a special emotion that comes from blocking an opposing hitter and halting the enemy’s offense with a demoralizing thud.

“You feel like you’re on top of the world. You feel strong,” says VCU freshman middle blocker Martina Samadan.

“I think that’s the most exciting way to get a point for me,” adds senior middle Jasmine Waters. “You just kind of feel like you shut down the other team.”

If that’s the case, it’s been a joyful season for the VCU Volleyball team. The 19-3 Rams lead the Atlantic 10 Conference and rank sixth nationally in blocks per set (3.13). They’ve outblocked their opponents 260-137 this year and have been outblocked in a match just two times. Samadan, a 6-foot-5 rookie from Croatia, ranks fourth in the country in blocks per set (1.64). With numbers like those, VCU should have smiles to spare.

VCU didn’t transform into the Great Wall of China overnight. It takes a lot of work to be this stingy.