WINSTON-SALEM, NC – The Winston-Salem State Rams (16-6, 12-2 CIAA) gave a great effort, but the team could not find any answers when they took a three-set loss to the Shaw Lady Bears (23-4, 13-1 CIAA). The Rams gave a solid defensive effort against the Lady Bears, but the team could not quite get enough offense to claim the 25-19, 25-23, 25-15 loss.
The Rams found points hard to come by against the tough defense of the Lady Bears. As a team, the Rams managed just 30 kills in the match. WSSU senior outside hitter Sydney Holland led the way for the Rams with eight kills in the match while junior outside hitter Mia Herrod added seven kills. Defensively, freshman Jessica Young had a solid day with four total blocks (none solo) in the match while sophomore libero Makala Lytton added 15 digs.
The match was very thrilling in the early going with Shaw jumping out to an early lead, but the Rams answered back in a big way. After trailing, the Lady Bears, 2-6, the Rams went on a three-point rally that featured back-to-back blocks from junior middle blocker Christa Brown and Young, the Rams pulled to within one point of the Lady Bears, 5-6. The Rams fell behind once again when the team allowed a 5-1 run to the Lady Bears to fall behind, 6-11. Shaw pulled away from the Rams late as WSSU fell behind by as many as nine point, 14-23 before the Rams ended the opening set with the 25-15 opening set loss.
The second set was the most competitive of the match with the Rams giving a tremendous effort in the match. This time, it was the Rams who jumped out early with a 6-3 lead to open the set. Things would get interesting in the set when Shaw went on a 7-4 run to tie the set, 10-10. From there, the Rams and the Lady Bears would battle back and forth with each team claiming the lead before tying the set, 22-22. A Herrod kill would put the Rams ahead, 23-22, but the Rams allowed three straight points to the Lady Bears, to fall, 25-23.
After losses in the first two sets, the Rams tried to find answers in the third set, but there were none. After a slow start, the Rams showed some flashes of great potential, but could not get enough offense to keep the match going. The Rams struggled early with Shaw going on a 9-6 run that included four straight points to open the set. The Rams would answer, however, cutting their deficit down to one point 9-10. Shaw would answer with a six-to-one run to leave the Rams trailing, 15-10, but the Rams answered in a big way with a four-point rally that cut the WSSU deficit down to one point, 14-15. The effort proved to be all that the Rams could muster as Shaw outscored the Rams 10-1 to close out the set and the match with the 25-15 score.
With the loss, the Rams fall to 16-6 overall and 12-2 in Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association (CIAA) play. The loss drops the Rams to second place in the CIAA Southern Division with a 6-2 record in CIAA Southern Division play. The Rams won't have long to recover as the team will return to action, tomorrow when they head to nearby Salisbury, N.C. to take on the Catawba Indians.
For more information on Rams volleyball, contact the WSSU Office of Athletic Media Relations at (336) 750-2143 or log on to www.WSSURams.com.