WINSTON-SALEM, NC – The Winston-Salem State Rams (4-10) staged a late rally, but the effort was not enough when the team took a three-set loss to the Belmont Abbey Crusaders (5-6), Tuesday evening. The Rams had a tough time keeping the ball on the court in the hard-fought 25-12, 25-11, 25-18 loss.
As a team, the Rams had an aggressive offensive attack, but miscues proved costly in the match. The Rams totaled a solid 22 kills in the match, but the team was hampered by 24 attack errors. WSSU junior outside hitter Ytae Cobb led the way for the Rams with eight kills in the match while sophomore middle blocker Alexis Gregson-Hammond added six kills. Defensively, the Rams saw just 21 digs in the match with six total blocks.
The Rams got the match going with a strong start to the opening set. The team kept the Crusaders within reach, trailing 9-8 before allowing 11 unanswered points to the Crusaders to fall behind 8-19 before a Belmont Abbey bad set broke the skid for the Rams. The team was able to get four scores in the final moments of the set. A Cobb kill and a pair of BAC service errors cut the WSSU deficit down to 10 points 22-12 before Belmont Abbey added three straight scores to close out the set.
The second set saw a bit more of the same against the Rams. There was a different start as the Rams scored three straight points, including a Cobb kill and a block from Gregson-Hammond and junior Miranda Taylor, to open play before the team allowed an 11-1 run by the Crusaders to fall behind, 11-5 when a Cobb kill snapped the struggles. The Rams fell behind by as many as 13 points, 7-20 before the team scored back-to-back points when Cobb followed a BAC service error with a service ace of her own. The effort left the Rams trailing, 9-20. After falling behind, 9-24, the Rams added back-to-back scores before falling 11-25 in the second set.
The third set saw the team's best effort as the Rams took and early 7-2 lead over the Crusaders. The rally included six straight scores by the Rams. The Rams would maintain their lead 15-11 after a four-point rally that included three straight service aces from Cobb. The Rams held their lead, 17-15, but soon Belmont Abbey stormed back in a big way, outscoring the Rams, 10-1 to seal the 18-25 set loss and the three-set match loss for the Rams.
With the loss, the Rams fall to 4-10 overall. The team will return to action, Friday, when the team hosts the Chowan Hawks in the first match of the Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association (CIAA) Volleyball Round-Up. 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.