Rams Hold Off Claflin for a Three-Set Win

WINSTON-SALEM, NC – The Winston-Salem State Rams (14-9, 11-4 CIAA) controlled their match from the beginning to the end when the team took a three-set win over the Claflin Lady Panthers (6-16, 5-10 CIAA), Wednesday evening. The Rams had to fight for every point, but the team was up to the task against a Claflin team that would not give in easily.

The Rams needed to combine some great defense with a great offensive effort in order to claim the win as Claflin made the Rams fight for nearly every point of the match. As a team, the Rams totaled 46 kills in the match with senior outside hitter Ytae Cobb leading the way for the Rams with 16 kills in the match. The Rams had their work cut out for them defensively, but they were up to the task with 56 digs in the match. Claflin was equally impressive with 54 digs of their own as well. WSSU sophomore libero Myra Wallace led the WSSU defense with 23 digs in the match while senior outside hitter Miranda Taylor added 11 digs as well.

The first set was an especially hard-fought one with both teams showing a lot of effort. After the Rams opened the match with a five-point run, the Lady Panthers were able to get right back into the set and took a 5-4 lead before the Rams answered right back with an eight-to-one run of their own to take a 12-6 lead. However, Claflin answered right back with an 11-1 run that left the Rams trailing, 13-15. Once again, the Rams went on another run to claim a 20-16 lead over the Lady Panthers. From there, the Rams cruised on their way to the 25-22 win in the opening set.

The second set told a different story with the Rams taking control of the set early and never looking back. After an early 5-3 start by the Lady Panthers, the Rams bounced back in a big way to claim a 10-7 lead after a block from freshman middle blocker Niyonna McIntyre. From there, the Rams cruised to an 18-13 lead before breaking the set open with a 7-3 run to close out the 25-16 second set win.

The third set was another competitive one. The two teams played to a 16-16 tie before four straight WSSU points put the Rams ahead 20-16. The Rams allowed the Lady Panthers to claw back into the set, 21-20, but WSSU would close the match with four unanswered points to claim the win.

With the win, the Rams improve to 14-9 overall and 11-4 in Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association (CIAA) play. The team will return to action, Monday, when the Rams head to Charlotte, N.C. to take on the Johnson C. Smith Golden Bulls. 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.