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W&M Volleyball Heads to VCU for Season Finale
Updated: Sunday 11/09/2011 (ET)
by Jacob Skipper
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The William and Mary volleyball team heads to Richmond on Thursday for the season finale at VCU at 7 p.m.  The Tribe will be looking to spoil Senior Night for the Rams for the second year in a row, after W&M beat VCU in the final match of the 2010 season on the road as well.

Scouting the Tribe
William and Mary enters the match at 8-17 on the year, after falling at home to Georgia State and UNCW last weekend.  Sophomore Alexandra Ciaccio (Houston, Texas) had the best match of her career against the Panthers, with a career-high 15 kills and four blocks, and on Senior Night against the Seahawks, Anne Dorff (Kent, Ohio) made a triumphant return from injury to provide a career-best two blocks.  For the season, freshman Manon Murray (Greensboro, N.C.) is the Tribe's top offensive performer at 2.6 kills and 2.88 points per set, while Celine Alasomuka (Centreville, Va.) is averaging 4.43 digs per set on defense.

Scouting the Rams
VCU is 14-15 on the year and 7-6 in the CAA, and has clinched a spot in the conference tournament next weekend.  The Rams are being led on offense by Kristin Boyd's 3.5 kills per set, while on defense both Courtney Hott (1.22) and Jasmine Waters (1.12) are averaging over a block per set.

The Series
W&M leads the all-time series 41-34 and 16-11 in Richmond, but the Rams have won three of the last four dating back to the 2009 CAA Tournament.  Neither team has been able to win on its home court in the regular season since 2008, with the Tribe claiming three 3-2 wins in that span including last year's win in the final game of the season. 

News and Notes
-In the win over George Mason, the Tribe had nine service aces including a career-high five from Celine Alasomuka.

-Monika Stanciauskas's .600 hitting percentage against Towson was tied for the 11th-best single match performance in school history, and just the third time since 1993 that a Tribe player has hit .600 or better in a match.  It was the best performance since Megan Eisenmann '06 hit .667 against UNCW in 2004.

-The Tribe’s 3-2 win over Villanova marked the second year in a row that W&M has beaten an opponent from the BCS leagues, following a 3-2 win against Maryland last season (ironically, in a tournament at Villanova).  Prior to 2010, the last win over a BCS foe came in 2005 (St. John’s), and the last time W&M had beaten teams from the money leagues in back-to-back years was in 2000 (Virginia Tech) and 2001 (Georgetown and Virginia).

-This season’s 15-match road trip to start the year was the longest ever at W&M, spanning 41 days.  Dating back to Senior Night (Nov. 6) last fall, W&M hadn’t played an official volleyball match in Kaplan Arena in precisely 11 months (334 days).  Before this fall, the previous latest home opener came in 1986, when the Tribe played the first nine matches of the year on the road before returning home on Sept. 26.

-W&M earned a double-dose of weekly honors on Sept. 13, as Celine Alasomuka was named Defensive Player of the Week by the CAA and Manon Murray earned Rookie of the Week honors following their efforts at the Kent State Invitational.

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