Rams Hold off Johnson C. Smith for Three-Set Road Win

CHARLOTTE, NC – The Winston-Salem State Rams (18-6, 13-2 CIAA) took an impressive three-set road win over the Johnson C. Smith Golden Bulls (15-7, 96 CIAA), Monday evening. The Rams took the win after a strong overall effort in the 25-19, 25-17, and 25-21 win.

The Rams clicked on all cylinders to claim the win. Offensively, the Rams had a great team effort, totaling 42 kills in the match. Junior outside hitter Mia Herrod led the way for the Rams with 16 kills in the match while senior outside hitter Sydney Holland added eight kills in the match as well. Junior middle blocker Christa Brown also had eight kills in the match as well. WSSU senior setter Mya Snow coordinated the effort with 24 assists while freshman setter Brittany Carpenter added 12 assists.

The Rams took control of the match with a strong performance in the first set. The team got things started early, jumping out to a 6-2 lead. Herrod had a pair of kills in the strong early start. Johnson C. Smith would get back into the set when they tied the Rams, 13-13. However, the Rams would never allow their lead to go away as the team stayed a point ahead of the Golden Bulls until later in the set when the team pulled away late. As the match went on, the Rams closed the set with an 8-3 run to seal the 25-19 win.   

The second set saw another strong performance from the Rams. The set had a closer beginning with the Rams holding a 5-4 lead before the team broke out with an 8-2 run to take a 13-6 lead over the Golden Bulls. After taking their lead to as many as 10 points, 22-12, the Rams held off a late rally by the Golden Bulls. Johnson C. Smith mounted a late 6-2 rally to cut into the WSSU lead, but back-to-back kills from freshman setter Brittany Carpenter and Brown ended the set, 25-17.

The third set was the most competitive one of the night, but the Rams came out on top. This time, it was Johnson C. Smith that jumped out to the early lead. The Rams struggled early, falling behind, 0-5 before the team broke out for an 8-2 run to take an 8-7 lead. After keeping their one-point lead, 9-8, the Rams broke the set open with an 8-3 rally of their own to take a 16-11 lead. After taking a 21-14 lead over the Golden Bulls, the Rams allowed a four-point rally by the Golden Bulls to cut their lead down to three points, 21-18. The Rams scored back-to-back kills to keep a 23-18 lead. Johnson C. Smith added three straight scores, but the Rams would not relinquish their match as the team closed the set with a Brown kill and a JCSU attack error that ended the match, 25-21.

With the win, the Rams improve to 18-6 overall and 13-2 in Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association (CIAA) play. The team will return to action, Wednesday when the team hosts the UNC Pembroke Braves in a 7:30 p.m. match before wrapping up the regular season with a 7:30 p.m. senior night match against the Livingstone Blue Bears, Thursday.

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.