By: Caroline Flahive – Staff Writer
The Flyers’ efforts to earn their fourth-straight A-10 Championship came down to two points. Two points. Dayton (23-8) lost in the conference championship match on Sunday afternoon in Pittsburgh to top-seeded Virginia Commonwealth.
In five highly-contested sets, the Flyers were unable to put away a competitive VCU team as the Rams prevailed 25-23, 21-25, 25-20, 17-25,15-13.
Different Year, Different Situation: The second-seeded Flyers found themselves in their fourth-straight A-10 Championship, but this year found themselves writing a different ending. VCU and UD were neck-and-neck for the majority of A-10 regular season play, trading spots holding the number one position. VCU won the only regular season match between the two teams on Oct. 29. It was Dayton’s first conference loss since 2014.
Senior Jessica Sloan led the Flyers Sunday against the Rams with 16 kills and 13 digs. Kendyll Brown and Lauren Bruns added 11 kills each, while senior middle blocker Amber Erhahon had 11 blocks and 8 kills. Despite putting up impressive numbers, VCU was just one step ahead of the Flyers, and secured their program’s first A-10 Championship.
The Flyers handled business in the semifinals on Saturday afternoon, defeating No. 6, George Washington in straight sets 25-7, 25-15, 25-17. They were nearly perfect with only seven errors all match. Sloan and Bruns lead the Flyers with 10 kills apiece, while Sloan recorded 6 digs and 4 service aces. Erhahon recorded a .444 hitting percentage while four time A-10 Setter of the Year Jane Emmenecker had 24 assists on the night.
Despite the loss in the championship, senior Sloan and juniors Bruns and Brown were named to the All-Championship Team for the tournament.
Dayton must now wait and see if they receive an at-large bid to the field of 64 when the NCAA Tournament bracket is announced Nov. 26. It’s hard to see the Flyers’ season continuing as their resume includes losses to competitive programs such as Ohio State, Iowa State, and Pittsburgh.
Photo Courtesy of Vignesh Krishnaraja/Staff Photographer