FAYETTEVILLE, NC – The Winston-Salem State Rams (12-8, 9-3 CIAA) gave a strong effort, but the team came up short in a three-set loss to the Fayetteville State Broncos (9-6, 9-1 CIAA), Thursday evening. The Rams put on a competitive effort in two of the three sets, but some second set struggles cost the team in the hard-fought match.
As a team, the Rams struggled to get their offense in gear against the tough Fayetteville State defense. WSSU totaled 32 kills in the match, but the team committed 24 hitting errors. Senior outside hitter Miranda Taylor led the way for the Rams with eight kills in the match. She also added a career-high 15 digs. Fellow senior outside hitter Ytae Cobb added a four blocks (one solo) in the match.
The first set was the most competitive of the match with the Rams pushing the set to extra points. The two teams played to a 13-13 tie when the Rams broke things open with six straight points to take a 19-13 lead in the set. However, the Rams fell victim to a seven-point run by the Broncos to fall behind, 20-19. The two teams would go back and forth before a kill from junior right side hitter Danyale Berry gave WSSU a 24-22 lead. From there, the Rams allowed back-to-back kills to the Broncos to take a 24-24 tie. An FSU attack error gave the Rams a 25-24 lead before the team allowed three straight points to the Broncos to take the loss.
The second set was a struggle for the Rams who never claimed a lead during the set. The Rams kept the Broncos within three point, 9-12, but the team soon allowed a 5-1 run by the Broncos that the Rams would not overcome during the set. In the end, the Rams took the 25-16 loss.
In the third set, the Rams gave a much improved effort, but the team ran out of gas late to take the loss. The WSSU struggles from the second set carried over into the third set as the Rams fell behind, 4-11 However, the team clawed their way back into the set. After falling behind, 11-19, the Rams went on a 5-1 run that got them back into the set, 16-20. The team continued their rally when they cut their deficit to just two points, 20-22 after an FSU bad set. The Rams kept the Broncos within striking distance 22-24, but a WSSU service error ended the set, 25-22 and the match 3-0.
With the loss, the Rams fall to 12-8 overall and 9-3 in Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association (CIAA) play. The Rams will return to action, Monday when the team hosts the Saint Augustine's Falcons in a 6:00 p.m. match. 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.