PETERSBURG, Va. – The Shaw University women's volleyball team claimed the 2016 Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association (CIAA) Volleyball Championship after sweeping Southern Division foe Fayetteville State University, 3-0 on Sunday, Nov. 20 at the Virginia State University Multipurpose Center.
Truly a Cinderella story, under the leadership of head volleyball coach DiShondra Goree, the Lady Bears whom was 1-19 overall in her first season. Goree guided the Lady Bears to a 21-11 overall record in her second season in addition to a runner-up finish in the 2015 CIAA Volleyball Championships. The Lady Bears claimed the title for the first time in 21 years and will automatically earn a berth in the NCAA Volleyball playoffs.
Sophomore and the tournament's Most Valuable Player - Kelly Murphy (Mukwonago, WI) registered a match-high and double-double 13 kills and 14 digs while freshman Amari Fletcher (Phoneix, AZ) tallied a career-high 12 kills. Sophomore and all-tournament player Michelle Olmeda-Gonzalez (San Juan, PR) recorded a match-high 26 assists while junior Tiffany Brooks (Efland, NC) collected 14 digs.
Sophomore Keveesha Wattley (St. Croix, VI) was also named to the 2016 CIAA Volleyball All-Tournament Team.
In the first set, Shaw established a 7-3 lead but the Lady Broncos capitalized on the Lady Bears miscues to tie the contest at 9-9. A hit to the Lady Bears back line gave FSU its first lead of the set. The contest would tie four more times before Shaw went a 9-3 run to lead 23-17. A kill by sophomore Morghan Robinson (Anaheim, CA) and a service ace for Murphy gave the Lady Bears the 25-18 set win.
Shaw trailed 6-1 early in the second set caused by the Lady Broncos hot hitting in conjunction with the Lady Bears errors. Shaw would rally from behind to tie the match at nine before both teams exchanged points in segments as the match would tie four more times. The Lady Bears used a 5-1 run to secure the 25-22 set win over FSU.
With a 2-0 match lead, the Lady Bears established a 5-2 stretch in the third frame. Focused and hungrier than ever, Shaw would lead by as many as nine points (18-9) before the Lady Broncos made a run to close gap to get within two points on a kill by Bojo Jada. A bad set from Shaw would give the Lady Bears a one-point lead (20-19) but a kill from freshman Tapanga Moten (New Orleans, LA) ignited a 4-0 run as the Lady Bears sealed the deal with a 25-19 set win and the 2016 CIAA Volleyball Championship.
Shaw will now await the 2016 NCAA Selection Show on Monday, Nov. 21 at 7:30 p.m.
For the most up-to-date information on Shaw University women's volleyball and its 11 varsity sport teams, please visit shawbears.com.