Dayton Flyers take perfect A-10 volleyball record into final weekend

Dayton celebrates a point against Michigan on Saturday, Sept. 7, 2019, at the Frericks Center in Dayton. Photo by Erik Schelkun

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Dayton celebrates a point against Michigan on Saturday, Sept. 7, 2019, at the Frericks Center in Dayton. Photo by Erik Schelkun

UD plays Davidson and VCU at home this weekend

The Dayton Flyers and Virginia Commonwealth find themselves on the edge of the NCAA volleyball tournament picture as the regular season nears its conclusion.

Dayton ranks 49th in the RPI. VCU ranks 53rd. One team will get a boost Sunday because the Flyers and Rams meet at 1 p.m. at the Frericks Center in the final match of the regular season.

“VCU’s had a really good year,” Dayton coach Tim Horsmon said Wednesday. “Both of us are dead square on the bubble. I think a win this weekend could give either of our programs a chance to get in if we don’t win (the Atlantic 10 tournament) the following week. It’ll be an interesting two weeks to see what happens for A-10 volleyball, and hopefully,we have a shot to get two teams in.”

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The A-10 regular-season championship will also be on the line Sunday. Dayton and VCU are 12-0 entering the weekend. The Flyers first have to play Davidson (5-7, 10-15) at 7 p.m. Friday at the Frericks Center, while VCU (15-10, 9-3) plays at Saint Louis at 7 p.m. Friday.

Dayton lost to VCU twice in the regular season a year ago before beating the Rams 3-2 in the A-10 championship at VCU's Siegel Center in Richmond, Va.'

“It’s become a pretty good match and a pretty good rivalry,” Horsmon said. “Obviously Friday we have to play Davidson first to get to that point, but we’re excited to play both teams.”

Since A-10 play began, Dayton (19-7 overall) has lost only to Cincinnati (22-5), 3-1 on Oct. 30. The Bearcats rank 25th in the RPI. Horsmon said it was a revealing loss and the Flyers didn’t play well.

“I think we probably got out-coached,” he said. “Our team wasn’t as prepared as their team for it. We just weren’t ready for that moment. We played against a really good volleyball player in Jordan Thompson, who could be one of the starting outside hitters for our national team within the year. We did a solid job against her, but just the little things we weren’t good enough at. We didn’t follow the game plan. We didn’t compete at a high enough level. I think that’s something we’ve been addressing the last couple weeks and hoping that shows in the next couple weeks.”

Weekly award: Dayton swept the A-10 awards this week with Jamie Peterson winning the player of the week award, Olivia Dubay winning the defensive player award and Amelia Moore winning the rookie award.

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Peterson, a redshirt sophomore outside hitter from West Liberty-Salem, has won the player of the week award six times.

“I’m proud of her,” Horsmon said. “She’s really had to endure a lot the last couple of years with her shoulder surgery and sitting out and going through a year of not being able to play and having Carter, her son. I know that’s tough, having to figure out how to be a mom and go to college, which would be difficult in itself but adding on playing volleyball at a really high level. She’s taken on a lot and grown up a lot. We’re proud of her. She really worked and had a great attitude. She’s worked hard and had a great attitude. It’s great to see her back playing volleyball, but she’s a great mom as well.”

Men's soccer: The No. 3 seed Flyers (12-7) beat No. 6 seed La Salle 4-0 on Sunday and will play No. 2 seed VCU at 4 p.m. Friday in the A-10 tournament semifinals in Bronx, N.Y. The winner will play No. 1 seed Rhode Island or No. 5 seed Fordham at noon Sunday.

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